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FBI Target Puts His Life Online 324

Posted by kdawson
from the go-ahead-investigate dept.
After the FBI mistakenly targeted him as a terror suspect five years ago, art professor Hasan Elahi began recording his entire life online for the perusal of government agents or anyone else who wants to look in. "I've discovered that the best way to protect your privacy is to give it away," he says, grinning. "It's economics. I flood the market."
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FBI Target Puts His Life Online

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  • Come on... (Score:5, Informative)

    by niceone (992278) * on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @04:56AM (#19233415) Journal
    You could at least try to slashdot the guy's site [trackingtransience.net], it is^H^Hwas kind of cool.
    • by maxwell demon (590494) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @05:47AM (#19233671) Journal
      If his site gets slashdotted due to your link, the FBI might think he's turning it off so that they don't see what he does at that moment. You are responsible if they send him to Guantanamo because of it!
    • by Potor (658520) <farker1.gmail@com> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @05:48AM (#19233683) Journal
      ...in his song The Age of Information [phespirit.info].

      "Your reputation used to depend on
      What you concealed
      Now it depends on what you reveal"
    • Re:Come on... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shads (4567) <shadus.shadus@org> on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @08:26AM (#19234461) Homepage Journal
      It's disgusting anyone should need to tell "big brother" jack shit about what they're doing.

      Whatever happened to "Innocent until proven guilty."

      Oh yeah, that was 9/11 when the American people got raped by overzealous politicians and a dictator wanna-be.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rucs_hack (784150)
        Bush isn't a dictator as such, more an empire builder, in fact exactly an empire builder.

        Most effective empire builders have based their empires on economic control and diplomacy (it's worth your while to submit to us, trade in safety and be protected). England, the romans for example, there are more, but I can't think of them right now. Admitedly this is usually after land acquisition through wars, but ecomomic methods are usually far more effective.

        India was an instance of economic control, they actually
  • New religion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Romwell (873455) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @04:59AM (#19233437)
    Privacy nowadyas is like a religion. Some people believe in it, some don't; some fight to protect it. But it is still as intangible and unattainable as deities from other religions.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by bedonnant (958404)
      we *have* to fight to protect it. otherwise the world will be a big MySpace page.
      God forbid.
    • Re:New religion (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Elemenope (905108) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @05:29AM (#19233585)

      I agree. But that doesn't mean we are less worthy for the trying. Sometimes, the attempt is the worthier part. And, just like attempts to attain the attention and favor of deities may make us observe closer whehther and how we could be made to deserve such an attention, perhaps the jealous guarding of one's own life's contents might provoke at least the possibility of introspection, and lead us to discover just what it is about our lives that makes their sanctity worth guarding.

      And, meanwhile, I don't want you to know my taste in porn. That's just none of your damn business!

      • Re:New religion (Score:5, Interesting)

        by m1k3y121 (1039338) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @05:38AM (#19233617)
        The attempt is what matters, at least to me. I currently am a member of the Army and it makes me realize that privacy is important to most people. Some people don't have a problem with people knowing just about everything about them (small towns), but people like me and alot more hate having a roommate and our whole life being watched. When I get out, it will be like heaven for me for that reason. p.s. other than that it's not a bad job
      • by hackstraw (262471)
        I agree. But that doesn't mean we are less worthy for the trying. Sometimes, the attempt is the worthier part.

        I agree as well. And like religions, how about some basic respect towards those that want to believe in what they believe. I'm not saying that one's privacy or religion is right or wrong, but both of these things are private matters.

        If the constitution meant anything today, it would probably be worthwhile adding an explicit privacy amendment. I guess that information and technology was so slow a
        • Re:New religion (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Vancorps (746090) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @09:41AM (#19235335)

          You illustrate the real problem with how the constitution is interpreted today. It was never intended to give people rights, it was intended to give the government rights. There is nothing in the constitution which gives the government the right to take away our privacy except under the most extreme of circumstances which we are not under by any stretch. The issue is muddied by congress and the war powers bill that was passed but regardless the government was never explicitly granted the right to spy on its own people. That means it's unconstitutional and it's plain and simple.

