Pirates, arr!

Old lady denied exchanging life savings in old banknotes for new issue; could not prove innocence of money; dies

Rick Falkvinge - 7 januari, 2017 - 19:00

Repression: Ethel Hülst had saved for some old-age luxury all her life, cash-in-mattress style, and wanted to exchange her old-issue-note savings for new-issue banknotes. Faced with demands of proving where her cash came from, she could not produce receipts that would have been older than a decade. The Central Bank denied her an exchange of issue, having her life savings expire into invalidity.

The Swedish Central Bank is in the middle of an exchange of issue, changing old-issue banknotes and coins for new issue. This is something that happens regularly in most or all monetary systems – an upgrading of the banknotes and coins in circulation, supposedly done via a fair and controlled process.

But when Ethel Hülst, 91, tried to exchange her life savings in cash of 108,450 Swedish krona ($12,000; €11,300), she was denied the new issue in exchange for her old notes. The justification was that she was unable to prove that the money had been earned in an honest way, as defined by the government, with the burden of proof on old Ethel.

These are rules against ordinary Joes and Janes supposed to prevent money laundering and terrorism, which accomplish mostly nothing at the same time as the biggest banks are the biggest perpetrators (in the scale of billions-with-a-B) – the same banks that are supposed to enforce these petty rules onto small savers.

Of course, the rules weren’t in place when Mrs. Hülst started her life savings, so how could she possibly know she would have needed receipts from the time in question, twenty or forty or fifty years down the road? That was absolutely inconceivable at the time, that the government would not honor its own cash. (Something that, for one reason or other, has always been inconceivable — despite ample data points to the contrary.)

“She was asked if she’s been laundering money or involved in organized crime. I think our elderly, just like my mother, get rather offended by the government assuming them criminal”, says Anders, her next of kin. “She never afforded herself anything, not even a hearing new hearing aid. Saving what was possible for a rainy day was almost a reflex.”

Sadly, shortly after the bank had refused to honor her life savings, and the administrative court sided with the bank in the matter of refusing her now-invalid banknotes, she passed.

“The bank doesn’t save statements longer than ten years”, continues Anders, implying that it was a ridiculous rule to retroactively come up with a requirement for twenty-year-old receipts. “When mom was told the bank no longer had any statements from the time in question, she gave up. She felt as though the government was stealing all her life savings, and that was it.”

Her financial privacy was, paradoxically, done right. Saving in cash is not only private: with banks giving you zero interest – nil-and-zero risk premium for having the money in the possibly-insolvent bank – it’s also financially sound to have physical control of your store of value. The key message is instead that central banks can’t and shouldn’t be trusted.

Bitcoin users are not affected. Your privacy, finanical and otherwise, is your own responsibility.

Syndicated Article
This article has previously appeared on Private Internet Access.

(This is a post from Falkvinge on Liberty, obtained via RSS at this feed.)

Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

The Government didn’t install cameras and microphones in our homes. We did.

Rick Falkvinge - 6 januari, 2017 - 19:00

Global: It begins: Amazon’s constantly-listening robotic home assistant was near a domestic murder case, and now the Police wants access to anything it might have heard. There have been similar cases in the past, but this is where it starts getting discussed: There are now dozens of sensors in our house. Do we still have an expectation of privacy in our home?

A recurring theme in the dystopic fiction of the 1950s was an everpresent government watching everything you did, as witnessed in the infamous Nineteen Eighty-Four and many others. Adding to the dystopia, starting in the 1970s with movies such as Colossus, computers are typically added to the mix of watching everything all the time.

However, these fictional dystopias all got one critical thing wrong in predicting the future: the government never installed cameras and microphones in everybody’s home. We did. We did it ourselves. And we paid good money for them, too. A smart television set — with infrared cameras built in, watching the people watching the television set as well as listening to them — costs good money that we happily paid.

“The television set received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the government plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live–did live, from habit that became instinct–in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.” — 1984

And now, the police wants access to all of it, not unlike in the brilliant short movie Plurality. In news this week, the police has just requested access to the recordings made by an Amazon smart unit in the home in order to solve a murder.

Of course, it always starts like this. A murder case. One murder case. The next time, it’s an assault rape case. The public opinion wants blood, and privacy has no value compared to catching a killer or rapist. So somebody, somewhere with authority, decides that privacy doesn’t apply in cases “like this”. Then, the government notes this mechanism has already been used for “felonies” – severe crime in general – and decides to apply the same rule for tax evasion, a decision which has no support in public opinion, but which is a crime that the government considers severe. A few more years, and the blanket privacy invasion is used to sue teenagers sharing music and to issue the mundanest of parking tickets.

(I want to point out that this ridiculous example of a slippery slope is exactly what happened with the hated mandatory Internet logging laws in Europe. They started out against murder cases and mass-murder terrorism, and before even a decade had passed, the privacy invasions were used against “all crime, including ticket-level misdemeanors”, and the copyright industry had special private access to the surveillance data for the purpose of suing people. This isn’t made up, it’s exactly what happens. The European Supreme Court struck that shit down as utterly unconstitutional, but it took a decade.)

The question is as disturbing as it is important. Legally speaking, do we still have an expectation of privacy in our own home? Especially when we installed equipment for the express purpose of listening to us and watching us?

