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In view of what has been happening with WikiLeaks and various file-sharing software, is privacy a lost cause?

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What does wikileaks have to do with personal privacy?

The use of any network gives up some level of privacy due to the nature of networking. It is nearly impossible to be anonymous on the IPv4 internet. Even if you use TOR, your browser will probably give you up due to javascript, cookies and/or flash objects even while TOR protects your IP from being known by the server. OTOH, the exit TOR node will be able to see all the traffic you are requesting AND all your cookies and other identifiable objects in the exchange. I ask, how safe is your TOR exit node? Are you certain it is not run by a government (most are BTW)?

If you don't use TOR (there really isn't any substitute), forget about privacy or any level of anonymity while networked.

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I think privacy has always been something of a mirage.

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Stupid people, nothing new there.

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As far as I know, there hasn't been nor will there be any privacy while networked. That's why I managed to grow my empire (^_~)

Phew....now I can comfortably enjoy my fortune.

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Is keeping your privacy harder? Yes, but it's never a lost cause.

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nothing is free, any ISP will after being pressured by governments give up any and all data asked for if the bottom-line is affected. Wikileaks and the resultant pressure on financial services to drop them taught us this.

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Privacy is lost cause,could be.

Facebook,twitter,wikileaks and many others are whistle blowing tools, for 1500 million net users, on search engine-web pages.

Welcome to the new you or everyone is media world.

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No, even assange himself believes what his site had leaked is a pittance compared to what is still hidden.

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correction -1967 million net users

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What does wikileaks have to do with personal privacy?

Exactely. This question doesn't deserve an answer. We love both wikileaks and file sharing software. Facebook is a bigger threat to personal information than any of these. But since it connects us with friends all over the world, we love that too.

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privacy was never really had to be lost. now, with the internet, rest assured all your info is out there for anyone to see if they really want to & have the know how .

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Wikileaks is irrelevant. And if you choose to put information about yourself on the internet, that is your business.

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if you choose to put information about yourself on the internet...

Then you have no expectation of privacy. That's a personal choice. If wikileaks finds out something embarrassing about you, true or not, it gets published. Now your privacy is being trampled. The NSA is putting together lists of "suspicious" people based on spending habits, websites viewed, etc? Where is the line?

When you have trouble booking a flight, renting a car, or getting a hotel reservation without a credit card and you can be tracked by the credit card use and all that is available to hackers of governments - now you have a huge problem.

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i think the question should be better formed: In view of what has been happening with WikiLeaks and various file-sharing software, is democracy a lost cause?

that is, shall we allow both domestic policy as well as diplomacy to be taken out of the general public's sphere of influence and interest and give up the right in participating in deciding our destiny or shall we take those rights back?!

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What does wikileaks have to do with personal privacy?

Ditto; the question of the day is off. Perhaps the site means to ask is whether confidentiality is a lost cause. But again, that has nothing to do with wikileaks since breaches of confidentiality have been around longer than the NDA.

Moderator: The question doesn't ask about personal privacy, just privacy in general.

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The use of cloud computing and on-line storage has risks. The only way to ensure your info is private is to conduct meetings naked in a swimming pool.

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Personal information is private as long as YOU, keep it that way.

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please stop with this fallacy of equating personal privacy with what wikileaks has been exposing. wikileaks has just brought back to public what always has been public right: these people are paid by our tax money, operate in our name, their decisions affect billions of lives and finally, they are called PUBLIC servants, not private. it has no similarities with any individual's info either in its nature nor in its scope and I can't fathom where does this line of thinking originates from or what can its justification possibly be?!

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Agree with all who are criticizing this question. It's poorly conceived. Wikileaks may have struck a small blow against state secrecy, but it is a pittance compared to the huge amount of classified information held by the U.S. government. Supposedly democratic governments increasingly choose secrecy as their standard operating procedure. Secrecy, in a democracy, ought to be used very selectively and only when absolutely necessary.

