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The Internet Cellphones Censorship Encryption United States Your Rights Online

Vice: Internet Freedom Is Actively Dissolving In America (vice.com) 150

An anonymous reader points out Vice's rather dark view of the state of Internet freedom, the author of which posits that "one fact about the internet is quickly becoming clear this year: Americans' freedom to access the open internet is rapidly dissolving." As evidence, the writer points out negative trends in broadband adoption, legal moves to weaken encryption, industry consolidation that means fewer competitors in some areas, increasing use of data caps, and increasing reliance by many (especially poorer) Americans on mobile phones as their only internet-connected devices. (On the other hand, it's worth pointing out that there are now free encryption-centric apps for voice and text communication that give ordinary people privacy options, and both unlocked phones and inexpensive data plans are far closer to the American norm than they were a few years ago.)
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Vice: Internet Freedom Is Actively Dissolving In America

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 26, 2015 @10:10AM (#51185919)

    Stop pretending. The government is monitoring ALL electronic communication. The US is a fascistic police state with a very very dishonest and corrupt government. It's funny that just 20 years ago the people of the USA made fun of the USSR for doing things that don't even come close to what is happening in the US today. Land of the free my ass. Merry Christmas! I hope everyone found some nice tracking equipment in their socks!

    • by StillAnonymous ( 595680 ) on Saturday December 26, 2015 @10:51AM (#51186033)

      All systems of government will deteriorate into totalitarian regimes if they are not kept in check by the good people of the country.

      Most of the evil that is being committed is being done on a somewhat subtle basis, where the public either doesn't even know about it, or only a few good aspects are presented, while the many far more negative ones are not. It seems people only recognize evil if it's an over-the-top James Bond style villain that's going to directly kill a bunch of people. Conversely, they'll believe someone is evil if the media or government tells them to, even if that person is not. They don't understand insidious plans that mean to do them long-term harm, and any attempt by a non-mainstream outlet to inform them of this is met with derision and attempts to dismiss the claim without actually thinking about it by pulling the "conspiracy theory" card.

      In the end, the general public won't try to fix the problem until it is far too late to do so without a complete collapse of the system. In the meantime, the government will whittle away your rights and freedoms while telling you it's for your own good, and you'll be happy to hand them all over on a silver platter.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You and the GP blame "governments", but it's much more than that.

        The worst censorship we witness online isn't done by governments, or those acting on behalf of governments.

        The most insidious censorship is that done by the people running the discussion forums, or their minions. Look at places like reddit, or Hacker News, or Stack Overflow. If you don't hold exactly the right viewpoints and opinions, then you will most likely be silenced and banned.

        Slashdot isn't as bad as those aforementioned sites, but it's

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Government is very susceptible to demands that the government expand its powers. They're always looking for ways to hold onto their existing power while grabbing more.

          That's why the "progressives" that you mention, in combination with corrupt government, are so harmful to a free society. They're the ones demanding that restrictions be put on free speech so that they can have their safe spaces, and the government is more than willing to take that. They're the ones demanding that people be harassed and fired

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I wouldn't blame a generation wholesale. Millennials got handed a pretty shitty world. However, I do see a lot of head-scratching stuff, similar to the apolitical German back in the 1920s/1930s. The infinitile "safe rooms" at universities for example, or during a class, a female accusing others of "verbal rape" when they disagreed with her viewpoint.

          I see the censorship coming from the left. If I post on a right-wing gun list that I am atheist, at worst, I might get someone asking me to reconsider my be

          • by mikael ( 484 )

            Just look at the universities in the UK and USA. If a controversial speaker is invited to a debate, they will either shout down that person until they leave, or they themselves will walk out of the debating hall.

        • You don't describe "censorship," you describe "freedom of speech" where it is the owner of the forum whose rights are involved.

          Your neighbor saying different things than you doesn't restrict your speech, and your neighbor requiring visitors to follow his rules of politeness is also not a restriction on your freedom. Freedom of speech is not "freedom to be heard in your neighbors house at your convenience." That is true of both a literal neighbor's house, and also an internet forum.

        • Incorrect moderation means nothing if you browse at -1. What level you browse at is entirely your choice, so it's your choice whether incorrect moderation will be a problem or not, so there's no real reason to cry about it.

