Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Eben Moglen: We have lost the ability to read anonymously, but the loss is concealed from us because of the way we built the web. We gave people programs called "browsers" that everyone could use, but we made programs called "web servers" that only geeks could use -- very few people have ever read a web server log. This is a great failing in our social education about technology. It's equivalent to not showing children what happens if cars collide and people aren't wearing seat belts. We don't explain to people how a web server log captures in detail the activity of readers, nor how much you can learn about people, because of what and how they read. From the logs, you can learn how long each reader spends on each page, how she reads it, where she goes next, what she does or searches for on the basis of what she's just read. If you can collect all that information in the logs, then you are beginning to possess what you ought not to have. ... This isn't transactional, this is ecological.

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Eben Moglen is a professor of law and legal history at Columbia University.

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Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

There is no such thing as democracy.

A real referendum on power is required for an actual republic. The American empire is not one of those.

#1 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-05-28 03:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Is Privacy Essential for Democracy?"

We put up curtains on voting booths

#2 | Posted by Tor at 2014-05-28 04:03 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Privacy is essential for PEOPLE.

#3 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-28 04:45 PM | Reply | Flag:

Privacy is essential for People's Sanity anyhow.

#4 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2014-05-28 04:48 PM | Reply | Flag:

Its supposed to be guaranteed by the fourth amendment.

#5 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-05-28 05:08 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

privacy and democracy-- america no longer represents either...

#6 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2014-05-28 05:44 PM | Reply | Flag:

America isn't a pure democracy of course and never was.

But parts of it are obviously democratic in nature and both government and the people should hold these sacred.

#7 | Posted by Tor at 2014-05-28 05:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

Total surveillance gives the powers that be BLACKMAIL material on every person. That makes people much more obedient and hesitant to stick their necks out against injustice, so YES the lack of privacy hurts democracy.

#8 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-05-28 06:18 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

We are not a democracy, so who cares?

#9 | Posted by boaz at 2014-05-28 06:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

We are not a democracy, so who cares?

#9 | Posted by boaz

I see...so the 2nd amendment is sacrosanct and shall not be infringed in any way but the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th amendments ...well, meh!

#10 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-05-28 06:30 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

But parts of it are obviously democratic in nature and both government and the people should hold these sacred.

-------

Name one.

#11 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-05-28 07:08 PM | Reply | Flag:

I have weblogs I can read on my sites and I am unworried about them.
I can set a cookie in your browser and track your ip but I can not tell who you are. I can tell what city you are in but that's it.

I am more worried about sites like facebook and youtube that force you to use your real name and do not let you remain anonymous. This causes many people to get attacked by people with the opposite views.

#12 | Posted by tmaster at 2014-05-28 07:10 PM | Reply | Flag:

We are not a democracy, so who cares?
#9 | Posted by boaz

huh?

#13 | Posted by drewinnj at 2014-05-28 09:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Name one."???

We do cast votes.

#14 | Posted by Tor at 2014-05-28 10:37 PM | Reply | Flag:

We are not a democracy, so who cares?
#9 | Posted by boaz

You and Corky I see have something common,neither of you cares about Government spying

#15 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2014-05-29 02:38 AM | Reply | Flag:

Edward Snowden cares.

#16 | Posted by FEARTHEKOOLAID at 2014-05-29 06:30 AM | Reply | Flag:

America isn't a pure democracy of course and never was.

#7 | Posted by Tor

A democratic republic.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

"and secure the Blessings of Liberty"

WTF does that mean of it doesn't mean being free (not being spied on).

#17 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-29 10:53 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#10 | Posted by donnerboy

As usual, you went way off the track.

#18 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-29 10:54 AM | Reply | Flag:

#10 | Posted by donnerboy

As usual, you went way off the track.

#18 | POSTED BY SNIPER

As usual you completely missed the fact that we are a Constitutional Republic. Not a Democratic Republic. The word "Democracy" is not even mentioned in the Constitution.

You quote the Declaration and I defer to the Constitution which is the Law of the land.

You think being free means not bring "spied on"? That is nonsense. You will always be "spied on". But, we all need to know the rules of the game and follow the same rules. There is not one set of rules for the Government and one for the People. There is the Constution. That defines the rules of the game and the relationship between the Government and the People.

That concludes today's lesson on our Constitutional Republic.