Wikileaks is hardly a meaningful threat against expectations of privacy. The U.S. government has created a massive security apparatus over the past decade that systematically collects information on American citizens and non-citizens using a variety of methods and channels. That is the real threat to privacy.

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Privacy isn't a "lost" cause - but it needs to become a major cause in this century. The more government, corporations and criminals (but I repeat myself :-) can find out about the details of your life the easier and more tempting it is for them to exploit that information for their own gain, and your loss. Technology has made it far easier to steal more quickly than either law or public awareness has been able to react.

More legal measures are needed to prohibit information "diffusion" - ie make it illegal to sell/trade personal data between corporations. Penalties for allowing information to 'leak' - stolen or lost - must be increased (no more unencrypted laptops full of credit info left at rail stations, no more employees loading such info onto thumb drives for sale to criminals !). Standards for government obtaining/buying/stealing such info without a proper warrant must also be tightened.

Unfortunately, those who benifit from the data trade are also the most powerful entities - the movers and shakers - and have considerable influence over legislative agendas. Thus it will require considerable, persistent, pressure from the public to push through data-protection laws.

As for "WikiLeaks" ... that's less a 'privacy' issue than one of, well, you can call it 'reporting' or 'espionage' depending on your point of view. The leaks major value is in demonstrating what a huge difference there is between the politics our "news" sources deliver and the REAL truths that shape our world and lives. The public lives in a fantasy world engineered by our 'leaders'. How can we make sound decisions under such circumstances ???

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Wikileaks and file-sharing software are almost irrelevant to privacy, because you (whether private, corporate or government) mostly have control over it and can take appropriate countermeasures.

The real problem is the myriads of corporations and government agencies which collect any kind of personal information they can get hold of. Each single bit of information is usually rather harmless so people shrug it off. But when collected in vast amounts and connected together, these small pieces become a real threat to privacy. This is where strong laws become necessary.

glycol57, good comment.

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It's obvious that governments that have information on us should be making this information public because they are public servants and our taxes pay those people. Who cares if organizations like wikileaks lets the info the government has on us out into the public. They are doing the service for free when our own conspiring governments keep it secret.

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I don’t how Wikileaks fits into this odd question. Wikileaks aims to expose information that is being wrongfully hidden from people. We the individual are not of interest to them, besides which they simply wouldn’t have the ability to collate and release the enormous amounts of information that exists on the equally enormous numbers of people. Governments and large corporations do however have the ability to collate the information they collect. Though their objective is to use that information rather than release it. The real fear should be the overlap between government and business. To a large degree we can hold back information about ourselves when WE use our own computers, and only a fool gives away personal information to sites like facebook. But we do not have that same control where government agencies are concerned.

Tax, health, social security, military, school and university, banks and so on and so on all hold records about who we are. How do we stop all that lot finding ins way into ….? Where? I don’t know where all that might end up and I have no control over any of it. On various web sites I can make my self “Micky Mouse” with a fantasy profile to match and that is what I do and would advice everybody else to do. But when it comes to official situations I would be sent to prison for doing such a thing so have no choice but to give the information I would rather not find in the hands of large corporations.

We have all heard the idiocy of government when it says that it is collecting data for our good, they need to plan for how many school places they will need, hospitals and whatever. Yes all true, or should that actually be all half true?

The very fact that we cannot say for sure is what is wrong. We should be able to feel confident that the information that is held on us is safe and is used only for the reasons that we were told it would be used and we are not. There is very little that we can about it though.

Does not show that we do not trust any of our governments?

Transparent government and Wikileaks, something we might all have to give a lot more thought to in the future. And if you are an American you might just change your mind about Bradley manning being a bad guy.

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I have to agree with those above who see little connection between these things. I always choose to limit access to my private life to the extent I can, and do not support moves to increase government or business snooping, but if someone is determined to find out about me, they can, and their ability to find out will have nothing to do with Wikileaks or file-sharing software.

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Let's have the X files wikileaks

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