All they'll find on my internet is drugs and fantasy mage smut - Tactical Ninja
Jun. 11th, 2013
09:18 am - All they'll find on my internet is drugs and fantasy mage smut
So some of you have probably heard of the NSA Prism thing. Those of you who haven't, probably should read this article, or better still, watch this video (warning, autoplay) from the whistleblower himself.
I don't clearly understand it myself, but the message I'm getting is that Prism collects information from the servers of certain large, high-traffic service providers or sites, and channels it to the NSA. Essentially, it spies on everyday internet use by people without any reason except that it can. The implications of this are pretty big, but one of the ones that makes me go "Hmm" is that it means that if someone does a thing the government doesn't like, they can then go have a look at all of that person's internet use, and see who they've talked to, what they've said, and what they've looked at. Retrospectively.
There are smarter people than me (like, you know, Edward Snowden up there) who are talking about this and its impact not only on people directly, but also for the general level of surveillance - you know, the slow creeping invasions of our right to privacy. I mean, one of the companies on the list is Microsoft, right? And Microsoft is about to release the XBox One, which requires permanent Kinect connection in order to work. It doesn't take a mental giant to decide that well, XBox One can kiss my arse, basically.
So yeah, Prism is a bit scary. It's not as if we didn't all suspect that we were approaching Big Brother levels of surveillance, but to have it confirmed is, well.. not really what I would have wanted to be honest.
"But Tats, that's the US! We all know the US government has gone paranoid and human-rights destroying and generally mistrustful of its own people. This is no less than we would expect! Everyone should move to New Zealand, the freest country in the world!"
Meanwhile in New Zealand...
Remember a couple of years ago when I ranted about how our government was using urgency to push through a law that allowed the police to spy on people by placing video surveillance equipment on their property without a warrant? Well, they did that. What happened, for those who weren't around back then, was that the cops had done this in the somewhat notorious Urewera case, and the defence for the accused brought up the fact that, um, that was illegal. So the goverment changed the law to make it legal. That article says it had public scrutiny, but as I recall we were given about 2 days to make submissions.
And just as an aside, those people who were such a danger to the security of average New Zealanders that it required a law change in breach of the Bill of Rights Act to allow warrantless spying? Were found guilty by the crown on minor firearms offences.
So, um, yeah. Cops can stick cameras in your house if they think you might be up to something, and we now have a precedent that the government's happy to change the law to make it legal if they overstep their mandate.
So what? That's got nothing to do with the internet!
Only, earlier this year, someone leaked a report from our national security agency (the GCSB), that showed they were illegally spying on New Zealanders too. And in this case, 'cyber-security' was very much in the centre of the spying. It was all tied up with the Kim Dotcom case - ooh look, that guy that the US wanted to extradite! - and again, was brought up in defence.
And our government's response? change the law to make it legal.
So in reality, it seems that New Zealand's so-called cyber-security/surveillance/whatever laws are actually more Big Brother-ish than the US's already, and also that our goverment is pretty blatant about changing the law to suit itself despite its effects on the freedom of its people. It would not surprise me if Prism, or something like it, is being used here already.
Just a thought.
Meanwhile, when a member of the public discovered a weakness in the Ministry of Justice website that allowed them to access a text file containing passwords, then reported the security issue, our Justice Minister jumped up and down and called the person a 'hacker' and a 'burglar' and refused to admit there was a problem. And then she set the police on the whistleblower.
I suspect Justice would not approve of Judith Collins.
Today is the E3 conference. EA just had its press conference, and I missed it. But I did find this - Dragon Age 3 trailer. It tells you little, except - Morrigan! In the role I suspected all along! Also, release window, fall 2014. In Southern Hemisphere anglophile speak, that equates to spring next year - August/Septemberish. Even though I'm partly going *gnng* SO.FAR.AWAY! I'm also glad they are taking their time with it. They have a few fans to win back, and although I'm on the side of having loved both DA2 and ME3, I'd rather they took their time and made a game that speaks to the concerns raised about the Bioware/EA collaboration. And that continues to justify my love for the world they've created.
So I can wait, but I can't wait! OMGOMGOMGOMG!