#19 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-05-29 11:15 AM | Reply | Flag:

Anonymity is today reserved for 'high ranking officials' quoted in the media.

#20 | Posted by TrainingForTool at 2014-05-29 11:55 AM | Reply | Flag:

That concludes today's lesson on our Constitutional Republic.

#19 | Posted by donnerboy

Stay tuned for our next lesson...The Constitution, should I actually bother to read it? And what was it's True Intent?

And later will have our guest speaker Pragmatist explain why English is NOT our second language and so we SHOULD be able to understand it.

And maybe Zat will be along to poke fun at all our typos and "mispellins" proving once again...we all make mistakes.

#21 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-05-29 11:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

@ SNIPER

It really does pay to keep up with ones studies while learning about America's founding documents.

Some day when you're high school days are behind you read the DOI and Constitution in private.

They are BEAUTIFUL.

#22 | Posted by Tor at 2014-05-29 02:43 PM | Reply | Flag:

You quote the Declaration and I defer to the Constitution which is the Law of the land.

You think being free means not bring "spied on"? That is nonsense. You will always be "spied on". But, we all need to know the rules of the game and follow the same rules. There is not one set of rules for the Government and one for the People. There is the Constution. That defines the rules of the game and the relationship between the Government and the People.

That concludes today's lesson on our Constitutional Republic.

#19 | Posted by donnerboy

So................. The thing I quoted is the preamble to the constitution, not the Declaration.

If you think you are free when you are spyed on by the government, you are nuckin futs.

That concludes today's lesson on our Constitution

#23 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-29 02:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

Some day when you're high school days are behind you read the DOI and Constitution in private.

They are BEAUTIFUL.

#22 | Posted by Tor

Tell that to YOUR president.

#24 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-29 02:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

So................. The thing I quoted is the preamble to the constitution, not the Declaration.

I stand corrected! I could say I was just testing you but I wasn't. I was in a hurry to get to work and did not check my post very carefully. Since I was lecturing you I should have paid more attention. So Kudus for catching me in my mistake!

If you think you are free when you are spyed on by the government, you are nuckin futs.

First of all I challenge you to define "free".

Second, Spying on it's own citizens has been going on since Governments began.

If you leave a footprint on this planet you can be tracked. Some of the reasons we are so easy to for our Government to spy on us is our own ignorance of our own technology. Edward Snowden is trying to tell you this. You want to stop the government from spying on you then stop leaving a trail of breadcrumbs all over the place for them to follow.

Even though our Constitution does try to lay out the limits of what government is supposed to be able to do it is not specific enough in regards to our place in time. So I think we need to continue to work to change and strengthen our privacy laws. I think just like the 2nd amendment needs updating due to our advancements in gun technology so does our privacy laws because of our advancements in Information Technology.

Used to be that you HAD to send a human to do any actual spying. Now we are lazy and just use our gadgets and the web.

#25 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-05-29 03:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

Kudos...

#26 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-05-29 03:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

Read and weep donnie

What kind of government did the US Constitution create?

In: Founding Fathers, History of the United States, US Constitution [Edit categories]

Answer: Democratic-Republic

#27 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-29 08:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

And so ends today's lesson on US civics for donnie. Have sweet dreams.

#28 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-29 08:37 PM | Reply | Flag:

"A republic is a form of government in which power resides in the people,[1] and the government is ruled by elected leaders run according to law (from Latin: res publica), rather than inherited or appointed (such as through inheritance or divine mandate)." [emphasis mine]
en.wikipedia.org

This is what, in the real world today, people refer to as a "democracy".

#29 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2014-05-29 09:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

Used to be that you HAD to send a human to do any actual spying. Now we are lazy and just use our gadgets and the web.
#25 | Posted by donnerboy

Are you suggesting spying is fundamentally okay? It's only a manpower issue that prevented the government from spying on everyone in the past?

#30 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-05-29 09:53 PM | Reply | Flag:

sno, spying on your enemies is a time honored profession. Spying on the people that elected you is NOT.

#31 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-30 09:39 AM | Reply | Flag:

no, you can just do away with the 4th and 5th amendments.
who needs them? in a "democracy", i mean.
what a stupid question.

#32 | Posted by ichiro at 2014-05-30 11:09 AM | Reply | Flag:

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