          As long as my freedom doesn't restrict the freedom of someone else then I should be allowed to do what I want. That is the principle the country was found upon and in my opinion at least is a principle worth sticking to.

        • Re:New religion (Score:4, Informative)

          by jez9999 (618189) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @10:09AM (#19235895) Homepage Journal
          I guess that information and technology was so slow at the time, that privacy was not given much thought.

          It was; it's just that they didn't have audio/video recorders in those days...

          Amendment IV
          The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    • by Moraelin (679338) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:00AM (#19233759) Journal
      Let me tell you a story. An "in Soviet Russia" kind of story. A true one at that. The story of how the state kept all those people in line and not fighting oppression.

      Short story: lack of privacy. And literally FUD. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt over what they'll do about your words and deeds.

      The side of the story everyone knows is the KGB and GULAG part. Those are true, and were especially true in Stalin's times. But then it evolved into something that worked cheaper and better: thinking that Big Brother knows everything you do. So people started to avoid doing or saying anything that could bite them in the ass.

      The illusion was that the secret police has dossiers (the dead tree kind) on anyone and everyone, and that it _will_ come back to bite you in the ass sooner or later.

      Even if you realized that in such a low tech setting they can't know _everything_, you didn't know exactly _what_ they know, and exactly _what_ and _when_ they'll use it against you. Maybe they'll do nothing. Maybe they'll send you to Siberia. Maybe you just won't be allowed to travel abroad any more. Maybe your kid won't ever get a high paying job because his dumbass father got drunk once and complained about the party.

      Worse yet, this naturally killed support for any dissidents. If comrade Piotr speaks against the party, egads, you don't want it on your dossier that you sat, listened and nodded. Do you really know if Piotr isn't an agent provocateur? Or if he's just a dumbass, who else in your circle of friends will run to tell the authorities about that talk? Better avoid Piotr entirely from now on. Better safe than sorry.

      _That_ is what privacy is supposed to help against.

      And that is what "privacy is just a religion" and "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear" lemmings just don't get. Sometime, at some point, it may become _necessary_ to do something "wrong" to just freakin' keep your _other_ liberties. If you gave up privacy, then you might as well give up everything else, because you won't have any means left to defend them. If it ever becomes necessary to resist the government, lack of privacy means you'll never get more than 1-2 disidents which are quickly removed or isolated. As soon as someone does speak out, everyone else just makes themselves scarce, if they think the government will know where they are.

      If everyone's life was public, the USA still would be a British colony, because everyone would be affraid to even be seen anywhere around those Jefferson and Hancock guys. India would still be a British colony too, because people would be affraid to be seen anywhere near that Gandhi guy. Etc.
      • by c6gunner (950153) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:29AM (#19233885)
        Funny that you mention Ghandi. His life was quite public, and his supporters well known. Privacy is only important under truly oppressive regimes, which is why they go to such length to eliminate it. It's only important when people have a legitimate fear of their government.
        • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:51AM (#19233981)
          How do you tell whether it's legitimate? Do you know whether you just happen to have been picked for the IRS checkup at random or 'cause you said something inappropriate? I mean, after all, Al Capone was also just caught for tax evasion.

          Any government today has the means to get quite uncomfortable if they want to, even with "legal" means. Not even breaking any of your liberties. You just "happen" to be the lucky winner of some governmental hassles.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Hoi Polloi (522990)
            As an example, J Edgar Hoover kept secret files on people who hadn't been accused of any crime, just "targets of interest". Some of those files have been open and they frequently are full of gossip and vendetta fueled informants. Just the fact that people in the government vaguely knew that the FBI was doing this was enough to stifle dissent or reform of the FBI.
        • by zero_offset (200586) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @09:30AM (#19235159) Homepage
          It's only important when people have a legitimate fear of their government.