          As for echo chambers, it's both the nature of the beast (people tend to prefer sites that are compatible with their views), and also a matter of choice. Nobody is forcing anyone else to read a particular site, and imposing a mandatory % of "I disagree" posts on a site just to have "balan

          • As for echo chambers, it's both the nature of the beast (people tend to prefer sites that are compatible with their views), and also a matter of choice.

            At least on Slashdot, I've found that one effective tool against the echo chamber effect is to tactfully present the opposite side, even if it's not the side with which you personally agree [wikipedia.org].

            • You should always have a devil's advocate on every software project. Or better yet, be the devil's advocate - it's more fun and more constructive because then everyone says "what would you do, smartypants?" Keeps the creative juices flowing :-)

              In times past, this important role would have been filled by the court jester or fool.

              • by dbIII ( 701233 )
                I think such court jesters would be killed off fairly quickly or otherwise silenced in a lot of real situations but it's a nice touch in fiction, for instance in King Lear where we get most of this from.
                How long would a court jester of that type instead clowns (figuratively not literally) that were "yes men" have lasted with Stalin for instance?
                Still, it's a good metaphor for a software project even though taken from fiction.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            > The most insidious censorship is that done by the people running the discussion forums, or their minions.

            I kinda agree and kinda disagree. I'm going for some broad categories here, in descending order of strictness- it's not totally accurate, but close.

            1- Place that only allows discussions on a set of topics, and each thread within that needs to conform strictly to the topic.
            Example: a question on stack overflow
            2- Place that allows discussions posted generally, and allows for anythin

            • Unmoderated speech works - just look at slashdot. Far less crap than a forum where you can report posts, such as Facebook.

              Anonymity is for wimps who don't have the courage to stand behind what they say, and fear that advertisers have so much power with targeted ads that they will somehow be hypnotized into buying stuff they don't really want.

              The more advertising you're exposed to, the more you learn how to be ad-blind. So of course, in what is a really counter-productive move, they spend even more on adve

        • by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Saturday December 26, 2015 @02:00PM (#51186641)
          Yep, this vid is best explanation I've seen of what's going on:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

          Of course government and corporations want to control and censor the internet, but lately they've found support and allies among righteous authoritarians who pass themselves off as activists for the oppressed (when all they're really after is power).

          If you ever encounter someone who thinks that only government censorship matters, show them [imgur.com] how Reddit once actively opposed things like SOPA and PIPA. Then point out how CISA recently passed without a blip from them, and how they now actively shut down discussion of things like TPP.
          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            Yeah, Reddit's new policies have been such a disaster. Everyone left and moved over to Voat, just like everyone abandoned 4chan after GanerGate censorship and went to 8chan. Usenet use us booming. Oh, wait...

            There are plenty of places to have a racist screaming match, if that's what you want. It's just that the majority prefer something else so popular sites like Reddit respond to that. No one is being censored, as in prevented from speaking, just not invited in to some places. No one has a right to force t

        • Over-Generalized (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mx+b ( 2078162 ) on Saturday December 26, 2015 @02:28PM (#51186791)

          The real threat here is Millennials. They're an entire generation of people who've deluded themselves into believing that they stand for freedom and openness, yet in practice they're actually among the most virulent perpetrators of censorship and the suppression of free expression.

          If you express an opinion that they dislike, they don't engage in discussion. They just shut you down, typically using a system that's without any sort of an appeal process, or due process of any sort.

          Whoa, bit of an over-generalization there, don't you think? If you want to engage in generational blame, I could also easily blame the baby boomers that currently dominate congressional leadership, and feel the need to regulate things they don't understand (and laugh off the fact they don't understand technology, which always irritates me). The internet started free, and deteriorated into spying and other things under the boomers' watch, you know. Many Millennials only recent gained the ability to run for Senate, for example, and most are not even eligible to run for President. The generation hasn't even had an opportunity to contribute to governance much yet, and you already blame them?

          Really, the issue is we've gone through a massive cultural shift in the 20ish years since the internet became mainstream. We can talk to people around the world, and learn about cultures and viewpoints we didn't before. We don't need commercial media as much, because my twitter stream shows me real time events in the middle east, for example, and aggregated together, probably much less biased. Just facts. The Internet allows us to seek our own knowledge and not be fully reliant on corporate media. I think what you will see is that a cross-section of people that have used the internet since its early days -- all generations but probably leaning more toward Millennials -- respect this freedom and independence, and want to protect it.

