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EFF: Amazon, AT&T, and Snapchat Most Likely To Rat On You To the Gov't

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the meeting-has-been-moved-to-room-641A dept.

Privacy 69

jfruh (300774) writes "The EFF has released its annual "Who Has Your Back" report, which uses publicly available records to see which web companies do the most to resist government demands for your personal data, by requiring warrants and being transparent about requests received. Social media giants Facebook and Twitter scored quite well; Snapchat was at the bottom of the list, and Amazon and AT&T didn't do much better." Here's the report itself.

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In my opinion, (3)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 4 months ago | (#47018023)

Everyone outside my house is at the bottom of the list, and even some people in my house.

I'm well protected... uhh, excuse me (1)

swschrad (312009) | about 4 months ago | (#47018689)

somebody is shouting over a bullhorn, and kicking in my doors. I'll be right back........

#1 rats (5, Informative)

russotto (537200) | about 4 months ago | (#47018037)

Banks. They rat you out to the government in every which way. Any given transaction is sent to the DEA and IRS just for starters. And of course the NSA gets everything by hook or by crook.

Re:#1 rats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018651)

This is why I (a) keep the absolute minimum amount I need for monthly spending in the bank, and (b) limit bank transactions to direct deposit, atm withdrawal (cash), routine bill pay, and occasional transfer to my investment accounts. In other words, I aim to limit what I use the bank for, and therefore limit what the bank can do with my data. So what is the bank good for? Convenience. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. Keep the absolute minimum you need for routine spending in a bank, and move everything else OUT of their hands.

Re:#1 rats (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 4 months ago | (#47019597)

Where do you keep your money then?

Re:#1 rats (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 4 months ago | (#47021061)

Bitcoin

Re:#1 rats (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 4 months ago | (#47021145)

won't you be frustrated when you have 50% less money tomorrow than you have today?

Re:#1 rats (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about 4 months ago | (#47022993)

Same problem on the Nasdaq.

Re:#1 rats (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 months ago | (#47018737)

Yes, but most people don't use Bank of America to send nude pictures of themselves or set up questionably legal deals. They DO use snapchat for that *, and they do it because they think it's safe, confidential, and self-erasing. Thus the EFF is quite right to highlight that. Plus it does say "web services" which banks aren't really.

* Or so I have read. No one sends me nude pictures or drug deals.

Re:#1 rats (2)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#47018769)

Yes, but most people don't use Bank of America to send nude pictures of themselves or set up questionably legal deals.

Don't judge me.

Re:#1 rats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020281)

Every interaction with BOA is questionably legal.

Re:#1 rats (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47019137)

Banks. They rat you out to the government in every which way. Any given transaction is sent to the DEA and IRS just for starters. And of course the NSA gets everything by hook or by crook.

Banks are required by federal law to do this. They're under very strict regulations to report this sort of thing. The government knows if they control your wallet, they control you.

Not that the banks are the good guys, but in this regard they have very little choice.

Re:#1 rats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020967)

Banks. They rat you out to the government in every which way. Any given transaction is sent to the DEA and IRS just for starters. And of course the NSA gets everything by hook or by crook.

Banks are required by federal law to do this. They're under very strict regulations to report this sort of thing. The government knows if they control your wallet, they control you.

Not that the banks are the good guys, but in this regard they have very little choice.

It's not just federal law.

There is a lot of "we'll scratch your back if you scratch ours" going on.

The feds hold seminars (via the state banking organizations) on "know your customer" and how to be suspicious and how to spot activity that well, of course, is bad for the bank if the feds have to investigate themselves, you know... (cough)"

They basically teach the bank how to rat out their customers on stuff that goes _well_beyond_ the demands of the law. Including stuff like "did he seem like he was high when he was at the teller window?" and "any evidence of unusual travel?" Not just simple "structuring" where the transactions are designed to not trigger any of the "known" alarms. The interesting part was the folks doing auditing at the banks by the state and feds were present in the seminars, and knew some of the bankers because they had met during audits and chatted with them so everybody else knew the feds and staties were there.

It was a deliberate, wide spread, and specific project to bring banks online as spies for the government under guise of "we'll teach you how to follow the structuring law"

[Check to verify posting anonymously] I know this because I assisted in the IT side of the project in the early days of online seminars.

Re:#1 rats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019751)

YUP!

For those not in the know:

A bank transaction as little as $5k gets flagged for DEA inspection. There's a banking term for this, but as I'm only a 'customer' , I don't know the industry-speak.