As the Snowden movie came out, it was highlighted yet again that our mobile phones are constantly-wiretappable microphones, as the movie version of Edward Snowden took everybody’s phones and put them in a Faraday cage in his hotel room. How long until this is an ordinary reflex with ordinary people, and not just the most knowledgeable? “You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — that every sound you made was overheard…”

Legally speaking, do we still have an expectation of privacy in our own home?

There are dozens of microphones and cameras in an ordinary household today. Not to mention all the other sensors: Wirelessly connected scales, cooking equipment, lighting, cars, toothbrushes, energy sensors, fridges. All connected. All wiretappable. If you haven’t used the “calm” color setting on the lights in your home in a while, the government has the ability to know. If your body fat increases, or if you don’t brush your teeth regularly. If you change your coffee grind, or switch to stronger espresso. If you undercook your meat. The list goes on.

There are five separate and important aspects to this.

The first question is if law enforcement can plant surveillance on suspects of serious crime, using their own equipment. Most people would agree that this is reasonable.

The second question is if law enforcement can retroactively activate surveillance, as in the murder case above. As this requires watching and listening to everybody, all the time, it completely eliminates the concept of privacy (even if, as the police tends to argue, only a small fraction of collected data is used for later investigations: the same was true for letters in East Germany — they were all opened and analyzed, but only a small fraction of them were forwarded for later action).

The third question is if law enforcement can legally use your equipment against you: this requires breaking into your equipment and effectively taking control of it. This is a completely separate topic from the first question, which assumes law enforcement is using (and paying for) its own equipment to violate your privacy. Five years ago, it was uncovered that the German Federal Police had broken into ordinary people’s computers to wiretap people – and with root access comes access to webcams and microphones, too. This is a deeply unsettling concept, one that gives national security employees a dangerous conflict of interest, as they’re supposed to be keeping people safe but can use people’s not-being-safe to make their own job easier, if this is permitted.

The third-and-a-half question is if law enforcement can coerce a third party to wiretap you retroactively, like Amazon or Google, eliminating your agency in the matter.

The fourth question is inter-country espionage, such as when the United States NSA broke into Belgacom (the Belgian national telecom operator) and wiretapped the entire European executive and legislative branches, in addition to Angela Merkel’s personal phone. While outrageous, espionage at this level has always existed and to some degree it’s up to every country to protect its own assets.

The fifth and final aspect is the notorious insecurity of all the connected things. The technology sector has only started to learn how to make secure software, including frequent patches. Other industries who are adding connectivity as a bonus feature – scales, fridges, toasters – will be notoriously insecure, won’t patch, and will be around homes for decades.

This discussion is just getting started. Privacy remains your own responsibility.

Syndicated article
This article has previously appeared on Private Internet Access.

(This is a post from Falkvinge on Liberty, obtained via RSS at this feed.)

Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

The great “Fake News” scare of 1530

Rick Falkvinge - 2 januari, 2017 - 19:00

Europe: Fake news has always been around for humor purposes, but the real “fake news” scares happen when the establishment is so used to getting away with lying, that any alternate narrative is demonized as factually false, irresponsible, and dangerous.

“The Onion” was next to “The Economist” in the newspaper stands for almost two decades. “Weekly World News”, which one-ups most British tabloids with regular Elvis sightings and vivid descriptions of two-mile fish orbiting in the rings of Jupiter, is still next to “Foreign Policy” in the same newspaper stands. This was never considered problematic in the slightest. Why, then, is a unified establishment screaming bloody murder about “fake news” all of a sudden?

To see the pattern here, it helps to know a little history – let’s look at the great “Fake News” scare of 1530. It has a lot of elements similar to ours today.

“The statements that make [established] people mad are the ones they worry might be believed. […] If Galileo had said that people in Padua were ten feet tall, he would have been regarded as a harmless eccentric. Saying the earth orbited the sun was another matter. The church knew this would set people thinking.” — Paul Graham

After the Black Death hit Europe hard around 1350, the monasteries were chronically short on manpower. The families that had used to send a child or two to become monks or nuns simply needed all their kids to work in the fields, to ensure food production, before such luxuries as manning the monasteries could even be considered. Therefore, any work that required involving monasteries became increasingly steep or scarce for the coming century.

This is relevant as those monasteries were the only places that produced books, all of which were in Latin, and all of which were in complete synchronization with the messages of the Catholic Church, the owner of the monasteries and therefore the owner of all mass media at the time. To compound the situation, the same owner also employed all the news anchors – the village preachers, who were the ones who read the books (in Latin) and translated them to the common tongue in villages.

A book was hideously expensive to produce. Not only was each page copied by hand, but the pages were made from animal hides: it was estimated that a single book may require the hides of as much as 300 calves. We don’t have a lot of comparative numbers from Europe of the time, but we do have them from elsewhere: a fine book in the Islamic world of the time could cost 100 dinars, with the annual paycheck required to support a middle-class family being about 25 dinars. Put differently, the prospect of buying one single book would consume an entire family income for four years – or in the $500k to $1M range in today’s value.

Gutenberg was convinced his invention would strengthen the Church, as the ability to mass produce books from a single original would eliminate all the small copying errors invariably introduced in the manual book production process. It would therefore, he argued, improve the consistency of Christian bibles. The result was the exact opposite, through mechanisms Gutenberg did not foresee.