          Spoken like someone who has never been stalked by a girlfriend's psycho ex-husband. Do they have junk mail, spam, or telemarketing in your country? Would you feel comfortable if the were able to cast a critical eye on your every activity? Is it fine if the prude at your local bank notices a lot of credit card charges to hotdonkeyporn.com and decides your wife needs to know?

          Sure none of these are exciting government-changing revolutionary scenarios, but they're all very real privacy issues. The only thing worse than denying that privacy is real is accepting that it's real but denying that it has any importance.
        • by NecroBones (513779) * on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @09:42AM (#19235337) Homepage

          Legitimate fear of their government? It's always legitimate. Don't think for one second that any government is immune to corruption. It's human nature... people who enjoy exerting some sort of control or authority over others are drawn to government and law enforcement jobs, so government has an inordinate number of people with that sort of mentality. Governments, as anything else, will tend to act in their own best interest.

          Even the best system, with the best of intentions, can gradually erode.

          Whether you liked him or not, Ronald Reagan had a great quote that comes to mind: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

          While spoken about the US in particular, this applies to any free state.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Hatta (162192)
          It's only important when people have a legitimate fear of their government.

          As a pot smoker, I believe I have a legitimate fear of my government. My chances of being assaulted (arrested), kidnapped (imprisoned), and robbed (fines, asset forfeiture) at the hands of the government are much more likely than being the victim of any other crime. This is why privacy is so important, they're always persecuting someone.
      • by rtb61 (674572) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:36AM (#19233929) Homepage
        People always forget the most obvious privacy invasion. A stranger walks up to you and tells you the names of children, their date of birth, what schools they go to, what classes they are in, their grades, what time they go to school and what time they come home and how they travel between home and school, the names of their friends and to top that off hands you a series of recent photographs of them. Honestly, how would you feel. You don't just protect your privacy, you protect the privacy of all those people around you, especially your family.

        The laws should really be changed, any time that anyone access your records or the records of your family, that are held by state or federal government, or even any major private institution, for any reason, should you not be notified of who did it and why. Also if any changes are made to your records should you not be notified of that change, who made it and why they made it.

        With the power of computers and the Internet this could be easily done and would be a major step forward in not only protecting your privacy, but also maintaining the accuracy of your private data, as well as providing you the opportunity to challenge that data and force corrections when it is inaccurate.

        The weirdest thing at the moment is that the current republican administration deems it important to restrict you from accessing records about yourself and specifically legislates to keep secrets about you hidden from you, a sick way of ensuring they can protect the lies they about create you in order to control you.

      • by FromTheHorizon (1008223) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:07AM (#19234053) Homepage

        It's interesting that you mention Gandhi, because he had some interesting views on privacy (sorry I can't reference them online, I read them in a book on Gandhi)

        Gandhi primary philosophy was discovering truth, which he believed to be like God. Quote: "Truth is God". In accordance to this he lead a very open life, and was not afraid to voice his views. As a result he spent quite a bit of time in prison. Neither did he hide his life from the world. He believed in full openness (It is common knowledge that he gave in to his carnal urges and was having sex while his father died - who shares those sorts of details?!?!?)

        I think his idea worked the opposite way to Communist Russia, and more similarly to free speech. If everyone says what they think, how can the government prosecute all of them? The more we keep private, the more isolated it is for those who want to speak out to speak out. If everyone kept every private, how would the first revolutionary start talking to the second one?

        I think Gandhi's views are interesting in the modern perspective, when technology is eroding our privacy. I do worry about what information there is about me out on the internet, and double check my blog posts for information that might bite me in the arse later down the track. However I think that I don't really have anything to worry about. Sure, there will be some photos of me drunk online somewhere, acting like an idiot. But it's not like that's unusual behavior. I've voiced some pretty opinionated views that would have got me thrown into the Gulag. But the internet is built by people voicing opinionated views, we're not all going to be thrown into the Gulag!!!