Questions involved with said transaction, that I was asked, were:
  - current employer? (whatever you do, DO NOT say self employed!!!)
  - current address?
  - length at current address?
  - reason for transaction? (they have to put something! This IS NOT, a field where it can be left blank)

Mind you, this was at the bank that I've had an account with for near 20 years. Who knew selling your vehicle for cash, and trying to deposit the money into your account was such a P.I.T.A.

Of course, if I had real monies at my disposal, this stuff wouldn't happen!

Re:#1 rats (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 4 months ago | (#47037419)

Wow, as little as 5k, I might have 4 lifetime entries in a database somewhere. I'm worried!

Re:#1 rats (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47020287)

The difference is that the banks are required by law to report any interesting transactions, where interesting is defined as involving any notable amount of money. And notable is only five or ten grand, depending on who you ask. Casinos, of course, are under about the same sort of restrictions and reporting requirements. But Amazon ain't required to rat you out automagically

What a great way to effect change. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018055)

What a great way to effect change.

Good thing i dont use them (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018111)

Open source ftw!

Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018121)

The anti-Apple bias on Slashdot has gotten so bad that you can't even give them the credit they deserve of scoring highest on this list, can you. Wouldn't want to give them any sort of credit for doing everything in their power to do right by their customers, right. Can't give them any praise what so ever.

Re:Apple? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47018147)

To be fair, this is the first year Apple gets all points. Also worth pointing out is that Microsoft and Google also got all points.

Re:Apple? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47018165)

What also surprises me is that even Adobe actually scored higher than Amazon.

Re:Apple? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018207)

Yahoo, Microsoft and Google also scored 5 stars, but didn't make the summary.
1) Apple's exclusion wasn't the product of narrowly-focused bias, but merely the result of there being more perfect scores (9) than were worth highlighting individually.
2) Yahoo, Microsoft and Google also scored 5 stars! Clearly the list means very little, but if you want to be all butthurt about it:

Apple is as transparent as Google and Facebook. Congrats! I think?

2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (4, Insightful)

kheldan (1460303) | about 4 months ago | (#47018131)

I seriously hope you guys don't do this.
Got important conversations to have with people? Sensitive information to convey? Do it in person. The Internet isn't safe anymore, hasn't been for a while now, and it's just likely to get worse.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018237)

I seriously hope you guys don't do this. Got important conversations to have with people? Sensitive information to convey? Do it in person. The Internet isn't safe anymore, hasn't been for a while now, and it's just likely to get worse.

In my opinion...

If they're willing to go to all the effort and time and expense to defeat an SSH tunnel with the most secure encryption available then you've got bigger problems.

People who give a shit about security are willing to read a few man pages. Because they give a shit. People who give a shit about security don't use shit like Snapchat. Snapchat has two use cases: 1) saying hello to Grandma and other conversations you don't mind being monitored, and 2) people who can't be bothered to learn how to do it themselves and want a pre-packaged turn-key solution. These represent only the lowhanging fruit of insecurity.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about 4 months ago | (#47019049)

In the current socio-political climate, the more you try to protect your privacy, through such means, the more scrutiny you're attracting to yourself. My best advice to you? Have a rich online life, but just fill it with nonsense and giggles, nothing important. If you're a clever man, throw in some misinformation just to screw with any profiling that may be occurring. Never name names of people, or allow photos of you, identifying you, to be posted online. People you personally know who won't comply with your wishes so far as photographs go? Consider not associating with them anymore. Never post specifics about where you've been and when you were there, just speak in generalities.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 months ago | (#47018681)

Got important conversations to have with people? Sensitive information to convey? Do it in person. The Internet isn't safe anymore, hasn't been for a while now, and it's just likely to get worse.

The internet was NEVER safe. You could NEVER count on perfect secrecy - in fact, everything sent or received had to pass through someone else's hands.

The old adage of "never put online what you don't want the world to know" has always been true. And the "world" refers to anyone - your parents, your boss, the authorities, the government, your friends, and everyone else.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about 4 months ago | (#47019111)

I never said it ever was intrinsically safe. However there was perhaps a 'golden age' where it was becoming popular, yet there really wasn't anyone monitoring everything going on, either. We're well past that point anymore. We may never see those days again, either; the Internet may be past the point of redemption, if you've been paying attention to the news the last few weeks. The Internet may in the future just become something you use to pay your bills and rent streaming movies to watch, and something you're required to use in order to do your job everyday, and otherwise useless for anything else.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (1)

ewieling (90662) | about 4 months ago | (#47018847)

That is good advice, but almost nobody will listen. I've been slowly weaning myself off personal internet use. Down to only using 5 web sites (this one being one of them). I've also been slowly weaning myself of using my debit card and using cash when possible.