To the day, almost a century later, Johannes Gutenberg combined the four inventions of the squeeze press, oil-based inks, metal movable type, and cheap rag-based pages to produce the first printing press. All of a sudden, books could be mass produced cheaply, and there was an enormous profit motive to be made in producing books for the common people. You could accurately and shamelessly call it an undercutting of the monastery business. (“How will the monks get paid if we allow cheap copying technologies?”)

Gutenberg was convinced his invention would strengthen the Church, as the ability to mass produce books from a single original would eliminate all the small copying errors invariably introduced in the manual book production process. The result was the exact opposite, through mechanisms Gutenberg did not foresee.

It’s important to remember here, that through the media cartel of the medieval ages (where the Catholic Church produced all news and reported all news), that there was an absolute gatekeeper position over the narrative. The Church could essentially claim that something was true, and everybody would believe it. This is a very powerful position, being the gatekeeper of true and false – one that is prone to abuse without any opposition, or competition, in reporting. As it turned out, the Catholic Church would indeed come to abuse this power quite egregiously, and paid the price for it.

What Martin Luther protested was only superficially the selling of salvation to raise funds: fundamentally, he was objecting to abuse of the gatekeeper position over truth and lie for the gatekeeper’s material benefit.

In the late 1400s, the Catholic Church needed to raise money, and came up with the idea of selling forgiveness for sins, the basic idea being that you didn’t need to be a good person to gain the favor of the Church (and divine beings), you only needed to be Rich. A priest, monk, and theologist named Martin Luther took particular exception to this message, seeing how it stood in complete opposition to everything the Church was supposed to be about, and nailed his 95 theses to the church door in 1517.

These 95 theses outlined how the entire practice of selling divine forgiveness was based on falsehoods, fabrications, and fiction. However, it’s important to look at the bigger picture here: what Martin Luther protested was only superficially the selling of salvation to raise funds. More fundamentally, he was objecting to abuse of the gatekeeper position over truth and lie to twist the narrative for the gatekeeper’s material benefit.

This is where the story should start to feel familiar with modern day conflicts over the Power of Narrative.

Luther was excommunicated – banished, exiled – in 1521. This was one of the graver punishments administered, short of the death penalty, and the only thing remaining for somebody thus punished was normally to leave for foreign lands. However, in Luther’s case, he was given refuge in lands siding with him instead of the Catholic regime, ultimately setting off a century of civil war over the Power of Narrative.

The final death knell came when Luther published bibles in German and French using the new printing press, the so-called Luther Bibles, first published in 1522. These set off shockwaves, as they were 1) distributed by the cartload in the streets of Paris and France, 2) were readable by the common people without translation by the clergy, and 3) didn’t cost the equivalent of a million dollars each.

The Church immediately went into a panic, as they had instantly lost their gatekeeper position. No longer were they able to stand unchallenged when they were reading from the Bible in Latin, as people could – and would – verify the claims made, using their own direct sources. And as it turned out, a lot of the things that had been claimed – selling salvation among them – had been baloney of the highest order with no support in the Christian Bible as claimed.

The Catholic church went on a rampage and a crusade against this new spread of ideas that would challenge its narrative, and in particular, against the technology which enabled people to challenge its narrative. Copying books cheaply and efficiently instead of paying four annual salaries for a single book – the audacity, the outrageous heresy! How dared people copy books themselves without respecting the Church? Obviously, books could only be properly copied in monasteries, to ensure proper quality.

(“How will the monks copying books get paid otherwise?” was as much a smokescreen then as it is today.)

The church kept up the pressure against the printing press, as it saw all the resulting non-sanctioned news channels as completely fake, not just being wrong, but being dangerous. They were irresponsible. They were deliberately spreading misinformation – at least the Church saw it that way, a Church which was institutionally incapable of unlearning that it was no longer the single source of information and would no longer have whatever outlandish claim accepted without question.

However, the nobility and royalty of the time were certainly paying attention to the Church. After all, the Archbishop installed Kings, so there was a mutual dependence for power between the clergy and royalty at the time. Therefore, when the Church exclaimed the sky is falling (“there is fake news everywhere! We must do something!!!111!!one!”), the royalty tended to listen.

As a result, on January 13, 1535, the French King Francis I signed into law the death penalty by hanging for using a printing press at all. Yes, you read that right: there was a death penalty for making unauthorized copies. The justification for the law, as still readable in the preserved logs from 1535, was to “prevent the spread of misinformation and false news”.

So the gatekeepers of knowledge and culture in 1530, on losing their gatekeeper position over the narrative, didn’t counter with higher-quality reporting, but instead attacked the technology enabling competition, calling it out as spreading misinformation and irresponsible fake reports. Does any of this seem… familiar?

The law was a complete fiasco. Once people had learned to read competing reporting, there was no unlearning it. The law was repealed shortly thereafter. England went another route to prevent the success of the printing press by establishing a censorship regime with printing monopolies, known as copyright, but that’s a story for another day.

As a final touch, let’s consider the words of Paul Graham, in his excellent essay “what you can’t say”: “No one gets in trouble for saying that 2 + 2 is 5, or that people in Pittsburgh are ten feet tall. Such obviously false statements might be treated as jokes, or at worst as evidence of insanity, but they are not likely to make anyone mad. The statements that make people mad are the ones they worry might be believed. I suspect the statements that make people maddest are those they worry might be true. […] If Galileo had said that people in Padua were ten feet tall, he would have been regarded as a harmless eccentric. Saying the earth orbited the sun was another matter. The church knew this would set people thinking.”

