Roel Roscam Abbing on Tue, 11 Mar 2014 17:04:51 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Hans Magnus Enzensberger: Rules for the digital world

On 3/10/14 6:05 PM, Florian Cramer wrote:

>> 7
>> > E-Mail is nice, fast and free. So watch out! If you have a confidential
>> > message or don't want to be surveilled, take a postcard and pencil.
> This advice is technologically naive. It's known that the NSA and other
> secret services have systematically scanned and collected postal mail meta
> data (sender and receiver adresses along with timestamps), postal mail
> relies on digital logistics (and digitized meta data) anyway.
> Nearly-unreadable handwriting on post cards would not last very long as an
> obfuscation device. All the secret service had to do is to run a Captcha
> program for the handwriting that would fail OCR.

Captcha is already being used to decipher hard-to-OCR street numbers
collected by Google Streetview. Traditionally captchas have been used to
tell humans from bots, ironically you must now prove your humanity by
ratting out somebody's address to Google.

>> > The sleep of reason will continue to the day when a majority of this
>> > country's citizens will experience firsthand what has been done to them.
>> > Perhaps, they will rub their eyes and ask why they let it slip in a time
>> > when resistance was still possible.
> One only needs to ponder what the Hitler government would have been
> able to pull off during the Third Reich, on top of everything it
> already did, if it had had access to the kind of personal data that
> is now stored at Google, Facebook and the NSA, for every citizen in
> Germany and the countries occupied in WWII - and even keeping people
> outside those territories in check by blackmail.

There's an interesting book called IBM And The Holocaust that describes
the use of IBM punchcard systems and census data to aid in the
Holocaust. Not only to to crunch census data, but also cross referencing
records of governments and churches throughout occupied Europe and
solving difficult logistics problems to increase the efficiency of
deportation to concentration camps.

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