You cannot be part of modern society and not use technology which could track you. I try to strike a balance. I consider most monthly bills a lost cause, there is no privacy for them, might as well have them automatically paid. What I want to do is leave only the minimum of electronic footprints. I cannot prevent the government knowing everything about my bank account, but I can prevent them from knowing what I'm buying by using cash. If they think I'm a threat, nothing will stop them. I do not plan on ever being a threat.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (3, Informative)

kheldan (1460303) | about 4 months ago | (#47019005)

Of the few people who have commented on my original comment, I decided to reply to yours since you're touching on the most points I'd additionally like to cover anyway.

Yes, the real problem is that almost nobody will listen -- but my theory is that of that group of people who won't listen, they break down into people who don't understand, or care, or have been indoctrinated to not care, that their personal privacy is actually something of value to them, and once it's gone, it's gone, and it may not be possible to get it back. I think that the younger the person we're talking about, the less they care, and what's worse, they really think that anyone who does value and protect their privacy 'has something to hide', i.e. they think those people are Bad People who are committing crimes or something. I blame corporate brainwashing and perhaps government propaganda for this attitude; these younger people will grow up into a world where the idea of not sharing more-or-less every moment of their waking lives with the world is completely foreign to them, and that if you don't share everything, there's something wrong with you. Older people remember a world where individual privacy was something that every healthy person wanted, and was entitled to as a human being -- and because of this attitude, younger people say 'well, they're old, they don't understand' and any warnings about privacy being violated is ignored.

So far as planning to discontinue usage of your debit card (and presumably go cash-only)? Hate to tell you, but the situation has deteriorated to the point where if you do at some point have your financial paper trail taper off to almost nothing, you'll draw the attention of the government, which will assume you're up to no good and will start scrutinizing you. Then when they see you online footprint is also next to nothing, they'll be nearly convinced you're up to some sort of criminal activities, and you very well might be surveilled and profiled. If you happen to be in the wrong place(s) at the right time, you may be implicated in something you have absolutely nothing to do with, but since their 'profile' of you will seem to indicate to them that you're hiding something (because you're not one of the bleeting sheep they've carefully indoctrinated to be that way) it won't matter what you say to them or can prove. Welcome to the Dystopia, friend. "I do not plan on ever being a threat", you said at the end of your comment; I'm sorry, but in the end, as I said above, it won't matter, if you happen to get caught in one of their drag-nets. I do sympathize with you, and hopefully one decade things will turn around, but until then, I actually recommend you 'hide in plain sight' because to do too much to erase yourself, ironically, will just draw attention.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47019267)

Where exactly are the "drag-nets" you mention? Have there been citizen disappearances or arrests because the government doesn't like their politics, religion, or anything else? Do you honestly believe that the government even has the resources to "monitor" every person in the country looking for someone doing something wrong? At best any of the information collected is only helpful in forensic investigations after the crime has already happened. Before the Internet came along the government already had all the information they needed to track someone down. Things like tax returns, property deeds, marriage licenses, voter registration rolls, employment history, birth certificates, as well as the ability to gain access to phone activities using a warrant. Anonymity is not the same thing as personal privacy and trying to achieve anonymity in the world is a fools errand. Not to mention there seem to be a lot of people who think they are so unique or important that the government must be keeping a close eye on them at all times. It can be hard to accept that you are not unique or as important as you seem to think you are.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (1)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#47019557)

Suspected terrorists have in fact been killed (is "drone-struck" a word yet?) due to metadata. Not inside the US yet, but give it time.

If you think the government won't be interested in you just because you're minding your own business, read some history. That's what "totalitarian" means! You don't have to be special, when the government can afford to bother everyone. Am I to believe that a government that regulates how much water I use when I flush my toilet won't come after me for something I once posted? It's become socially acceptable to hound someone out of a job for some political cause they supported 5+ years ago - how long until it's legally acceptable?

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about 4 months ago | (#47023015)

It's become socially acceptable to hound someone out of a job for some political cause they supported 5+ years ago - how long until it's legally acceptable?