Privacy and narrative remain your own responsibility.

Syndicated article
This article was previously published on Private Internet Access.

(This is a post from Falkvinge on Liberty, obtained via RSS at this feed.)

Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

Understanding the Hamburg “illegal links” ruling and its problems

Rick Falkvinge - 23 december, 2016 - 19:00

Copyright Monopoly: A Hamburg court has ruled that certain links were illegal when they were pointing at photos that were posted in violation of copyright. This ruling follows the worst fears of a previous ruling by the European Court of Justice, and creates many problems for the future.

The court in Hamburg has ruled that the operator of a website was violating the distribution monopoly known as copyright when they posted a link to an image, an image which was posted under Creative Commons, but where the posting did not comply with the license terms. Not only was the website operator unaware of the infringement of the original post, but the original poster was also unaware.

This ruling is a substantial and disastrous overinterpretation of the precedent established in the European Supreme Court (the ECJ, the European Court of Justice) earlier this year in the case of Geenstilj v Playboy. In that case, the Dutch site Geenstijl had posted links to leaked images from Playboy, images published without Playboy’s permission, and the ECJ was asked to rule on whether such links constituted infringement (assuming that the publication-without-permission of the Playboy images did).

This was a case that had the copyright industry salivating: they have been trying to establish for over a decade that links are illegal if they link to material that violates the distribution monopolies, and in particular, going after any links-to-links in what they hoped would be an indefinite chain of liability. So far, courts had thrown them out wholesale and for good reason. For the first time, a case of this caliber was in a continental Supreme Court: were you allowed to link to things that themselves constituted an infringement of copyright? The case had enormous implications for the file-sharing witch-hunt and “speculative invoicing” (what we normally would call “systematic fraud by copyright trolls”).

When that ruling was handed down by the ECJ, the Court established two things:

1) When you post a link with a profit motive in a commercial setting, you can be expected to have the burden of verifying that the link points at non-infringing material. (Geenstijl lost the case.)

2) However, this burden of verification does not apply at all to non-commercial settings.

Therefore, this ruling set off a cascade of reactions between “yay, the copyright industry lost, they cannot go after links posted by ordinary people” and “the sky is falling, because now links can potentially be illegal”.

To be fair, I thought this was a ruling I could live with, in my analysis. I’ve personally been working for the past ten years to constrain the copyright construct to only cover commercial and for-profit activity, essentially constraining its application to commercial publishing, and this ruling seemed to be completely in line with that ambition. If somebody makes a deliberate and knowing link to infringing material with a direct profit motive to that specific linking, and can be found liable for that, then that was a price I was ready to pay for having all other sets of actions declared outside the scope of the copyright monopoly. But as it turns out, it wasn’t really that easy.

Note that the ECJ talks about “links posted for profit”. They are putting a very high emphasis on the direct profit motive on the posting itself, as was undeniably the case with Geenstijl linking to the Playboy images front row center.

In contrast, the Hamburg case has overinterpreted this as links published anywhere within the scope of a generally for-profit operation, which is easily three orders of magnitude larger scope. A link posted on a casual staff blog of a physics-research subdivision of a retail company would have to be subject to rigorous inspection. This is arguably completely different from a high-profile article front row center of the entire operations, the purpose of which is nothing but pointing at those Playboy images. (Julia Reda of the European Parliament expands on this problem in Ars Technica.)

There are at least two more obvious problems with this:

1) Interpretation of the copyright distribution monopoly is hard. It involves cases that frequently enough go to Supreme Courts for ruling, and yet, here’s a court putting the burden of compliance on completely unskilled employees posting any and every link. There’s definitely a chilling effect here as people will strive to avoid any gray area. Further, do remember that the copyright industry is frequently found abusing its own abusive rules.

2) Links are not static. The web keeps changing and any link you post, even with rigorous inspection, is fully capable of pointing at something completely different the next day, without your knowledge or intent. Is it the intent of the Hamburg court that we must inspect all our links, all the time? Moreover, inspect them for changes to the terms of the material linked to, even if the material is the same? The burden and liability is insanely high and unpredictable.

The tensions keep rising and something’s gotta give. This is still a fight between the 21st century and the 20th century.

Ars Technica also has a good writeup by the excellent Glyn Moody. At present, it’s unknown whether this case will be appealed.

Syndicated Article
This article has previously appeared at Private Internet Access.

(This is a post from Falkvinge on Liberty, obtained via RSS at this feed.)

Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

The war on cash being justified as “necessary against organized crime” is the worst excuse ever

Rick Falkvinge - 18 december, 2016 - 19:00

Global: There is a “war on cash” going on from the central banks, trying to reduce the usage (and personal storage) of cash. This is something that makes sense as a power move against the common people in a time of forced negative interest rates, but it is a shocking reduction of liberty and privacy (of finance), not to mention that the official justifications don’t hold a shred of water. What’s really behind this trend?

Would you like your government to have more insight into your personal finances than you have yourself? That’s where we’re heading with the ongoing “war on cash” – into a world where every transaction is not just loggable by the government (or a government-coerced agent), but where you can also be held responsible for anything and everything you buy and sell.