        At the end of the day, I don't want to do the things which I might be embarrassed by or arrested for if they got out into the public domain. For the other things, who cares? I'd prefer to worry about making sure that I lead a good life, than worry about who knows what I'm doing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jez9999 (618189)
          But the internet is built by people voicing opinionated views, we're not all going to be thrown into the Gulag!!!

          Give the state the powers of prison guards, and the entire country becomes the Gulag.
      • by starwed (735423) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:09AM (#19234061)

        If everyone's life were public, you'd know if Piotr was an agent. You'd know who in your circle of friends ran to authorities. You'd know the personal lives of those running the country. This isn't just some pedantic point, it gets at the heart of how the systme worked; the government didn't eliminate privacy, they controlled it.

        A society without any privacy at all would be unimaginably different from our own; I don't think you can claim a priori that it would be worse.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by blahplusplus (757119)
        "And that is what "privacy is just a religion" and "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear" lemmings just don't get. "

        Unfortunately technology and business make privacy impossible, most of your daily actions can be recorded/deduced via technology not in your presence (sattelites, microscopic cameras, etc). With the great UK experiment (CCTV cams, etc), I'm certain the invasiveness will only get better and better from here on out.

        In a way it's a good thing because... the only way you n
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Atzanteol (99067)

          the only way you need privacy is if you live in a world of idiots and irrational people

          Er... Have you read the news lately?

      • Nazi Germany (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @07:35AM (#19234177)

        Even if you realized that in such a low tech setting they can't know _everything_, you didn't know exactly _what_ they know, and exactly _what_ and _when_ they'll use it against you. Maybe they'll do nothing. Maybe they'll send you to Siberia. Maybe you just won't be allowed to travel abroad any more. Maybe your kid won't ever get a high paying job because his dumbass father got drunk once and complained about the party.
        I can't speak about Soviet Russa but I do know a bit about Nazi Germany from people who lived through that time and basically the same was true there. You kept your mouth shut because there was a very good chance of even a single moment of carelessness biting you in the ass sooner or later with dire consequences. Even though everybody knew that the State couldn't know everything they still kept their mouth shut because:
        1. The Gestapo offered quite handsome bounties for tips on people who exhibited treasonous or regime critical behavior or uttered any derogatory comments about the 'Führer' the party or it's policies.
        2. Even if the Gestapo didn't get tipped off by one of it's professional informers they would probably eventually learn about any such details the moment they shook somebody down for some minor infraction and that person named you and a couple of dozen others to save his own skin. These tips could range from subversive activities, such as being a communist or social democrat to having once been seen reading a communist leaflet or having been overheard telling a treasonous joke.

        Basically the Nazi system wasn't all that dissimilar in it's inner workings to the tactics employed by Senator McCarthy and his goons except it went much further. Those who got named weren't merely socially ostracized as they were in the USA, in Nazi Germany and the cooupied territories they got sent to a camp and executed. There was actually a group of people both in Germany it self and the occupied countries who made a tidy business out of regularly informing on anybody that acted even mildly suspiciously. Once the Gestapo did lock in on you they were practically guaranteed to find _something_ to hang you with. Believe it or not, purely out of fear of a Gestapo visit, people both Germans and non Germans sorted the scrap paper they used on the toilet in case it contained any leaflets or other printed material from politically unreliable elements or, god forbid, contained a picture of Adolf him self. People today may find that funny but there were actually people who did long stretches in KZ camps or even died there for the simple offence of insulting the visage or persona of the 'Führer'.
      • by carpe_noctem (457178) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @09:30AM (#19235167) Homepage Journal
        Let me tell you a story. An "in Soviet Russia" kind of story.

