Social Question

Gifted_With_Languages's avatar

How do you feel about online privacy?

Asked by Gifted_With_Languages (1134 points ) May 21st, 2014

Should the government be able to observe what you surf on the web or should you be entitled to privacy?
What about pedophiles who search up and support child porn? Should people be monitored in order to catch predators?‎

Explain yourself clearly.

I want to thank you wholeheartedly for taking the time out to answer my questions.

So once again, thank you.

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23 Answers

livelaughlove21's avatar

Privacy online? Ha, that’s funny.

Coloma's avatar

While privacy is important and a right, if you will, in the case of suspected pedophiles I’d say yes, whatever it takes to catch a creep.
Monitoring those that are of questionable nature, similar to obtaining a search warrant if there is probable cause to suspect one of some criminal behavior.
I have nothing to hide, personally, just one of gazillions of regular peeps browsing and babbling on the web, but, in the case of monitoring porn sites or other situations where probable cause is involved, I take no issue with such tactics.

Better to invade an innocent persons privacy on occasion than to allow predatory behavior to run unchecked.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

How wide of a brush or how bold of a stroke are you willing to go to thwart a dinky percent of the population? Once you start to take from one, the 1st domino has fell, it is only a matter of time before they all go. If you say monitor to catch someone in pedophilia, and no one says anything, then the powers that be moves on to those who purchases more than X amount of guns in X amount of years, maybe those who spend too much time on paramilitary sites, or something they deem anti-government. Perhaps those scallywags spending all that time on those cannabis support sites will be next. The Internet should be 100% private, even if it means you have to catch bad people after the fact.

downtide's avatar

I don’t believe that privacy exists online, or has ever existed. Once your words or pictures are there, they’re there for ever.

bea2345's avatar

(1) Practically everything posted to the Web is lodged in a computer somewhere on this Earth. It was only a matter of time before governments saw the opportunities for spying on their citizens (something that has been common since before Babylon). It is not right but it happens.

(2) As for keeping watch on wrong doers, the Internet has one strength: publish and be dammed, as Wellington famously said. Just be sure you are ready to defend yourself if you happen to be wrong. By the way, what is this preoccupation with paedophiles? It’s not the ones you know that you should fear, it’s the ones that haven’t been caught.

(3) The Internet is not going to prevent crimes from happening but it can make them known. A rapist is currently serving time in a West Indian prison because someone filmed him in the act and put it on the web.

Dutchess_III's avatar

They already are monitoring our stuff. No big deal.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

I am completely against piracy in all its forms, whether it be copying movies or commandeering another vessel.

jerv's avatar

@Coloma On occasion? Post your SSN, bank account numbers and passwords, and some nude photos of yourself, or you’re just embracing a double standard. You have more to hide than you think, so I don’t buy that argument.

@Dan_Lyons Anti-piracy measures inconvenience lawful users, sometimes invade their privacy, but do nothing to stop actual pirates.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

OH…Privacy I thought it said…Nevermind

Coloma's avatar

@jerv No nude pictures, no SSN online and my bank accts. are not going to link me to some porn chat room with predatory pedophiles, I am not asking you to :“buy” anything, I;m saying I have no problem doing whatever it takes to catch a creep.

jerv's avatar

@Coloma So, you do have stuff to hide! And would you be willing to do all that I asked above in order to catch pedophiles even though that will likely lead to others abusing that information? If you’re not, there’s a double standard. You’re basically saying you’re entitled to privacy but others aren’t. And even if you did give up all of your privacy for the sake of security, whose to say that those you seek to uncover won’t find other ways to hide, making it all for naught, much like anti-piracy measures? How much are you willing to sacrifice for an illusion of security?

I’m not trying to be difficult, merely point out why I disagree. I’m looking at consequences, and the endgame.

DipanshiK's avatar

As far as I understand, ‘online privacy’ is oxymoronic. Once you upload anything online, any kind of media, can be reached very easily because it’s not actually private, regardless of your privacy settings. Hackers who want to indulge, can easily decode any of your stuff posted online.
Anyways, their are certain things that need to be kept under the government’s eye. Care should be taken regarding the sensitive issues. And the wrong doers should be damned for the offence.

jerv's avatar

@DipanshiK But who watches the watchers?

Coloma's avatar

@jerv Well..so far so good, I have never had any identity theft or other issues from my internet affiliations. I do not have a FB acct. dropped that years ago now and if someone wants to read my Fluther babble, who cares?
I stand by my sentiments, whatever it takes to catch a creep.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Yes, using pedophiles as a means to curtail even more of our individual freedoms is a great idea. Because you know the gov’t will not stop with just invading the privacy of that kind of scummy lowlife.