There’s both a carrot and a stick in this scheme of making everything traceable and trackable. The stick consists of outright bans on cash transactions – several European countries have banned cash transactions exceeding 1,000 euros. Uruguay has banned cash transactions over $5,000. Even Switzerland has proposed banning cash transactions over 100,000 Swiss francs (admittedly a high number, but once a government declares a right to ban cash transactions, the number is a matter of degree and not principle).

The carrots and incentives for not using cash, meanwhile, mostly take the form of making it easier to pay using cards. The latest example of Amazon Go, a brick-and-mortar store where there’s no checkout at all but just just grab what you want and leave, is one example of such a carrot. It is undeniably more convenient than standing in an annoying checkout line. Combine this with various fees for withdrawing cash from your own account in the bank, and the incentives become clearer.

But why pursue this direction? There are many conceivable reasons for wanting to eliminate cash from circulation altogether. ZeroHedge has homed in on the elimination of cash being an absolute necessity to maintain a zero-interest (or even negative-interest) policy, which in turn remains necessary to prevent a financial bloodbath. Others have talked about the costs inherent in transporting cash in armored cars, or the risk of robbery being eliminated.

From a national policymaking perspective, though, the general excuse seems to be to “make it difficult for organized crime”. This was the excuse behind the elimination of the 500-euro note, for example.

But from a national perspective, this excuse makes absolutely no sense at all. At the national level, the game is to dominate other countries. Petty organized crime is not really relevant at that level, unless it is useful in the context of dominating other countries. And that’s where we find that this excuse – this “we need to be tough on organized crime” – is a complete Maskirovka, a complete façade, an utter lie. It doesn’t make sense at all.

The notion of a currency being used as a default currency in global organized crime is a concept that has geopolitical strategists positively salivating.

Organized crime – which in many cases is just free and consensual non-aggressive trade which is still governmentally banned – is a significant part of the global economy, an estimated ten per cent. A very significant part, one that uses large amounts of currency in cash format. If you’re responsible for dominating other countries, one of the best and safest ways to do this is to pull strings that increase the value of your currency. We know from supply-and-demand lessons that this can take the form of causing the demand for the currency to increase.

If your currency is the default trade currency for organized crime (which I’d rather call “free and consensual trade” to a large degree), this brings an enormous benefit to your economy as a whole – it has been estimated that it means as much as 25% higher standard of living, for everybody. Given this number, there are two immediate and obvious observations:

1) A crackdown on cash transactions with the excuse of “combating organized crime” is utter bollocks of the highest order. When you’re working on the national policy level, you’re doing your utmost to have organized crime use your currency and nobody else’s. It’s the equivalent of printing lots of free money – roughly the equivalent of 10% of the world’s GDP.

2) More concerningly, given the enormous benefit of having organized crime use your own currency, what concern is more pressing than this – 10% global GDP essentially for free – that is the actual cause for these actions to fight cash?

Liberty and privacy, including financial privacy, remain your own responsibility.

Syndicated Article
This article has previously appeared on Private Internet Access.

(This is a post from Falkvinge on Liberty, obtained via RSS at this feed.)

Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

PKU-registret och samtiden

Opassande - 29 juni, 2016 - 08:26

När nyheten dök upp om att PKU-registret skulle utredas för att öppnas upp för polisanvändning, så missade jag helt att det även öppnades upp för användning av försäkringsbolag. När jag läste en artikel om det, kunde jag inte för mitt liv begripa varför det ens inkluderades i en utredning. Jag trodde inte att kommersiellt intresse skulle vara meriterande för att ens övervägas få tillgång till ett forskningsregister.

Jag kan emellertid inte förutsätta att det handlar om kommersialitet. Jag vet faktiskt inte den riktiga anledningen bakom. Eftersom jag råkade stöta på nån artikel eller så, där Anders Ygeman (S) uttalade sig kring utredningen drog jag en fråga till honom på twitter. Som jag inte fått svar på.

Emma Bouvin tipsade mig om kommittédirektivet bakom utredningen, där just försäkringsbolagen nämns. Jag erkänner att jag inte riktigt kan utläsa anledningen till varför det finns med, men uppskattar verkligen att få feedback. Jag blev även tipsad om att det möjligen är Morgan Johansson som är pappa till utredningen.

Hela diskussionen om varför försäkringsbolag ens är med i utredningen består av spekulationer och gissningar. Visserligen inte helt från det blå, men ändå. “Det är väl bra att det utreds”, sa någon till och med, och det är väl aldrig principiellt fel att göra ordentligt grundarbete. Såklart.

Men jag erkänner att det ens utreds är för mig lika främmande som att segelsällskapet i Årsta skulle utredas för att få tillgång till PKU-registret. Jag skulle vilja veta varför. Direktivet hintar om nån EU-relaterad motivation, samt något om “second opinion” vid patientskador. Vad nu det betyder och innebär. Varför det kommit med i utredningen, är för mig fortfarande mest bara underlag för gissningar.

Jag passade på att ställa frågan till några försäkringsbolag, om de har någon insyn i detta. Det är ju rent av möjligt teoretiskt att de inte ens bedrivit lobby om detta, eftersom det inte finns någon “paper trail” att tillgå. Utan riktig information och transparens, så är det skitsvårt att ha en synpunkt över huvud taget om man har lite stolthet. Vem vill låta som en konspiratorisk dåre, liksom.