Oh, rougly -70 years?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

None of this is new. American, Land of the free, has always been a convenient lie.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about 4 months ago | (#47019719)

If they 'have had everything they need to track someone down' prior to the Internet then why do they now need to monitor and sift through the entire internet on a continual basis? Also they're being 'proactive' now, meaning everyone is a potential terrorist/criminal so far as they're concerned. Get your head out of the sand, buddy, it's not 1950 anymore and the United States you thought you were living in is never really existed in the first place. One last thing: If you think you're not being monitored/tracked, then that's just a combination of your not paying attention to what's going on, and them doing their job well enough that you don't ordinarily notice. You can tell me and others like me that we're all tinfoil hat-wearers all you like, won't change a damn thing.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (1)

russotto (537200) | about 4 months ago | (#47021041)

Do you honestly believe that the government even has the resources to "monitor" every person in the country looking for someone doing something wrong?

In a word? Yes. At least everyone who is 3 hops away from a person of particular interest, and it seems likely that's almost everyone.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020163)

What you're describing is like passive radar.

In the Balkans in the mid-1990's, the F-117 and B-2, both "stealth" planes, were shot down at alarming rates (mostly the F-117) to those that thought the reduced radar reflection would make for easier air superiority without the need for additional air support. As a result, the F-15 (non-stealth, air-superiority fighter) and the F-18 (non-stealth, ground attack fighter) had to be called in for heavy-duty escort and clearance work. Why was the F-117 such a flop in actual combat? Because in Europe in the mid-1990's, there was enough background radio traffic from civilian terrestrial transmission stations that low-grade RF pickup equipment could be tuned to pick up that "background noise". The radar-quiet holes in the background noise were the "shadows" of the F-117's ability to deflect radar in every direction without giving a strong reflection in any direction. SAM sites and AA batteries lit them up real good for a while. The F-15's and F-18's that came in to escort them had far less problem with it because they weren't trying to hide, they just came along, kicked some ass, then left.

Don't bother being a stealth person. You can and will be detected, either by your presence or by the shadow you cast against the background. Just make sure not to get shot down. Being stealthy cuts into your payload. Don't bother with that trade-off, it's not worth it against an opponent with similar or greater capability than yours. If you consider the government of the area you live in to be your opponent, you're outclassed. Period. You're also in serious trouble. The only thing you have that is private is your own thoughts. Your best bet is to get over yourself and stop being an inconsiderate dipshit. There's a reason the government has laws, and it's usually to lock inconsiderate dipshits away from everyone that is sick of dealing with inconsiderate dipshits. That's actually the whole reason for governments to exist.

Re: 2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47023223)

Cool story bro, even if most of it was false.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020357)

I mostly agree with you, but since you went off on a jeremiad about how young people don't value privacy, I recommend reading danah boyd's It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens [danah.org] (available free online at that link). The short version is that young people do value privacy, just they, like most adults, don't comprehend the privacy concerns of social media and therefore make poor choices.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about 4 months ago | (#47020639)

I hear you, and I believe you; but I think that a component of the problem is they're being encouraged to make 'poor choices' through peer pressure and propaganda (both the corporate and government types). It's much easier and cheaper (and more profitable with regards to corporate America) to get people to provide their personal information than it is to have to pry it out of them, and that's what so-called 'social networking' is designed to do.

I'll read your link when I have time, I'm sure I'll find value in the insights.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 4 months ago | (#47037449)

The short version is that young people do value privacy, just they, like most adults, don't comprehend the privacy concerns of social media and therefore make poor choices.

The older I get, the more I realize that the world is full of experience masquerading as intelligence. Learning (and teaching others) is more important then innate ability.

Re:2014: Trusting anyone online, ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47021541)

... their personal privacy is actually something of value to them ...

Children who have an internet presence may not understand privacy but I think teenagers do. After all growing-up is horrible: They're not allowed to have casual sex, do drugs, hang-out with older strangers like adults do. So teen-agers spend a lot of time lying about their life. Yet they still sext-message and otherwise publish very personal details. Like picking one's nose during a car-ride, people think the rest of the world can't see them when it's inconvenient. I think the problem is that an internet presence promotes narcissism. Look at how people instagram their breakfast or tweet about their bodily functions. People gather an admiring audience and fail to think that their quest for social approval can go wrong. An example is pictures of scantily-clad 14 year-olds being pirated by porn-sites. Or the episodic bitching and bullying in the school-yard becomes ceaseless stalking via the internet.

EFF Report? (5, Informative)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47018155)

Then why the fuck are you linking to itworld.com?

Here's the actual report [eff.org] , from EFF themselves.

Re:EFF Report? (2)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 4 months ago | (#47018219)

Click revenue or some shit like that.