Coloma's avatar

@Dan_Lyons True, then again, cliche as it may be, but…even of one pedophile is caught.
Hell..my bank ATM now wishes me a Happy Birthday…haha, to parrot an old song…It’s too late to turn back now….

Dan_Lyons's avatar

It’s never too late.

I’m glad your bank has a human feeling ATM.

By the way, Happy birthday!

jerv's avatar

@Coloma Huh? I read that as you being willing to post all your info then. Now, if you’re correct, then the reason you haven’t had any issues is that you’re still hiding stuff. Show me all that I asked above, plus you entire net history (yes, I will judge you based on what other people surfed on your connection, even your neighbors who are stealing your wifi),vehicle registration, your entire medical history, and never tell anyone a secret or do anything you wouldn’t do live on network TV.

Sure, you’re not on Facebook. The fact that you think that makes you safe proves that you don’t get my point about unintended consequences. You aren’t thinking it through. You say, “anything to catch a creep”, but you haven’t followed through. Open up your ENTIRE life to anyone who cares to look, or I’ll still consider you a hypocrite. You don’t really mean what you say, because you’re not willing to walk the walk. You think you are, but I haven’t seen any proof yet. You say you have no secrets, but you’re keeping a lot of them.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

If the US is so pedophilaphobe, shut down the whole Net (US side) then none of them scallywags can get over on some young innocent American. ~~

Coloma's avatar

@jerv Really? What’s with all this hysteria?
Just because I have nothing to hide doesn’t mean I am going to share with YOU!
You’re nuts dude.

jerv's avatar

@Coloma No, I think you’re just in shock because you realized what I’ve known all along about online privacy. The possible abuses. The historical abuses. The security flaws.

Yet you still cling to the idea that nothing will happen to you, the same way I clung to the idea that I’d never wind up driving under the rear end of an SUV. I’ve seen what can happen, because I’ve seen what has happened. You obviously have more faith in the inherent goodness of humanity than I do though.

rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

If you have an expectation of privacy in your regular life- that is, if you have information (like pictures of your junk, or your ATM codes, or anything else) which you want to share selectively, then you still have that expectation online. There’s nothing about using a packet-switched network that magically means you give up any right to control your information.

Unfortunately, network owners have incentives to get you to divulge information about yourself. The more they can get on you, for example, the more-complete a profile they can sell to advertisers. That’s how Google, Facebook and others get their money. They are not fundamentally on your side, so you can’t depend on them to safeguard your information for you.

Whenever you share information on the nets or elsewhere, you are committing an act of trust. If you share sensitive information with one person, you are trusting that person and everyone with whom that person may share to keep that information private. On the Internet, that chain of informational custody extends to many extra parties you don’t necessarily know about. When you send an email, you can’t know in advance how many servers it will pass through on its way to the destination, nor who owns those servers. If you send unencrypted email, that email can be read anywhere along the chain. Just because your connection to gmail is encrypted doesn’t mean that each connection along the entire chain is.

So, if you want to protect your information then you have to take steps yourself. You have to use GPG, Tor, OTR and friends, which means you have to learn to do so and do it right. Operational security is hard, and one mistake can compromise more than one message.

It’s difficult, but people do it. Lots of companies don’t allow unencrypted messages to pass outside of their internal networks, or require secured tunnels for external connections.

Privacy isn’t the same as secrecy, but the two look the same from outside. There’s no way to tell if an encrypted message contains trade secrets or kiddy porn without decrypting the message. Companies, government departments, and individuals rely on these technologies and on the expectation of privacy in order to conduct their business. Removal of this expectation and global monitoring of communications would destroy these activities, most of which are legal. There are a great many legal applications of privacy, and even of secrecy, and a relatively small number of kiddy porn pervs. To blow-up the legal applications in order to prosecute the kiddy pervs is tantamount to society as a whole cutting off its nose in order to spite its face.

jerv's avatar

Considering that my line of work often involves customers transmitting trade secrets electronically, as do MANY other occupations, I can see how a lack of online privacy could cause grievous harm to the economy. But that’s also a bit more “big picture” than some people are thinking. They’re only looking at Facebook and E-mail without fully grasping that the issue goes far beyond that.
Not only does it affect businesses, and Facebookers, it affects anybody with a bank account, medical record, lease/mortgage, employment history, social security number…. pretty much everyone. Yet they won’t realize how much they truly do have to hide until it’s all exposed, and then it’ll be too late.

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