Jag får lov att nöja mig med att peta på omgivningen om att jag inte får svar. Det är emellertid jättesvårt att undvika gissningar och spekulationer även om det. Kanske handlar det om min personliga oförmåga att inhämta information, kolla källor osv. Kanske är det strategier kring kommunikation. Kanske lite av båda – och andra saker jag är för oinsatt för att ta hänsyn till.

Jag kan ha ställt frågan till helt fel person. Men jag hade i och för sig uppskattat om Ygeman informerat mig om vem jag borde fråga istället då – hade varit jätteenkelt kan man tycka. Det är en lite trist spaning att en seriöst, icke-konfrontativt ställd fråga inte får svar. Dels ur ett öppenhetsperspektiv, men berör även en nivå av samtidens behov av källkoll. Kanske är det till och med symptomatiskt för det ömsesidigt låga förtroende som existerar mellan politiker och väljare.

Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

Vad används massövervakningen till?

Opassande - 16 juni, 2016 - 08:08

Vi är inmålade i ett ganska omöjligt politiskt hörn idag, när det gäller massövervakning. Trots att övervakningen i sig inte förhindrar terrordåd, finns det inga som har det politiska modet att riva upp de lagar som idag gör det möjligt att övervaka alla medborgare på olika sätt. För, om det händer något, om ett terrordåd genomförs efter ett sådant beslut, så blir det konsekvenser och man kan riskera få bära skulden.

En av anledningarna till att det inte fungerar är för att det försvårar för analytiker pga mängden information. Det är en ond cirkel på alla sätt och vis. Det fungerar inte med massövervakning för att förhindra terrorism, och det går inte att ta bort massövervakningen för det är så tätt sammankopplat med förhindrande av terrorism.

Kritiker av den slentrianmässiga massövervakningen stöter på det här problemet från andra hållet. Att förespråka brottsmisstanke, relevans eller rent av proportionalitet tolkas oftast som att man inte är intresserad av att fånga in terrorister. Narrativet är så hårt knutet till att övervakningen ska göra det jobbet, att samtalen om problemen inte går att föras.

Nu är massövervakning användbart för andra saker. Politisk dissidens kan spåras och kartläggas. Man kan zooma in på helt lagliga, men obekväma, personer. Man kan antagligen redan idag använda det till att följa och påverka opinion så man får politiska fördelar, det är bara en tidsfråga innan det blir vardag. (När möjligheter finns, tenderar de att användas.)

Fortfarande lider debatterna av att riskera framstå som en foliehatt, när ämnet är på tapeten. Eller som indikerat tidigare i texten – vara nån som inte tycker att kriminella ska sättas i fängelser. Ur ett politiskt perspektiv är det galenskap att förändra det som inte fungerar. Ur ett opinionsbildande perspektiv är det galenskap att kritisera det.

Politikerna bär en stor del av ansvaret som dragit poängerna så hårt, men vi bär även som medborgare ett stort ansvar som inte klarar av debatter som inte är polariserade: vi vill ha de enkla förklaringarna, det svarta och det vita. Och detta är ett globalt problem, inte bara något som vi har att tackla på hemmafronten.

Som kritiker av det som pågår känner jag ofta ett slags ansvar för att komma med en politisk lösning. Ett alternativ. Problemet är bara att det är just den reflexen, att framstå aktiv, att ”göra något”, som gjort att vi hamnat i den här situationen från första början. Vi trängs alla i det här inmålade hörnet.

Jag upplever det emellertid som viktigt att allmänheten en gång för alla förstår att massövervakningen inte fungerar mot det som vi drillats att förstå det som. Det var då, det var under debatterna. Idag lever vi med det, och kan se att det inte gör det jobb som det var sagt att det skulle göra. Förhindra terrorism.

Att ändra narrativet till “ensamma galningar” har säkert hjälpt till en del för att skingra fokuset på denna dissonans i samhället, men borde inte få göra det som jag ser det. Det blir inte mindre terrorism för att man väljer andra ord. Det får plötsligt inte vara okej att säga att det är svårt, eller rent av omöjligt, att hitta terrorister. Det är något vi inte borde gå med på.

När vi väl förstår att massövervakning inte gör jobbet vi övertalats att det är viktigt för, är det läge att ställa frågan vad det används för istället. Kanske är det en ända att börja nysta i, som kan leda nånvart.

Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

Riksdagen sviker oss om och om igen

Opassande - 5 juni, 2016 - 20:05

Det pratas om att PKU-registret ska tillgängliggöras för polis, för att hitta människor som begått brott. Det finns ju där – det hjälpte till att hitta Anna Linds mördare, inte minst. För vissa är det självklart att man då ska utvidga forskningssyftet (som många ställt upp och lämnat dna-prov från sina nyfödda till). Ett gott syfte, eller nåt.

Jag har funderat mycket genom åren på det där med att vi idag inte tycks ha några problem med att leva i ett övervakningssamhälle. De allra flesta jag pratar med i vardagen tycker inte att det är bra, men det existerar inte något reellt motstånd.

Det är bara så himla konstigt att vi är där vi är idag. Skulle kravet ställas rakt ut – ”ni måste som medborgare acceptera att ni ständigt är redovisningsskyldiga vad det än gäller” – så skulle vi antagligen inte gå med på det. Vi har lärt oss det gång efter annan, att ett sådant samhälle är ett helvete att leva i.

