Re: Report warns computers may threaten constitutional rights (1982)

Subject: Re: Report warns computers may threaten constitutional rights (1982)
From: (RS Wood)
Newsgroups: comp.misc, dictator.general
Date: May 14 2017 02:25:26
On 2017-05-13, Rich <rich@example.invalid> wrote:
An interesting read, and quite "predictive" of where things seem to
have landed now, in 2017, 35 years later.
Link directly to the page where the article exists on

Link to the .pdf of the whole magizine from (the article
begins on page 296):
Hacker news discussion on the article:
Link to the actual report the article is summarizing:

The whole thing seems remarkably prescient, but I'd wager back when it
was written it seemed outlandish, paranoid, absurd ...

Richard Stallman has more or less been vindicated as well - he'd been
warning about things like DRM and the right to access information
without it being artifically expired and so on, all things we have
quite willingly gotten ourselves into, and apparently by choice.

Not sure if computers threaten constitutions.  Rather, they threaten
individual freedoms as we've come to enjoy them over the past couple
of centuries.  I'd be hard pressed to imagine life without the
benefits of what computers do for me now.  But I am increasingly
feeling like I've lost all control about what's being tracked and by

It drives me mad when I visit a manufacturer's website on
Linux/Firefox at home.  And then go to work the next day to find the
same advert following me around on IE/Windows at work. 

It makes me angry to see adverts at work clearly based on my
children's Youtube video preferences (on a tablet logged in as mine),
and angrier when their tablets show adverts for "adultier" stuff based
on my browser history.

It annoys me when my ebooks expire, or when DRM schemes left to rot
render docs and books unreadable.  Adobe/Sony: kindly rot in hell.

And lastly, it annoys me that when I fire up a computer and visit a
website, every aspect of my kit from the BIOS to the OS to the browser
to the website is tracking me, measuring me, and selling my data.  And
I don't even know what's being sold, to whom, or why.

That said, I deserve it for having bought into this world.  I've got a
Chromebox at home and an Android phone, and allow Firefox to back up
my settings, and lots of other "normal" stuff that allows this kind of
business to flourish.  And I use Dropbox and LinkedIn and some other
Software-as-a-service things that allow more of me to get scooped up
into databases out there.  But the alternative?  Lynx/W3M and only
local software, no web platforms, only encrypted email and
Usenet-fed-through-an-anonymizer.  That's not very fun either.

Date Subject  Author
14.05. o Re: Report warns computers may threaten constitutionalRS Wood

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