        Wait a minute, I thought that in Soviet Russia, the story told you!
      • by Repton (60818)

        That reminds me of a joke I read on Wikipedia's article on Russian political humour [wikipedia.org]:

        A hotel. A room for four with four strangers. Three of them soon open a bottle of vodka and proceed to get acquainted, then drunk, then noisy, singing and telling political jokes. The fourth one desperately tries to get some sleep; finally, frustrated, he surreptitiously leaves the room, goes downstairs, and asks the lady concierge to bring tea to Room 67 in ten minutes. Then he returns and joins the party. Five minutes la

    • by dscho (819239)
      It's not anything like a religion. Many people seem to be unable, much like you, to see that you _need_ privacy to live a happy life. Much like you need clean air to live a happy life.

      Yes, you can survive without both, clean air and privacy. Yet, is this a life you want to have?

      Go watch "Life of others". It is really depressing to live in a surveillance society.

      Maybe those countries who did _not_ experience Gestapo-like distrust, arbitrariness, and the mental consequences this brings to your personal life,
      • by grumbel (592662)

        It's not anything like a religion. Many people seem to be unable, much like you, to see that you _need_ privacy to live a happy life.

        What do I need privacy for? This guy [justin.tv] is broadcasting his live 24/7, he doesn't seem unhappy at all. So what is this privacy good for?

        When it comes to an oppressive state and unjust laws privacy of course helps you to hide from the state, but what if the laws are fine and there is no need to hide, why should I care about privacy? What would be the consequences?

        The only

    • Re:New religion (Score:5, Insightful)

      But it is still as intangible and unattainable as deities from other religions.

      Unattainable? Tell you what, why don't you try and get, say, Rupert Murdoch or King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to realise what a false and unobtainable idol they are coveting. I mean, anyone can just waltz right up to them on the street and snap a picture.

      It's not like they have hired goons squads and political connections and secretive schedules which outright confound your ability to snoop into their lives is it? I mean, privacy is a fantasy right? There's no way the rich and powerful could have something the rest of us don't if that something simply just doesn't exist right?

      Privacy is very, very real. In todays market centric humanisms, one could almost describe privacy as an obtainable asset which people are willing to pay money for, and one which, because of it's decreasing availability, is becoming ever more expensive to obtain by simple laws of supply and demand. I await an astute poster's follow up comment discussing the rise of a "privacy industry" in response to decreasing supply of this so called "intangible" notion.
  • by mcvos (645701) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @05:05AM (#19233461)
    It's great that he's created the perfect alibi, and keeping himself out of accidental incarceration on Gitmo, but the real message here is that government institutions are way too sloppy, and that if you do not give up your privacy like this, you may be risking all sorts of harassment and worse. Innocent people do get locked up because of mistakes, malice, or a combination of both.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bedonnant (958404)
      it actually is the saddest story of all. it is the defeat of the individual, defeat of freedom. this guy spends his every hour in a state of rational paranoia. thank God I dont live in the US anymore.
      • by TheSciBoy (1050166) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @05:24AM (#19233565)

        Well, it's not paranoia if they're actually after you.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bedonnant (958404)

          Well, it's not paranoia if they're actually after you.