Ändå så fortsätter politiker att smyga in just den här sortens verklighet, hela tiden. Det skulle aldrig falla dem in att säga att vi inte har rätt till något privatliv, det handlar i princip alltid om att hitta de som begår brott av olika slag. Terrorister är väl det mest använda argumentet i de här sammanhangen.

Vi har blivit lurade gång efter annan av politiker, som sen blir inröstade igen. Om och om igen. Vi blev lurade när det gällde FRA-lagarna – den där kontrollstationen dök aldrig upp, nån utvärdering av deras arbete syns inte till, och nån redovisning av konsekvenser och eventuellt drabbade av felaktigheter existerar inte.

Jag ser politiker som lovade att det skulle vara en bra, rättssäker process, sitta dagligen och komma undan på sociala medier, som om de aldrig sagt såna saker. Många är i grunden bra politiker antar jag, men deras svek när det gällde FRA borde inte vara så lätt glömt. Om man ens förstår att de svikit. Det kanske finns de som verkligen trodde på dem, 2008, och deras ”punkter av åtgärder”, och tror att det är en välfungerande process. Det är det inte.

Ibland kan vi se det i medier, när SIUN prickat FRA. (Tio gånger enligt TT, hittills, har jag förstått – media rapporterar det knappt längre.) FRA har ingen skyldighet att göra något åt dessa. SIUN har ingen möjlighet att sätta något tryck på dem och i år ska Datainspektionen utreda dem, och gissningsvis vara precis lika tandlösa. Själva systemet är upplagt så att FRA är självgående och gör sin grej, utan redovisningskyldighet eller ha något ansvar för eventuella konsekvenser. Det var vad lagarna som drogs igenom 2008 gjorde.

Datalagringsdirektivet är ett annat exempel. Det skulle endast röra sig om grov kriminalitet, terrorism, människohandel som trafficking osv. Det var superviktigt att våra data sparades (till stora kostnader) för att förhindra kriminalitet ingen av oss vill stötta. Det drog ut på tiden, Sverige blev till slut ”tvungna” att föra in direktivet sa de. De sa att de tyckte att det var ett skitdåligt direktiv, men vi var tvungna. Så det fördes in till slut.

Och så gick EU-domstolen och dömde ut direktivet, som bröt mot flera regler om mänskliga rättigheter och rätten till privatliv. Då beslutade samma politiker som uttalade missnöje över att vara tvungna, att de minsann vill behålla det. Och alla de där kriminella som man vill åt med hjälp av datalagringen? Fildelare.

Så nu vill polisen ha tillgång till ett forskningsregister för att kunna klara upp brottslighet. Finns det något förtroende kvar för en något sånär etisk bedömning eller rättssäkerhet finns med när detta planeras? Nej. PKU-registret tas nu upp igen (det har provats tidigare) och folk anses idag vara “mogna” för att acceptera det här. Också. Väl värt att fundera på varför politiker resonerar så.

Riksdagen har under de senaste 15 åren underminerat våra rättigheter något enormt. Och de har lurat oss i princip hela vägen, för att få till det. Varför? Ingen aning. Kanske handlar det om politisk teater där de framstår ”göra något”, kanske handlar det om dumhet. Det är ju väldigt lätt att tänka sig att de är korkade när de föreslår så idiotiska saker som statliga trojaner.

Kanske handlar det om renodlat maktsug som leder gud vet var. Kanske något så löjligt som att vilja vara kompisar med stormakter som köper och säljer data dagligen.

Jag vet inte. Ingen av oss vet. Och det borde göra fler än mig förbannade. Men framför allt borde det göra alla försiktiga i att acceptera ytterligare ändamålsglidningar från stat och myndighet. Vi måste börja lära oss att det är sånt här som händer varenda gång. Inget riksdagen gjort hittills, har indikerat något annat.

Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

Konsten att skilja mellan fejk och äkta på nätet

Opassande - 18 maj, 2016 - 18:56

Idag spreds tydligen en fejknyhet med SVT som avsändare, som spred virus. Igår fick vi fejkfaktura till jobbet (som även andra hade fått). Idag fick även en kollega ett fejksms, om att “nån installerat Angry Birds” på en enhet Apple inte kände igen, så vänligen logga på här… blablabla. Varje vecka får jag samtal från “microsoftsupporten“, som vill komma åt mina inloggningsuppgifter. Fejk är en del av vardagen.

Tidigare kände jag mig någotsånär trygg, tyckte jag kunde avgöra när det var något skumt, ändå var det jättenära härom veckan, att jag klickade på en fejklänk som såg ut att vara från gmail. Mailet råkade komma när jag höll på och gjorde om en massa saker i gmail, så nånstans var reflexen “att jag kanske hade råkat komma åt något”. I sista sekund insåg jag att det var något knas.

Allt detta fejkande sker per nån slags automatik. Miljontals mottagare, och alltid är det nån som betalar, alternativt laddar ner trojaner, även på sina telefoner. Många bäckar små. Trojaner som bland annat skapar s.k. “botnets”, dvs, nätverk av datorer som gör som någon på fjärr vill att den ska göra. Som att sänka tidningssidor en lördagskväll, eller så. Det går tydligen att köpa den tjänsten, har jag förstått.

