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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Privacy Anyone?
Ana Viseu on 3 Feb 2001 02:42:31 -0000


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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Privacy Anyone?


Matt,

In your post you are trying to separate two things which, in fact, cannot 
the separated. The loss of privacy and the creation of net borders. The 
creation of borders is dependent on the loss of privacy, for you cannot 
block someone out unless you have some information about who they are.

Dismissing privacy as a perceived issue, and concluding that it is a 
non-issue because when posting on Nettime most people use their real names, 
shows a superficial understanding of what privacy is. Privacy is not 
connected to the voluntary giving out of information about oneself, rather 
it has to do with the ability to control who has access to this information 
and when. In other words, the loss of privacy has to do with a loss of 
control of one’s own personal information. The creation of huge opaque 
databases, controlled by self-regulating businesses is a real problem, 
because as individuals we cannot access them or even find out what is 
collected there. A good metaphor for today’s privacy issues is Kafka’s The 
Trial, where the main character is accused of having committed a crime and 
is told that there is a ‘complete file’ on him, but is never given access 
to the file in order to find out what the crime is. [1]

Nortel’s new software aims at doing exactly that: extract personal info 
without one’s consent. And they are not shy about it. On their website one 
can read: "Imagine a network that knows who you are, where you are, and can 
reach you whether you're on your mobile phone or at your desktop. Even 
better, imagine instead of finding your Web content, it finds you”. It is 
scary to think of may find you…

Nortel admits that there are privacy risks, but trusts on the good market 
self-regulation to solve them. I don’t.

The attempt to create frontiers on the Net (and this time not wild-west 
ones…) is directly, although not exclusively, related to privacy. The 
discourse on the creation of borders takes many forms: national 
sovereignty, security, law, taxation, etc. But it can be reduced, in a very 
basic form, to the balance between the right to privacy and all the above 
mentioned issues. Check out, for example, the new European/international 
Cybercrime Law.

If one wants to maintain a border-free internet then dismissing privacy 
concerns is definitely the wrong approach.

Best. Ana Viseu



[1] See an article on today’s NYTimes on this: 
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/02/technology/02CYBERLAW.html


At 01:27 AM 2/1/01 +0100, you wrote:

>creepy yes, but not very significant.
>
>basically this approach is the only way to enable "preemptive routing" on
>a large scale. everybody who is interested in delivering their data in a
>somewhat efficient manner to a broad audience will come across the problem
>of figuring out where the user is. so it was only a question of time until
>dealing with this fact would lead to putting the soup we call internet
>into palatable dishes. this is what portals and the such are about, all
>that clicking on sites "closest to you" when you want to download
>software. local mirrors reflect that same concept. information about users
>is already being collected in vast amounts, its a non-issue really.
>everybody on this list knows what i mean...or who actually uses an
>anonymizer or fake email addresses to post here?
>
>now nortel wants to capitalize on content providers seeking to implement
>such systems, and additionaly take control over what is expected of such
>systems, so it gives customers some extra toys for setting up profitable
>infrastructure. these toys then will become the standards aswell as the
>accepted limitations, thus giving nortel a head start.
>
>much more creepy than the percieved "privacy issue" is the fact that now
>the borders of ownership will be drawn, the internet will become more and
>more divided into parts which are "off limits" to unauthorized (read:
>uncleared/info-suppressed/non-paying/ANONYMOUS} access and the spamfilled
>free ad-net and some weirdo stuff nobody gives a shit about.
>net.art for e.g;-)
>
>my favorite part of http://www.foxmarketwire.com/013101/nortel.sml
>
>"Nortel, a leading supplier of network switches and routers that direct
>traffic on telephone networks and Internet backbones, is targeting a full
>range of communications service providers, including companies that
>produce Web content and streaming media, and those that keep Web sites
>running and distribute content to users."
>
>i wonder who they are not targeting...
>
>matt
>
>
>---www.firstfloor.org---www.enemy.org---ur.creditcard.nr.here---
>
>On Wed, 31 Jan 2001, Bottle Rocket Science wrote:
>
> >
> > Nortel Introduces Network Technology That Can Track Web Use By Individuals
> >
> > from Fox News Wire:
> > http://www.foxmarketwire.com/013101/nortel.sml
> >
> > Sample quote:
> >
> > >[Clay] Ryder, the Zona analyst, disagreed.
> > >"I don't see this as a security issue. People have to wake up to fact that
> > there isn't
> > >any anonymous usage of any communications services. They have to get over
> > that."
> >
> > Deeply creepy.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > bottlerocketscience
> >
> > #  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
> > #  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
> > #  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
> > #  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
> > #  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net
> >
>
>#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
>#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
>#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
>#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
>#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net

----++++----++++----
Tudo vale a pena se a alma não é pequena.
http://fcis.oise.utoronto.ca/~aviseu


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