          Meanwhile there seems to be a counter-culture that takes the corporate viewpoint a little too seriously -- some young people too but in my anecdotal experience, tends to be older people, I think because they grew up only having corporate media as single source of news -- and these people use the internet as a way to stay attached to people like them. Like-minded viewpoints. I have had the misfortune of stumbling across some of these on a number of social websites; they are groups for hate and fear-mongering. Where a person used to be the weirdo in town, now they can talk to other weirdos and pump themselves up and pretend they are majorities. It is these people that shut down all dissent and disagreeing viewpoints. They want to live in their own bubble; they are "proud conservatives that watch Fox News" for example, and seem to be proud of the fact that they stay in their bubble. I am not a fan of the current Republican candidates, but I still watch their debates because I want to know more about the viewpoints. There are those that refuse to hear anything outside of their viewpoint, and it really weirds me out.

          So what we have is a cultural war -- do we see the internet as stay free, open, independent, allowing anyone to become a contributor and not just a bystander? Or do we see the internet as a way of segregating ourselves from other conflicting viewpoints? Really, this came about because of the rapid shift of computers and the internet and really the globalization of the economy. Our culture changed so quickly that I don't think everyone has caught up yet, and there's disagreement about how we should feel about the rapid shift..

          If you agree with me, and the internet should stay free and independent, then it is our responsibility to speak up. Government in this country is still the people and laws -- if current representatives don't hear your pleas, start running for office yourself. Doesn't strictly have to be the US congress either; run for state congress, or even county-level or city-council. Mayors and county executives wield a large amount of power but we tend to ignore them. If you aren't willing to try something, then I don't believe you get to have much room to complain about government.

        • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Saturday December 26, 2015 @05:07PM (#51187533)

          > You and the GP blame "governments", but it's much more than that.

          Indeed. Blaming the Government is only half the problem.

          The other half of the problem is:

          * The face in the mirror

          because ALL governments are made up of people. Gandhi summarized the solution:

          Be the change you want to see in the world.

        • by Cyberax ( 705495 )
          Yeah, it was so much better when we could just call these uppity blacks "n....". It was the real freedom! Oh, sorry my local KKK branch meeting is starting, have to run.
    • Are you the same guy from yesterday that was crying in his soup about how EE and programmer jobs are dead end? You sure sound like him.

      'Freedom of Speech' is not completely dead in the U.S., but apathetic pieces of shit like you, who have given up and now just whine and complain and spread your piss and vinegar all over the place, if left unchecked, are what will destroy it. Despite so many of our elected representatives being brain-dead and/or corrupt, there are still people in this country who believe in
      • Meanwhile, I'm living in a world where everybody with network access can learn EE and even use advanced (free) engineering tools and the whole industry is undergoing an incredible renaissance for the "little guy."

        And freedom of speech continues to expand. People whining about it are just exercising their right. There is no expectation of having something worthwhile to say just to have freedom of speech; that is part of the whole point! No, them saying idiotic things won't harm speech freedoms. That's just s

        • I agree with you.

          I don't tell people to STFU, usually, unless it's obvious they're just trolling for the sake of trolling (i.e. they're bored), or are one of those people who argue just for the sake of arguing (because, again, they're bored and/or feeling irrelevant, and arguing with strangers on the Internet is the only way they can feel relevant again), which is another matter entirely. I'll tell them they're being idiots if I think they're being idiots.. but that's in line with what you're saying. :-)

          H
          • If you look closely at the chart of the middle class disappearing, a significant percentage are being grouped up and not down. So you don''t have a disappearing middle class at all if you're using 1% as the top group. The upper third of the middle class have increasing wealth. The lower two thirds have static wealth. And the poor are getting slightly less impoverished. So there is a gap forming, but the middle class isn't falling at all. Individually the common situations are continuing up, or stagnating.

            Th

    • You're as backwards and upside down as the story. People not doing what you wanted... that doesn't tell you they're not free. I mean, really.

      Another thing, me electing a government you don't like? Yeah, doesn't make them fascist. Fascist is a real political position, so it makes a poor pejorative for people who are... violently anti-fascist.

      You know who doesn't have free speech? Cowards who don't have anything they would admit to saying.

  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Saturday December 26, 2015 @10:14AM (#51185931) Journal

    On one hand you have the Copyright Cartel, I mean, the Entertainment Industry buying laws to give them more rights, so they can abuse more ways to make money off content that will NEVER go into the public domain. And on the other hand you have the Government, who gladly accepts money to make laws that benefits their Movie & Music Mafia pals. On top of that, they want to overreach by collecting all the data America makes to make us safer, yet not catching home terrorist acts. Then claiming they need backdoors and no encryption to make us safer.

