Since this interests me, I will tell you of the ongoing war on privacy.
Basically, this is the simplified version; your home computer has a globally unique ID, known as an IP address!
For a long time, a browser known as the TOR browser (The Onion Router Browser), has allowed ordinary people to hide that IP address, so as to stay hidden on the internet.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_%28anonymity_network%29Many, like Gossamer, value their privacy
, and do not want to broadcast it by showing their real IP.
In usual government rhethoric, it is claimed that only terrorists and criminals are in need of privacy
, and unless you are either one of those, you should support ban of the TOR Browser. It is not easy to defend a piece of technology when they play the child pornography card, or when they accuse you of being a terrorist, but still: The original reason for the TOR network was for the freedom of speech in oppressed countries.
I do not doubt that in the future we will see more and more news coverage of the TOR browser, where the anchor presents it as a "tool used by child pornographers, extremists and perverts worldwide".
But really... It is an instrument of privacy. And a desire for privacy does NOT make you a criminal. Just like a gun, it CAN be used for crime, but by no means does it automatically mean that you WILL use it for crime.
As you can see from the links, the Japanese government, SOPA and FBI are all organizations that have either hacked or attempted to ban the TOR network.
To that list you can add the Russian government and others.http://vpncreative.net/russian-government-crack-tor-vpns/
As a matter of fact, even Youtube attempts hacking techniques to discover your real IP address when you are using TOR.
YES, the very new version of Youtube that you all dislike so much.
Well, at least Gossamer.
THEY dislike anonymity so much, they attempt to "access image data on a canvas" when you use TOR. Since this can be used to reveal your real IP, it tells us something about the scale of the war on privacy on the net.http://postimg.org/image/wxto55mfl/
So, what is really going on here?
There are strong forces in this world trying to rid it of privacy. Google, Facebook, US, Russia, Japan. All of these are nations that have attacked the TOR network (even though the US Navy made it in the first place).Why does corporations dislike privacy?
- They want to know who their users are. (Doh)
- Knowing their users enable targetted commercials
- Knowing their users enable them to ban those users if they are not in compliance with company policies (in "the petition to ban Youtube", users state that their accounts have been disabled (by Google) after they shared a link to the petition to revert youtube).
So, knowing your IP gives the corporation control over you. There is power in knowing names, as there is power in knowing IP addresses. Now you are vulnerable. Now you can be banned, and you can be force fed commercials that fit your online profile.Why does the government dislike privacy?
- Surely the crime fighting and anti-terrorist effort both are valid arguments. The government has agencies devoted to hunting down these things, and for an anti-child pornograpy worker it must be frustrating that the TOR network exists. For Japanese police hunting a madman, it must be maddening to be met with a forest of anonymous proxy servers. For the NSA it must be utterly annoying to chase terrrorists posting on open forums using proxies such as TOR.
But could they have another agenda?
In the end it is always about control, power and money. Everything is. But digging into this will become speculation, and until 60 minutes comes up with an article that unveils this aspect of the government agenda, I will keep my opinion to myself.Wrapping it all up:
I know who you are.
Google knows who you are.
Facebook knows who you are.
The US knows who you are.
Russia knows who you are.
And they want to keep it that way.
To earn money, to censor your voice if they must, to put you in jail if you belong there.
To put you under the earth if they feel that they must.
So SCREW Tor and other anoymizing networks. That is what they tell us.
If TOR had only been used to topple foreign regimes that are not aligned with the west, TOR would be hailed on the news as the voice of freedom.
By the way:
What difference is there between communist China and Google, if Google disables accounts that go against their wishes?
There ARE many bad people using TOR. For illicit financial gain, for terrorism, for hacking and other things.
But if the Internet wasn't changing into this anti-privacy beast it has suddenly become, there wouldn't be any need for TOR by us regular folks.