Secure or Private?

A Discussion on what is secure, and how it is not actually private.

Steve Smith provides the basis for an important discussion, secure or private?

Episode #5-04 released on October 1, 2014

Watch on Youtube

So, last week I said I was going to demonstrate I2P, Freenet and Tor. Due to issues out of my control, I haven't been able to download the clients for I2P and Freenet, and rather than just do another episode on Tor, I will try to get the clients later on, and develop a new episode for them in the near future. For now, I have discuss the ideological difference between security and privacy.

We all communicate using the Internet. In fact, most of us will naturally communicate through the easiest means possible with those we wish to communicate with, and in turn, convert others to communicate with us in that manner. It happened with ICQ, MSN, Facebook and Snapchat. But, are our communications private, or secure?

First, let's talk about the difference between private and secure. Something can be secure, and still be public. Facebook, for instance, is by no means insecure about their web-site, and rightly so. When you have information of 1/7th of the planet, you don't mess with it. With that many users, they certainly have been doing something right. Despite Facebook being secure, we all know they are not private. They take all the information and sell it to be used by advertisers to target advertisements at us, more accurately, and I frankly have no problem with targeted advertisements.

To be private, it has to be accessible by only the people it is intended for. For most users, this normally leads them to using Snapchat, with is secure, but not actually private. The program boosts having time delays before destroying messages, something other applications can do, too. However, Frankly Chat, also, allows you to delete unread messages, which allows you to change you mind. It, too, is secure, but not private.

Why are these applications secure, but not private? Because any government with a warrant can request information on specific users for a multitude of legitimate reasons. All these services, can, also, comply with these demands. By definition, this means that your data is not just accessible, but can, also, be viewed by unintended people.

What does it take for us to communicate privately? Well, that is an issue. Despite having many programs all over the Internet, boosting secure and anonymous chatting, it is possible to back trace any signal. In a world where Darknet browsers are not commonly used, it is possible to determine who is going where when looking at the entire of the networks by correlating data such as number of current users currently on these networks, something your ISP has access to, even if they can't see into the signal. Basically, you can never truly be private and secure over the Internet. And, while, it is unlikely that someone finds you specifically because you chat over the Internet with another specific person, it is not impossible to poison the connection, in order, to figure out what is going on.

The only real way to have a private conversation, is in the middle of no where, in the bottom of a newly dug, by yourself, cave, deep underground, in the middle of nowhere, with nothing that vibrates, as some devices can record sound by bouncing lasers over of vibrating mediums.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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