    Our government has failed the people.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The government is serving the only part of the population that matters. Get over yourselves, 99 percenters.

    • Many of these bleats are just redescriptions of advancing quality -- caps...while speeds continue increasing and the cap levels keep increasing. Phones-as-only-internet with the attendant observation there exist Internet surfing smart phones...that the poor can afford.

      Jesus H. Christ, what sophistry. The only real concern are encryption issues, and in the US anyway, encrypted speech is protected speech all by itself, independent of the speech being encrypted.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Our government has failed the people.

      Absolute fucking bullshit! The people have failed the government by letting it rot and not speaking up.

      • Absolute fucking bullshit! The people have failed the government by letting it rot and not speaking up.

        Hear, hear! Someone mod this person up, +1, Truth .

        Government By the People, For the People .

      • Absolute fucking bullshit! The people have failed the government by letting it rot and not speaking up.

        Oh please. This is supposed to be a 'appy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue about who failed who...

    • There's a third evil force (which I'm sure government and corporations are overjoyed about) pushing as hard as they can for censorship:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      A huge activist arm of the tech news media has, especially over the last year and a half, been to happy portay criticism and disagreement as "harassment" and "threats" as an excuse to censor and stifle discussion of the "wrong" opinions, especially about politics or lapses in their own journalistic ethics.

      Motherboard Vice (the site
  • Muckraking (Score:4, Interesting)

    by retroworks ( 652802 ) on Saturday December 26, 2015 @10:18AM (#51185947) Homepage Journal
    Some of the best journalism comes from Muckraking. Still, it's pretty easy to see that the main advantage of the internet is that it provides education / information to billions of people who never had access to it before, and the growth in that penetration is a bigger story than the limits to educating and informing people. The main disadvantage is when the internet provides miseducation / false information to billions of people. The nuance is that misinformation has been readily accessible to the billions of people for eons. The optimist thinks that misinformation will find it more difficult to compete with truth, and that attempts to curtail it will tend to blowback on churches, governments and corporations which try to wedge against it.
    • Still, it's pretty easy to see that the main advantage of the internet is that it provides education / information to billions of people who never had access to it before,

      Too bad those billions of people would rather watch cat videos than educate themselves.

      • Those interests are not mutually exclusive. Cite evidence otherwise.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          Once you have blown through your monthly data allowance watching cat videos, you have no more monthly data allowance with which to educate yourself.

      • Stop trying to restrict their speech. If cat videos are what people care about, then cat videos are included in the speech that is protected. And behold the depth of their freedom, the endless exploration of their medium that they are engaged in. If they can survive that much cute, then revel in it; wallow in your freedom to live silly lives vicariously through cats.

      • This is why cat people (cat sheeple sheepcats?) annoy me to no end. Oh, but it is ok for a person to get beat up and abused, but if you dare mess the hairs of Mittens, they will burn down your house and string you up.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    and point out their bs

    • https://www.reddit.com/r/Kotak... [reddit.com]

      Vice are Grade-A hypocrites, perfectly happy to support internet censorship as long as they get to be the censors.
  • Let me be the first to say, "No shit."

  • Loss of content (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DCFusor ( 1763438 ) on Saturday December 26, 2015 @10:37AM (#51185989) Homepage
    I'm not so sure Vice is all-negative, after all, they did a pretty cool and positive feature on my fusion work. You can search youtube on my username for it if you care.
    What does concern me is that it used to take me almost all day to read everything new that day on the 'net - and now it takes only an hour, if that, and I don't really read faster than I used to.
    .
    While it seems even the tinfoil hat crowd aren't talking about explicit censorship, either the world is kind of going dead, or something like hidden chilling effects are happening. I really don't like that one bit - no matter which it is - the creeping lack of new worthwhile content doesn't bode well at all. Yes, I read more widely on more topics and specialties than most so maybe it's more obvious to me, but gee, it's a huge change over the last few years. Seems as though society is just giving up, whatever the reason.
    • I am concerned about the rise of walled gardens. If Facebook can get everyone to communicate via Facebook, then communication becomes limited to whatever Facebook will allow. Repeat for other services.

