I told you guys this was coming. Here it is. This is why they're so desperate to "link" web mail accounts with mobile phones. They want to use your cell phone as your "cyber ID" that links things you "do" on the web to your physical person (i.e. your phone's GPS location).
In the US, we tend to shrug this stuff off because we think "So what? What can they do to me with my library records?" Well, if they couldn't do anything with them, why did they go to the bother to secure the power to seize them under the PATRIOT Act? And why are they so obsessed with what you "do" on the Internet, aka, what you read and write?? This isn't just about copyrights. It's about profiling, it's about censorship and it's about plain, old-fashioned dirt.
But most important of all, it's about replacing your mailbox.
It looks optional, the way that I read it. If someone doesn't have an email address, they simply don't get a fishing license? I don't know much about the UK but that wouldn't go down at all in the imaginary borderlines of the US of A.
That's how it always starts. "Optional". "Inconsequential". Next thing, you can't drive or fly anywhere without it.
Out of curiousity, what other things start out as optional before they become mandatory? I seriously can't think of one. I always thought that when it comes to state legislation, it's pretty much mandatory from the start. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this particular legislation fails if it ever came to the USA. There are simply way too many people out there who still don't use computers or cell phones that this type of thing doesn't work. Again, I'm speaking on behalf of the people who live in the US and not the UK.
Read these. UK, Australia, EU, etc. Obama has said the US needs the same thing. No farmer left behind, LOL. They're serious about this.
This is why I have been considering getting an Android and then rooting it.
To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."
@The Muff (BTW I mean this in the same way as people say "The Hoff"): That's precious little help. What we really need is an end to the telco/cell monopolies and their incestuous relationship with the State as well as some awareness of what I think should be a kind of "Electronic Device User's Bill of Rights".
What I mean by the latter is this. I think that every device that is equipped with a mic that is not primarily a recording device or a camera (and is not primarily a camera) should have an "analog off" switch for each of these. By "analog off", I mean a switch that electrically disconnects the mic or camera from the rest of the device. A non-binding standard (like an RFC) should be developed like the safety switch on a firearm... there is always a little red dot showing when the firearm is not on safety, so you positively know when the firearm is "live". If the switch is not in the disabled position, a little red dot should be showing, indicating that it is enabled.
The reason for this is that there are just too many ways to compromise the security of multi-use devices, particular devices with connectivity of any kind. No security measures will ever be absolutely secure and, in any case, are just "workarounds" for a security problem that has a very simple and direct solution: cut off the compromising device at its source (electrical connection to the rest of the multi-use device). Your business partner who is planning to jump ship and has occasional access to your devices when you step out of the office can install key-logging software on them and have the logs emailed automatically to him, without any way for you to find out the logging software is even present on your system. You don't find out until when he's run off with your life's savings and that of half your investors and he says he knows about the affair you were having, plus he's informed his lawyer of everything you and your lawyer were planning to do in terms of legal strategy. Oooooooops.
On this note, I have a great product idea for anyone who can figure out how to build it and bring it to market: A small desk case that has some kind of "one-way audio" system so that sound can come out of the box but little to no sound can go into the box. It could be made in plastic or wood finishes. Lawyers, bankers, politicians, relationship counselors... anyone who meets people in an office and has extremely sensitive, presumed-private conversations might be interest in purchasing this device as a workaround to the lack of an "analog-off switch" mentioned above. Basically, when you walk in your office, you open the case and plop your cellphone into it (perhaps it could have a padded felt lining, or something). When the phone rings or any kind of notification occurs, you will be able to hear it, because sound is allowed to escape the box. But any conversations going on in the room cannot be tapped, bugged or otherwise recorded through the cellphone because the sound waves simply do not make it to the phone itself.
You can do this today only by removing the batteries from your cellphone. Needless to say, only the most dedicated and highly targeted sorts of individuals resort to that measure. But the fact remains that privacy is much more easily compromised than most people realize and, today, it is being systematically compromised in ways that people cannot even begin to imagine... literally on the order of magnitude depicted by Enemy of the State or Eagle Eye.
Gmail asking for my phone number for "suspicious" account activity.
Do not feel comfortable giving it to them but i just might since i have some important mails to keep track of.
Any way to avoid this by chance?
“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence.""The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”
Have you ever bought books from the Mises Store?
3 of the first 5 times I did (late 2008- early 2009), my packages came opened. The cardboard priority mail envelope was slit open with a razor. What do you think happened? =/
I was thinking that you would point out that the telcos know which of their towers you are using; so, they would know where you are when you make a phone call or use 3G/4G. But yeah, the problem with the Facebooks and the Googles is their relationships with state, particularly that they give the state data about their customers.. This is why we ought to point in similar fashion that the problem with airport security are not the patdowns, but that airlines in bed with the state are forcing patdowns upon their customers.
@Aristophanes: Mine had been thrown in a mud puddle and backed over. But for all my conspiratorial speculations, I just attribute that to the abysmal incompetence of the USPS.