Re:EFF Report? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018569)

itworld.com can EFF themselves

Re:EFF Report? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47019251)

Because itworld likely submitted the story? lol

slashdot even lets the NSA read YOUR posts! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018225)

I'll bet slashdot even lets the NSA read YOUR posts!

Re:slashdot even lets the NSA read YOUR posts! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018413)

Then we should set aside a day with nothing but goatse.

Fight's for user rights in court is a bad metric (3, Interesting)

aalevy (1602695) | about 4 months ago | (#47018261)

In every case where the company did not earn a star, they report says it should not be seen as a demerit, as they may just not have had a chance to or not been able to report it. Doesn't that make it a poor comparison metric? Especially in comparison to the others...

Apples to Apples? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018263)

AT&T being two stars is a far different beast than Amazon being two stars even if that meant shoveling over everything they knew about me at the drop of a hat.

Info on what kind of people? (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 4 months ago | (#47018477)

I'm OK with Amazon sharing info on someone who's obviously a mad bomber in the making. I'm not OK with them sharing data to prosecute people who's only crimes are violation of prohibitions that would be handled by a ministry of virtue and vice in an Islamic country, and are only prohibited because we've allowed Christian religious nutters too much power here. Drugs, gambling, and prostitution fall into this category.

Re:Info on what kind of people? (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47018637)

I'm OK with Amazon sharing info on people I disagree with. I'm not OK with them sharing data to prosecute people that I agree with.

Maybe that's not what you meant, but it sure sounds that way to me.

Re:Info on what kind of people? (1)

captjc (453680) | about 4 months ago | (#47022699)

It sounds more like it's OK to buy porn and dildos but you probably shouldn't buy a ski mask, tarp, hatchet and a copy of American Psycho at the same time.

I remember there was some lab supply company selling a bottles of chloroform under Amazon Marketplace a few years ago. I have no idea how legit the offer was, but under "People who bought this also bought" was handkerchiefs, condoms, and rope. It had one 5-star review about the using it to "find love the old fashion way."

Re:Info on what kind of people? (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 4 months ago | (#47018761)

And now is Amazon going to spot a mad bomber in the making? It might be obvious if someone leaves a comment along the lines of "Zero stars. This didn't give me the bomb making instructions I was looking for. Recommend Other Book if you want to blow up your school like I do." By all means, report that commenter. But what about someone who bought a book titled "Explosive Chemistry" and then, a week later, ordered a pressure cooker. Should Amazon report that person? What if the person didn't buy the book and just ordered a pressure cooker? Should Amazon assume this person is a bomb-maker in the making and report him? Where is the line and why is it Amazon's responsibility to report all potential bomb makers?

Re:Info on what kind of people? (2)

Jawnn (445279) | about 4 months ago | (#47019019)

Where is the line and why is it Amazon's responsibility to report all potential bomb makers?

The line is just the other side of "probable cause", and that is not something that can be codified into rules that Amazon et al must follow. Probable cause is something that must be evaluated, by those we have empaneled to do so, on a case by case basis. Furthermore, there must be a system of review/redress for when those judgements are in error. We don't have these things anymore. We have allowed the government (more precisely, a collusion between the executive and legislative branches, and the corporate interests who pull their strings) to wrest that power away from the judiciary. I can not overstate the dire consequences this has given rise to. We may never regain that precious balance of power.

Re:Info on what kind of people? (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 4 months ago | (#47021177)

Really? I'm far more concerned that thanks to people like you, very soon it will be illegal to be a Christian and the past purchases I've made on Amazon will make it obvious that I am one and that I'll be easy to find because of it. Tyranny goes both ways, you know.

Shareholder Influence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018509)

What about getting shareholders (and potential shareholder activists) to apply pressure to these companies to improve their policies in this regard.

Complete list of six star winners (3, Informative)

jamesl (106902) | about 4 months ago | (#47018521)

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter scored quite well.

In the interests of completeness ...
Apple, CREDO Mobile, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Sonic, Twitter, and Yahoo Top Chart, Receive 6 Stars Each

Re:Complete list of six star winners (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 4 months ago | (#47019801)

It's good to see the PRISM list so well-represented. :-/

Re:Complete list of six star winners (2)

PRMan (959735) | about 4 months ago | (#47021191)

Google often gets criticized but it's pretty obvious to me that they fought it every step of the way and that most of the leaks from them were from a hack inside their network that they have since closed.

