No Privacy

Thanks to Tam (who suggests we’re all probably not paranoid enough) for this and this├é┬ástories on how Uncle Sam is crushing our privacy and protections from searches. Let me tell you, I’m so glad we don’t have that civil liberty stomping Bush in the White House anymore, and replaced him with a thorough progressive Democrat who will protect our civil liberties.

Often times when I talk about self-hosting, people wonder why I would do such a thing, given that hosting providers are cheap, and doing it myself is more complicated. This is a big part of the reason why. What happened to Wyatt is another big part of the reason why. I control the horizontal and the vertical (even if the signal is still vulnerable, it makes it harder for them, at least), and if someone wants access to the e-mail on our servers, they have to hand a subpoena to either Jason or me personally. Plus, given that we have redundancy on the signal, if someone decided to cut my line, I can be up and running somewhere else within hours, since my data is not at the mercy of some IT drone at an ISP.

9 Responses to “No Privacy”

  1. Wyatt Earp says:

    We had a day’s notice before they threw us into the gulag. That’s how my server treats its customers. Smite has graciously offered to host us now, and we’re seriously considering the offer.

    It’s much better than worrying about the alternative.

    • Ash says:

      Sounds like a normal DMCA takedown to me. Did you post it?

      It may seem unfair, but you’d probably feel the same way if people ripped off your IP. All the whining about ‘free advertising’ is pretty weak.

      Sometimes they are automated. For my day gig I often get to send them, and it’s generally more effective just to send them right to the hoster and upstream ISP, rather than try and attempt to contact the blog owner.

      • Alpheus says:

        It depends: was what Wyatt Earp doing “fair use”? If so, then he’s probably peeved that he had to go through such grief, with almost no ability to contest the claim, even if he was in the right. It’s even possible that the DCMA takedown was issued, to shut down the site for political reasons.

        Perhaps Wyatt Earp is like me (I doubt it, though, because I’m a somewhat rare breed): copyrights and patents are violations of free speech and commerce, and have their origins in attempts to control the press, and to create monopolies; as such, we’d be better off if we just get rid of them altogether.

        I first questioned copyrights and patents due to my involvement with Linux; Steven Kinsella (in his book “Against Intellectual Property”) and Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine (in “Against Intellectual Monopoly”) put the nails in the coffin for me. The first makes a theoretical case; the second, an economic one, that everyone is better off without patents and copyrights.

        The thing about ideas is that they flourish best when they are shared and copied, and that copyrights and patents hinder this growth.

        • Ash says:

          Sure, it’s fair use to rip off celebrity photos from other sites? Since he never posted the takedown or the details, I’m guessing he didn’t feel the need to get on his high horse about it.

          Linux is fine, but it’s my choice whether or not to give up my IP or not. Nobody should be forced to. The US copyright and patent system isnt perfect, but it’s preferable to nothing at all IMHO.

          • Sebastian says:

            One reason you don’t see heavy use of graphics on my site is because I don’t like taking the effort to find graphics in the public domain. That said, I think some common courtesies can work miracles here. If someone thinks an excerpt I clipped moves beyond fair use, I’m perfectly willing to discuss that, and even go beyond what I think is probably the law to avoid ruffling any feathers. But what I don’t want is someone going above me and just getting everything cut off.

  2. Alpheus says:

    And this is why I want to put the effort into self-hosting my own services, when I can find the time and money to do so.

    I’d also like to create a decentralized, self-hostable (over many hosts) version of Facebook…but that’s going to be even more difficult than self-hosting, I think…although, at times, I suspect that creating such a service will be easier than I think.

    I like the convenience of Google Docs, where I can access my data anywhere I have an internet connection; I dislike it, though, because Google can hold my information hostage. It hasn’t been a problem (yet), but I’m inclined to think that if I could set up a Git server, it would be just as good as Google Docs (maybe better, because I can use things like OpenOffice)…

    Perhaps there’s a good monetary potential for someone who can figure out how to set up all this in such a way that an individual can just set up a computer in a closet somewhere, or pay a small fee, install a big glob, and have all these services without the hassle of going through arcaine config files!

    (I’m now working again, and I’ve been suffering throug arcaine FreeSWITCH and Asterisk config files; on the one hand, I really like the potential of being able to replace Skype on my own server, on the other hand, I think my head is ready to explode if I have to sift through these things for much longer…)

    • Ash says:

      You can get your data out of Google with one click – its called Google Takeout. If you run the Google Drive desktop client then you always have a synced copy on your PC.

      Storing your mail onsite doesn’t really make much of a difference if the NSA has upstream Narus boxes doing DPI on all your traffic anyway. :)

  3. wizardpc says:

    Unless you run your own registrar, you can still get shut down