      Journalism is being starved to death, so that source of real news is drying up.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Real news mostly dried up long ago. While certainly a threat, I'm not sure I would place walled gardens near the top of the list in terms of causes.

        Rather, the major reasons I have seen contribute to the dearth of good investigative journalism are two-fold.

        The first, and perhaps largest reason being that news outlets figured out it is far more profitable to become an echo chamber keeping to a specific viewpoint than to try and tell people what's actually going on. People would much rather hear stories tha

      • I am concerned about the rise of walled gardens.

        I'm not, as long as they don't build past their property line. If I refuse to enter, how can it harm me?

        If "everyone" is vapid and has nothing to say, my advice is to get a different "everyone." ;) In your scenario, the fault is on the lame people with nothing to say, not facebook. Facebook isn't email, or anything else outside of facebook. If users stop using other communication forms, they probably are less interested in communication. So what? Isn't that a part of their freedom?

        The point of freedom is th

        • The point of freedom is that you could just rent a VPS and start another service that offered what features you're worried would dry up. Freedom does not mean others joining you, it means that they could if they actually wanted to. ;)

          Communication doesn't happen if people don't hear or read your words. If everyone else is in the walled garden and they don't see what you are saying through your VPS, what's the point? Yes, you are free, but you can't get your message through. Censorship can happen at either

          • Communication doesn't happen if people don't hear or read your words.

            No, freedom of speech is not the freedom to be heard. It is up to you to say something people want to hear, if you want them to listen to you. Being heard is not the purpose of freedom of speech. You ask what is the point of free speech if people choose to listen to somebody else? Seriously?!

            No, censorship can't happen at either end. You've either been censored, or you haven't. People ignoring you is not them censoring you.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      > Seems as though society is just giving up, whatever the reason.
      They are giving up because Snowden held up a mirror and let them see what cowards they have become. They have retreated in fear when they realized that freedom has nothing to do with fighting foreign wars for oil, yellow ribbons, or litttle plastic flags. Freedom in the digital age requires being willing to put your eternal reputation on the line to stop those who would govern you and yours to death with the fruits of your own labor.

    • Ok, here's the link - and no, I'm not trying to self-promote (no need), just point out the >1600 comments and no moderation. This probably changed recently, but...my own experience was different. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] Got quite a few views...and they'll be back - we made that breakthrough I predicted.
      :

      Not that I disagree with the other commenters. As I said - it's like the world just went dark. Even /. just doesn't have the story flow which has been not only slowing, but becoming more

    • Re:Loss of content (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Saturday December 26, 2015 @01:43PM (#51186557) Homepage

      What does concern me is that it used to take me almost all day to read everything new that day on the 'net - and now it takes only an hour, if that, and I don't really read faster than I used to.

      It is funny, I open tabs of pages of data that I want to consume, but defer because it is not topical to what I'm researching, and then later I can go back and read those tabs. But they grow too fast, and I only have the same 25 hours a day as everybody else. So I finally end up with firefox getting bloated, so I give up and just toss the unread tabs... by then it is usually a few thousand. I do read probably 25% of what I set aside to read.

      If your internet data sources are shrinking, you're almost certainly stuck in a silo of your own making.

      It is the same problem the people crying about censorship have. They lack motivation to participate in meaningful speech, and they blame invisible gatekeepers.

      The difference between the internet now and 15 years ago is that now there is just more data, and most of it sucks. The noise is increasingly difficult to filter. But that should present itself as a different problem; excess crap, excess data. If you're short on data you've got severe bottlenecks. I use noscript and ad blockers, and can'trefuse to consume much of the available data, and there is still significant excess. There is no way to trim that down without restricting speech, so building silos might be a good answer. But perhaps they become less useful if they're seen as something evil that is being imposed by invisible beings.

      • I could be somewhat silo-ed - I've been planning to work on that more, at any rate. Dunno. What I see is more dupes out there than even slashdot - which I quickly detect, so the amount of truly new content that isn't trivial is still going down from my POV. I'm no spring chicken on the inet - so perhaps my perception is different, due to having seen all this go by a lot more than most. I particularly laugh at all the "press release gimme a grant" science, having books from the '50's that describe much o
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If the author of the refenced article had any journalistic ability he would have realized that the definition of broadband was redefined between 2013 ant 2015 leading to the apparent decrease of home installations. Furthermore the author seems to be easily confused by conceits such as rate vs. total and confuses adoption (normally expressed as a rate YTY) with installed based. I attribute this to a general lack of fundamental understanding of mathematics if not calculus on the whole. Sadly this is a pret

  • rookie mistake (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If your society requires anonymity for freedom of speech, then that society is not free to begin with.