Överlag är det ett jätteproblem att det blir allt svårare att skilja mellan fejk och äkta. Jag har kompisar som är duktiga på det där med tekniken, så jag har ett antal tillägg installerade i min browser pga deras tips. Som Adblock, uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger och så vidare. De förhindrar reklam, enkelt uttryckt. I princip är det hygien – för “reklam” är en vanlig bärare av trojaner. Tänker på det ofta när jag läser olika kommentarer om hur “AdBlock sabbar affärsmodeller”.

Mycket görs för att förhindra hot och hat via nätet. Vi pratar om det, även om jag ibland tänker att det antagligen inte riktigt går att “lösa” med mindre än att vi människor muterar och blir lite smartare plötsligt. Men vi pratar om det i alla fall. Hur det påverkar den offentliga diskussionen, hur det riskerar landa i självcensur (vilket faktiskt borde oroa de som rasar över politisk korrekthet, att de kan ha orsakat det till och med). Det finns där, det kampanjas och det snackas och tycks saker.

Fejkandet har vi däremot inte riktigt tacklat. Tänker att det antagligen påverkar en hel del. Under tiden har vi världens konstigaste dissonans i debatterna, där man pratar om inkomster för medier när AdBlock är på tapeten, och att poliser inte kan göra sina jobb om de inte får statliga trojaner, no less. Vi verkar leva i en slags digital medeltid, just nu. Smittorna sprids vitt och brett, och kunskap om simpel hygien som skulle kunna göra skillnad icke-existerande.

Tyvärr finns inga tillägg som skyddar mot politiker som fejkar problemlösning medelst trojaner. Där måste du själv försöka ha lite koll.

Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

Rättegång mot Pirate Bay nästa år

Piratnyheter - 15 oktober, 2008 - 20:33
Nu är ett datum för rättegången mot The Pirate Bay satt. Processen i Stockholms tingsrätt väntas pågå i flera veckor.
Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

Reinfeldt upprepar lögnen om fildelarjakten

Piratnyheter - 15 oktober, 2008 - 12:34
"Vi tycker att upphovsrätten ska värnas, men vi vill inte kriminalisera en hel ungdomsgeneration. Det gäller att hitta den balansen," sade Fredrik Reinfeldt i partiledardebatten. Det här är nästan precis vad han sa i valrörelsen 2006, när han blev pressad i fildelningsfrågan. Nu upprepade han alltså lögnen ikväll i teve, bara en vecka efter att justitiedepartementet har lagt fram piratjägarlagen
Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

Nya detaljer om signalspaningslag

Piratnyheter - 15 oktober, 2008 - 12:31
Tidningen Riksdag & Departement kan i dag publicera det interna dokument som övertygade tvivlarna inom alliansen om förslaget till signalspaningslag.
Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

Piratkopieringen minskar när lagliga alternativen blir allt fler

Piratnyheter - 15 oktober, 2008 - 11:48
Den illegala nedladdningen av musik minskar. Trendbrottet redovisas av undersökningar i Storbritannien och Sverige.
Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

Folkpartiet petar FRA-motståndare

Piratnyheter - 15 oktober, 2008 - 09:31
Camilla Lindberg, den enda borgerliga riksdagsledamot som röstade nej till FRA-lagen i somras, petas från sin plats i justitieutskottet.
Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

Nihao Kenny: FRA och hotet mot Sverige

Piratnyheter - 15 oktober, 2008 - 09:26
FRA-lagen sägs vara till för att skydda Sverige från yttre hot, men vad detta skall vara för sorts hot får det Svenska folket inte reda på.
Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

Tillägg 166 i Telekompaketet "försvinner".

Piratnyheter - 14 oktober, 2008 - 20:26
Det svenska tillägget i Telekompaketet som skyddar medborgarnas grundläggande rättigheter försvinner i "korrektion" - trots att en majoritet i Parlamentet röstade för.
Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

Riksdagssvar.se kämpar vidare

Piratnyheter - 14 oktober, 2008 - 11:32
Vänsterpartiet har börjat besvara, och leder ?svarsligan? ännu så länge. Av svaren att döma verkar de dessutom faktiskt ha satt sig in i frågan lite till mans, vilket är bra.
Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

FRA:s rutiner för rensning av personuppgifter bör ses över

Piratnyheter - 14 oktober, 2008 - 10:07
Datainspektionen har inga anmärkningar på den behandling av personuppgifter som FRA enligt klagomål utförde under 1990-talet. Däremot anser Datainspektionen att FRA:s nuvarande rutiner för gallring av personuppgifter bör ses över.
Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

Karl Sigfrid: "Öppna myndigheters kod"

Piratnyheter - 14 oktober, 2008 - 09:06
Hallå där, Karl Sigfrid, moderat riksdagsledamot som lagt ett förslag om att svenska myndigheters kod ska konverteras till fri mjukvara.
Kategorier: Pirates, arr!

I galen internettunna - igen

Piratnyheter - 14 oktober, 2008 - 09:05
FRA-fiaskot borde ha fått de ansvariga att bli förnuftigare. Att för tämligen begränsade vinster riskera att stöta sig med "en hel generation" är nästan genialiskt i sin oklokhet. Och så gör man det igen
Kategorier: Pirates, arr!
Prenumerera på innehåll