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imer

"German minister: drop Google if you fear US spying"

by
(warning: rant, "language" - usage of the f-word)
Sometimes even I can't help, but wonder why some people have their job
This though reaches new levels of stupidity.
What am I even talking about?
http://news.yahoo.com/german-minister-drop-google-fear... (Yahoo.. o.O)

Recently the world found out everyone is spying on each other and collection data about everything we do on the internet - which is not really surprising.
Now our minister suggests to just stop using google (or just plain stop visiting websites that arent german) if we fear being spyed on.

Not is this idea completely stupid and today nearly impossible (more later), but isn't it the job of a politician to CHANGE things that are bad?
I mean if I wanted stupid suggestions how to prevent things by not doing them I wouldn't ask them.
HE should be the one trying to change things, talk to the us, uk and the other countries that are collecting data and make a law or something like that to PREVENT it. To make it illegal to spy on people and collect data about them (well, for 3rd parties - google makes it's money by collecting data and that isn't exactly bad as long as they don't give it away freely to people).

Enough of that, so exactly why is it a bad idea?
Lets just start with Google.
~60% (can't find exact data on that) of all smartphones in germany run on Android.
Android is made by Google - whoops.
So, how about switching to another brand?
Apple, a US company..
What about the 3rd most popular one?
Microsoft? oh.. still a US company

Let's just assume you don't have a smartphone and don't plan to get one. ever.
Well, Google is (in my opinion) the best search engine.
But you could obviously switch to one of it's competitors, right?
Bing is (again) Microsoft
Yahoo? nope, US company
..ask? nooope, US company
Aol search? (who the fuck even uses that!?) still a us company

Well, fuck.
And even if you were NOT to use a search engine at all, what about googles ads (adsense)?
Those seem to be somewhat*cough* popular...
You get the point, it is stupid.

And even if you WERE to install an adblocker, never visit any of the mayor social networks and stuff you'd still run into trouble.
Not all german sites are hosted in germany.
Lets take me as an example, my servers are located in france (paris to be exact), because the provider is awesome and fits my needs nicely.
Oh.. france is spying on people too?

MAYBE you should just all get together and create a goddamn law to prevent such things if you care that much - which you obviously don't 'cause you don't even know what the hell you're talking about.


imer out
Viewed: 56 times
Added: 5 years, 4 months ago
 
trashbunny
5 years, 4 months ago
"
Now our minister suggests to just stop using google (or just plain stop visiting websites that arent german) if we fear being spyed on.

He didn't say that German people shouldn't visit websites that aren't German. He specifically said the web sites shouldn't be using "American websites", at least according to the translation. Most likely he's referring the web sites by US businesses or web sites hosted on servers standing on US soil.

"
To make it illegal to spy on people and collect data about them (well, for 3rd parties - …

Governmental supervision can arguably be worse. If such a law should be implemented, it should especially limit that.

"
Enough of that, so exactly why is it a bad idea?
Lets just start with Google.
~60% (can't find exact data on that) of all smartphones in germany run on Android.
Android is made by Google - whoops.
So, how about switching to another brand?
Apple, a US company..
What about the 3rd most popular one?
Microsoft? oh.. still a US company

There's a major difference between Android, iOS and most other smarphone architectures:
Android is open-source, iOS and Windows Phone aren't. And due to the fact that Android is open-source, you can actually check the source code for any acts of espionage. This code review would take quite a long time, but it would be very effective. The biggest problem with Android are the apps, however: Most aren't open source despite the fact that unlike in Apple's App Store, the Play Store accepts far more OSS licenses. Even worse is the fact that a lot of them do actually spy on users by requesting more permissions than they would need just to use them to get information about the user and send it away. But open-source Android software exists, and in fact, there's a marketplace for them.

"
Let's just assume you don't have a smartphone and don't plan to get one. ever.
Well, Google is (in my opinion) the best search engine.
But you could obviously switch to one of it's competitors, right?
Bing is (again) Microsoft
Yahoo? nope, US company
..ask? nooope, US company
Aol search? (who the fuck even uses that!?) still a us company

There's DuckDuckGo and Startpage. The latter actually uses Google search results by acting as a "proxy" of sorts - you enter a search on Startpage, and their servers send the request to Google, effectively removing you out of the picture. Like DuckDuckGo, they also promise to not store any search data. Of course you'd still use Google, although indirectly. In that way, your privacy is quite massively improved.

"
Well, fuck.
And even if you were NOT to use a search engine at all, what about googles ads (adsense)?
Those seem to be somewhat*cough* popular...
You get the point, it is stupid.

AdBlock Plus and Ghostery. Problem solved there. If you want, you can pack HTTPS Everywhere on top of that, which will secure your connection and make it less likely to be snooped on. Although there are quite a few problems with HTTPS itself when servers are not configured properly.

"
And even if you WERE to install an adblocker, never visit any of the mayor social networks and stuff you'd still run into trouble.

No surprise there... not much can be done except urging people to use something else than Facebook. Unfortunately, that doesn't usually yield a lot of success.

" Oh.. france is spying on people too?

Most nations are spying on their own people and other people. It comes as no surprise, and presumably, it's not going to be possible to stop this as there are genuine national interests connected to it that unfortunately make sense. The real big issue with spying is the extent of it and especially what the data is used for. We shouldn't let any nation come as far as the US with this... definitely not.
imer
5 years, 4 months ago
" He didn't say that German people shouldn't visit websites that aren't German.

That's only the solution for the US collecting data about anything though.
Other countries do it to, so it's the only logical conclusion he wants us to do that.
" Android is open-source, iOS and Windows Phone aren't. And due to the fact that Android is open-source, you can actually check the source code for any acts of espionage.

By using android you are (presumably - i don't know how it actually works) bound to use googles services.
Be that the store to buy apps (there are alternatives here, i know that much), use the various services from google (chrome, mail, calender, docs/drive) or send them data otherwise.
I am not saying google is stealing the data on your phone or anything like that - just saving information you send them is enough (g+ profile, mail, documents, calender and so on)
" There's DuckDuckGo and Startpage.

I've heard of DuckDuckGo, but never used it - I can't imagine being as.. good? huge? as Google
I mean I personally could care less if Google and the USA knows who I am and where I live - everyone who knows about whois can find that out.

Point is, while it is possible to prevent a large chunk of the data collection thing, it's a pain in the ass and (in my opinion, other people might see this differently) not worth it.
I use many of the google services namely Youtube, Adsense, Docs/Drive and Mail and ofc the search engine, those all wouldn't work without me having an account - well, I could watch youtube videos, but it'd be a pain to check all those subscriptions manually.


HTTPS itself is a huge problem, I looked at it recently and the best and most compatible way to get it to work is to use one ip per domain, which is kinda stupid if you ask me especially since ipv4 ip's are nothing you can just throw around with anymore and ipv6 isnt spread widely enough to be used.
There is another technique that sends the domains after the handshake (or something like that, can't remember properly), but that isnt supported as well as the "one ip per domain" method.

I actually looked it up and it doesn't seem to be supported on IE on XP -> it's no option to use in a (professional?) production environment
And I'm not gonna buy 20 more IP's (which would cost me 20 more € per month) just to have https support with nice certificates that don't spit out warnings when you try to visit a site.
Not to mention those are quite expensive too.
sillylilfoxcub
4 years, 11 months ago
Mmm... All that deliciously perfect spelling and grammar. *fap-fap-fap-fap*
trashbunny
4 years, 11 months ago
Well, I do have a F-List account, so if you'd like to have a chat with me, go ahead and send me a note or summin' on there. :B
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