    • It would be a rookie mistake if it were possible to have a sustainable societal model that allowed true freedom of speech without anonymity.

      The only model I can think of where there is even the potential for such a thing is a benevolent yet powerful dictator/king. But sooner or later he will die or be overthrown.
      • A society that actually believe in "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. * " would not need anonymity. It doesn't need a king or dictator - just citizens well enough educated to realize that they're not always going to be right, and giving the same respect to other citizens that they would wish to receive. Not everyone needs to adhere to this standard for it to have a huge effect on society's tolerance of those who are not the same, whether it be opinion, appear
        • by HiThere ( 15173 )

          Sorry, but you are requiring all members of the society, or at least all that hold any power, to hold a standardized belief. That's not exactly a free society. (And it's also pretty unlikely that any such society could ever exist, given the belief you are requiring them to hold.)

          What you need is a society where the design of the system allows unpopular, and unpopular with the powerful, views to be published. One way to accomplish this is anonymity. Are there others? Perhaps, but it hasn't been experime

          • No, I'm not. Just a sufficient number to be a moderating influence.

            I am definitely not anonymous, I've posted my home address on line, including here. My email address is also all over the place. I have yet to see any repercussions from posting unpopular views, including making fun at all the SJWs and other worry-warts who say that if someone gets your address you'll be doxxed.

            Try doing it in real life. I've received threats. I only reported them to police on one occasion, where I knew the person who was

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kheldan ( 1460303 )
      If the 'society' you were raised and live in doesn't have Freedom of Speech to start with, then you're not even qualified to be commenting on anyone else's 'society' to start with, and you demonstrate that in one sentence by failing to recognize that the ability to be anonymous in your speech is the ultimate, most powerful expression of Freedom of Speech: The ability to say anything about anyone or anything, with no fear of reprisal. Of course with such powerful freedom there is a great potential for abuse,
  • by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Saturday December 26, 2015 @12:50PM (#51186363) Journal
    "(On the other hand, it's worth pointing out that there are now free encryption-centric apps for voice and text communication that give ordinary people privacy options, and both unlocked phones and inexpensive data plans are far closer to the American norm than they were a few years ago.)"

    Mobile phones are rooted by both the carrier and/or your employer and provide a direct backdoor to the government. There is absolutely no security/privacy on a mobile phone. There isn't much point in encrypting your voice/text when they have the key.
  • Duh. You think so? What with every government on earth trying to censor the internet?
  • by UPZ ( 947916 ) on Saturday December 26, 2015 @02:05PM (#51186671)
    It's hard to conclude from a 3% drop from 70% to 67% that internet freedom is getting dissolved. Specifically, there's no mention of any particular freedom that is less doable today than it was in the past. So what is the article about? According to the article, there is decreasing home broadband and increasing wireless. One could argue that instead of "walls closing in", it's actually that wireless broadband has become cheaper. For many non-techies, 1-2 GB/mo wireless data gets them all the emails and web surfing they occasionally need.

    Obviously it doesn't apply to the crowd here. I myself have a 50/50 mbps Fios.
  • by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Saturday December 26, 2015 @09:23PM (#51188311)
    Any encryption software that you can buy is very likely to be government created or compromised by the government. If you want real security you'll have to be somewhat creative in how you accomplish it. I also want to know why bank software disallows really good passwords. You would think that banks would be eager to have customers with seriously, strong passwords or pass phrases. It is almost like they want to be hacked.
  • Internet freedom is indeed dissolving. If you use the internet, you're at an increasing risk to catch malware. If your computer is infected you don't have any freedom at all. You are at risk of losing your money on the bank. You're at risk of losing your valuable personal data or your identity being abused. In all cases you are bombarded with ant-virus advertisements which may of may not be fake. Your computer might also be used in all kinds of illegal activities designed to hurt others. Also, if you buy f

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why even bother mentioning this. It is the least of the problems in the US regime. Of course there will be a negative impression on internet freedom in an undemocratic country that tortures people, holds them without trial, bombs one country after another, imposes random sanctions against other countries, allows politicians to be bought, conducts summary executions with drones, ... America has the most utterly corrupt and contemptible system of governance. The whole political system is geared towards allowi

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