Monday, August 24, 2015

INTERNET - Not Private, Not Safe

IMHO:  As a computer specialist and IT Technician (retired) I can tell you that ANYTHING on the Internet is never safe and therefore not private.  Pay attention to the hacking going on world-wide.  Governments are hacked, military sites are hacked, businesses are hacked, and more.  Being on the Internet and expecting privacy is like holding a conversation in Central Park (New York) and expecting that no-one will overhear you.

"Is the trail of secrets we leave online ever safe?" PBS NewsHour 8/21/2015


SUMMARY:  Hackers dumped troves of personal information stolen from the adultery website Ashley Madison this week.  Millions of names, email addresses and partial credit card numbers were released, raising alarms about how much privacy any of us enjoy online.  Hari Sreenivasan discusses the fallout with Neil Richards of Washington University and Julia Angwin of ProPublica.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Internet hackers dumped troves of personal information this week stolen from an adultery Web site, raising new questions about online privacy and the ability of Web sites to protect it.

Hari Sreenivasan has our look.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  The hackers said the attack on Ashley Madison was motivated by the failure of its parent company to deliver on a service that promised to erase users’ information for a fee.  Millions of names, e-mail addresses and partial credit card numbers were released, a public outing that has raised questions about how much privacy any of us enjoy online.

Joining me to discuss this are Neil Richards, a professor of law at Washington University in Saint Louis, where he studies privacy and the Internet.  His recent book is “Intellectual Privacy:  Rethinking Civil Liberties in the Digital Age.”  And Julia Angwin, who covers privacy for ProPublica, her most recent book is called “Dragnet Nation:  A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance.”

All right, so, Neil, I want to start with you first.

We have had the Sony Pictures hack, where thousands of employees of a corporation had their communication and their information released.  We have had the Office of Personnel Management hacked, 22 million employees of the federal government, right?

We have also had celebrity hacks before, where unsuspecting celebrities had their photos from iPhones or iClouds released.  What makes this different?

NEIL RICHARDS, Washington University:  Well, it’s certainly different because it’s more salacious.  Right?  It involves sex and betrayal.

I think the magnitude of the hack and the sensitivity of the information that is being exposed.  I think it’s important that we think about these questions, because this is a little more juicy in terms of — maybe like tabloid news, than some of the other hacks, but it’s important to draw attention to what is an increasingly enormous problem.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  So, Julia, I want to ask.  There is this notion that your information, especially on a sensitive site like this, sits in a lockbox.  And to credit this site, this digital set of locks that they had was actually better than average.

But is there such a thing as true security?  As soon as you type something, is it out there forever?

JULIA ANGWIN, ProPublica:  Sadly, what we’re learning is that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of true security out there in the real world.

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