          yes, because the FBI would have arrested him for vital information such as what he had for lunch. What he does is surrendering his rights and freedoms as an individual, the victory of an orwellian society.
        • by drgonzo59 (747139)
          No they are not...wait someone's at the doorAKKDfpadmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmm
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Fruit (31966)
        It's even worse in the Netherlands [www.nrc.nl] though (article in Dutch, unfortunately). Summary: privacy and other citizen rights continuously eroding and no one cares.
      • by owlnation (858981)
        Not sure why he just doesn't move to the UK. There he can be recorded on video everywhere he goes, without any extra effort from himself.
      • Unfortunately, that may not be enough to keep you out of the CIA's clutches. For instance, there were these guys [washingtonpost.com]. Even assisting MI5 with counter terrorism [independent.co.uk] may not help.
      • That's how I first misread the headline. The real headline and the guy's story is actually pretty pathetic. He gave up. They won. They'd love it if everyone else did the same.
    • by WoodenRobot (726910) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @05:11AM (#19233487) Homepage
      Indeed - and that's why 'if you've done nothing wrong you've nothing to fear and no need to hide' is a load of bull.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CurbyKirby (306431)
      Total openness is an interesting idea, but only if you are guaranteed that everyone is totally open too. Yes, this means organizations as well as individuals. Otherwise, requiring you to publish your life in order to escape either incompetence or profiling (when the results of either is questionably humane incarceration) is absurd. If the government isn't totally open, then why should you have to be? This project is interesting as a thought/art exercise, but its original intent/purpose makes it another
    • by Torvaun (1040898) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:11AM (#19233811)
      You think the government are the only people who can make your life miserable if you want to keep your privacy? Think blackmail. These days, you don't even have to do something embarrassing, as long as the blackmailers can get someone you care about to think you did something. Due process doesn't apply to relationships.

      So, if someone said to you, give me a couple hundred dollars, or your wife will leave you, what happens? Maybe the hassle isn't worth the money. But now you're actually concealing something, and a missing $200 can have all sorts of connotations, from hookers, to gambling, to drunken revelry. It could also be something like a present for your wife, or you loaned it to a buddy of yours, but spin is a very big thing, and it's definitely powerful enough to turn that $200 into more.

      Compare that to this guy. He's got the perfect alibi, because millions of people can confirm it. He's completely immune to any game that relies on suspicion. And how much privacy has he really lost? Most people won't care, most of the ones who do care will never meet him, and most of the ones that do care and do meet him won't put two and two together, especially if he doesn't put a picture on the site. He's really only lost vulnerability.
      • The best way to avoid that kind of blackmail is to be the kind of person that establishes a certain level of trust. Without extraordinary-seeming evidence (which, to be fair, is fakeable these days) I doubt you could convince my wife that I was up to no good, nor could you convince me about her because we trust each other. Similarly, I have a network of friends, relatives and associates that I can use as character references.

        Am I blackmailable? Sure, if someone wants to hard enough, but I've tried to mai
  • Killing time? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cb_is_cool (1084665) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @05:09AM (#19233475)
    Sounds to me like he's just made it into some wierd pseudo-hobby. I don't think I could ever be that comfortable posting my every move.
    • by farkus888 (1103903) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @05:12AM (#19233491)
      I'm picking my nose right now. this post written in the interest of keeping my ass out of jail.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ArsenneLupin (766289)

      Sounds to me like he's just made it into some wierd pseudo-hobby. I don't think I could ever be that comfortable posting my every move.
      Also, what about the people he happens to be with? Are they comfortable about such openness? And does he document the night hours too? What does his wife think about that?
      • by kestasjk (933987)
        His wife doesn't mind the privacy concerns, but she does get tired of having to dry-hump a bean-bag with a wig on every night while her husband makes bombs in secrecy.
  • by Nymz (905908) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @05:11AM (#19233489) Journal
    "But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother." Part 3, Chapter 6
    • I wonder why nobody has made it into a movie yet, seeing as the book was published as early as 1949(!). And the story is as fresh and thought-provoking as ever. Maybe call the movie "Twenty-sixteen" - you could even film many scenes "on location" nowadays ;)
  • by F34nor (321515) * on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @05:18AM (#19233533)
    This was my friend's idea of how to destroy the CCCP. You take every classified document in the US, shuffle, and ship. They would have bankrupted the economy trying to find the gems in the huge piles of useless shit.
  • Sorry, no. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by imsabbel (611519) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @05:23AM (#19233555)
    That whole "give away so much that they cannot use all the Data" might have worked back when all was done by humans.

    Nowdays, you just buy some more computers to do the datamining and cross-referencing. Dont worry, there are thousands of PHDs working at google to make 1984 a reality.