Re:Complete list of six star winners (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 4 months ago | (#47023049)

I actually agree (and not just with regards to Google either). Nonetheless, I still found it rather ironic that most of these champions for our privacy were named on the list of companies (quite likely unknowingly) providing data to the US government.

Amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47018577)

I am waiting for the Snowden slide to show that the NSA/CIA/FBI et al has total real time access in the websites such as Amazon and Ebay, which would be a direct evidence. To track your purchases. Indirectly this has been already confirmed many times. NSA/CIA/FBI et al have access to Amazon cloud, and PayPal transactions. There were slides released that demonstrated that Amazon purchases get re-directed, bugged and repackaged by TLA's. Your 4th ammendment so called rights not to be searched with out judge warrant are so obsolette. I know an individual who was visited by FBI a decade ago for his activities on Ebay/Amazon. Heck, how do you call activity if people on government payroll are also "working" with full data access at companies such as Ebay/Amazon/Google and many many more.

This is very misleading. (3, Informative)

bravecanadian (638315) | about 4 months ago | (#47018633)

It is great that they make the govt do what they are *supposed* to have to do to get your data.. but look at their privacy policies for everything else!

None. None. of these companies "have your back" as far as protecting your private information.

Most of them have business models based completely on collecting, using and selling it.

I'd be shocked if the govt didn't have a couple of advertising front companies that simply buy the data rather than request it officially.

The Lavabit case... (5, Interesting)

Virtucon (127420) | about 4 months ago | (#47018673)

The Lavabit [nytimes.com] case kind of makes cooperating with the government a no-brainer from a business perspective. If you try and defend the privacy of your users you'll just have a judge basically say "fuck you, I'm the law" and you either capitulate or get slapped with contempt of court which means your ass is in jail until you decide to do what the judge says. Either you cooperate or your out of business and in jail which is sad really because even though the FBI was pursuing Snowden and wound up on Lavabit's doorstep which then eliminated the whole service for everybody via judicial action. Not saying that Snowden peed in the pool but the American Justice System was the culprit here and they're they ones that peed all over our Privacy rights in this case. The only way this will be solved is if there's a constitutional amendment reaffirming the 4th and 5th amendments along with your right to Privacy. I don't expect to see that in my lifetime because we have too many big players who want to intrude on your privacy. From Google to Facebook to License Plate Scanning companies, they are making money off of your actions and they'll be the first whiney bitches in front of congress any time there's any kind of legislation pending that could disturb their revenue stream. Wake up America, time to take your country back! Wait, nobody? Meh. Fuck it then.

The Lavabit case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47020541)

No, we do not need an amendment saying to follow the 4th and 5th amendments.
This is like passing a law that says "everyone must follow the law", this quickly becomes circular and indicates you have a deeper problem on your hands.

We need to actually enforce the amendments and stop their violation. This is a more complicated problem.

Nothing needs "affirm"ing", laws do not 'affirm' one another, they are laws or they are not.

We need to strike down the plethora of laws which are not in fact laws at all, as they flout the highest law (the constitution).

A law is crafted by a legislature, but not all that legislatures craft are laws, if they are not in accordance with the Law.

Perhaps we could use an amendment affirming that the constitution lists enumerated powers, and any powers not enumerated are reserved to the people and the states (oh wait...)

So most of what Teddy and Wilson did was blatantly illegal?

Holy usurpation Batman!

(captcha word is "defiance". you're damned right)

Re:The Lavabit case... (1)

DontLickJesus (1141027) | about 4 months ago | (#47023663)

People wonder why USPS is failing. Do you realize that a fairly simple technical implementation marking data with digital postage would legally shield it all? USPS should be Lavabit, hell an ISP. Its simply because the PEOPLE OCCUPYING OUR GOVERNMENT UNDERSTAND DDOS. Clog all the pipes. Eventually our 'No's will be accepted as authoratative. Because.

Re:The Lavabit case... (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 4 months ago | (#47037471)

Silence means consent.
..now that you've consented, let me remove this gag.

But my Snapchats DISAPPEAR, don't they? (1)

ZipK (1051658) | about 4 months ago | (#47019487)

Does Snapchat send the government back in time to see my pictures before they were fully and completely disappeared?

Re:But my Snapchats DISAPPEAR, don't they? (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 4 months ago | (#47021211)

They only disappear from your phone. Not from their servers.

First an endorsement for a watered down bill... (2)

ChilyWily (162187) | about 4 months ago | (#47022829)

(see Slashdot discussion here [slashdot.org] )
and now this. What the effin' happened to the EFF?
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