    (Dont believe me? Take a look what googles CEO says here : http://www.ft.com/cms/s/c3e49548-088e-11dc-b11e-00 0b5df10621.html [ft.com] . In short, a quote: "The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as 'What shall I do tomorrow?' and 'What job shall I take?'")
  • ...of users who put evreything on MySpace, Twitter or YouTube.
  • That the goatse guy gets on a terror watch list. Will keep FBI agents occupied and remind them of what our vice president has done to the country.
  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @05:43AM (#19233649)
    IMHO, what he should be doing is flooding the internet with both real and fake information about himself, the more and the more varied the better (*). In an age where people look you up on Google, the best (only?) way to regain your privacy (once it's been breached only) is to poison the information index with total and contradictory garbage. The more obviously contradictory, the quicker people will give up reading page after page of Google's results about you.

    This principle is similar to Rivest's winnowing and chaffing [mit.edu] cryptographic system, or the military countermeasures used to confuse self guiding missiles.

    (*) but not fake terrorism, that would be counterproductive in his case :)

  • It's Not Worth It (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jellie (949898)
    I understand the intentional irony in his actions, but I don't agree that it would work. It's the government, for crying out loud. They do not act rationally, neither in placing him on some terrorist watch list nor in continuing to monitor him because they don't trust someone with an Arabic-sounding name. Suppose his the batteries in his GPS unit fail - then the FBI would scream, "Get him! He's going off the grid!" My life is probably more boring than his, but I don't want invisible agents snooping around m
  • by Anonymous Coward
    He may be ready to give up his private life, I'm not. And if this is what it takes to keep out of the hands of some overzealous, hyperparanoid government, than the best solution is to depose that government.
    How can you live in a world like that? That's not 1984, that's 1984 under Stalin with Hitler and Mao as his henchmen. That's Bush, Cheney and Rice for you.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:00AM (#19233755)
    would be "FBI gives attention whore perfect excuse"
    • by 2Bits (167227)
      Well, the question is, why is the Female Body Inspector interested in him? Oh wait, you talked about that FBI...
  • by sifi (170630) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @06:08AM (#19233801)
    With the nice big red arrow saying "Hello, I'm no where near where live, please come by and rob my house."
    • by Zarhan (415465)
      Actually, that's one of the arguments my friends (medium-sized) company had to keep electronic locks, passcard or anything like that OUT of their office building, and stay with "old-fashioned" keys. I mean, how hard would it be to bribe some button-pusher in a security company to tell some hoodlum that ok, these guys are right now at workplace, go rob their house...

      (Ok, in addition they saved a pile of money by not having to install all the cardreaders and other junk).
  • I grew up thinking that one cannot have freedom without privacy. But having thought about it a bit, they seem like orthogonal concepts. Of course, this depends on one's definition of freedom and privacy. Very roughly speaking, the definitions I use are: 1. Freedom is your right to act as you choose so long as your actions do not harm others, and 2. Privacy is your right to control the dissemination of information about yourself. You might argue that lack of privacy can limit choices by the threat of
  • by k1e0x (1040314) on Wednesday May 23, 2007 @09:36AM (#19235265) Homepage
    It upsetting to see so many people say.. "See, what a good idea."

    First off if this guy has not committed a crime, why is the FBI watching him? Where do they get the authority to do this if they have nothing on him? If they *DO* have something on him, why haven't they arrested him and charged him formally? What ever happened to Due process.

    Secondary.. he has given up his privacy not willingly but under threat of imprisonment and torture in Guantanamo, where he would not get a trial to defend himself at all. This is like saying you gave the mugger your cash willingly and the gun he was pointing at you is irreverent. Like a mugger.. the government is pointing an invisible gun at this man and some of you cheer the fact that he has given up his privacy, sugesting that we all do the same?

    Have you people lost your mind?

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