didn't come with privacy, any more than the planet did. But at least
the planet had nature, which provided raw materials for the privacy
technologies we call clothing and shelter. On the net, we use human
nature to make our own raw materials. Those include code, protocols,
standards, frameworks and best practices, such as those behind free and
We won the battle for Linux, but we're losing the battle for
Linux turns 25 in August 2016. Linux Journal turned 21
in April 2016. (Issue #1 was
April 1994, the month Linux hit version 1.0.) We're a generation into the
history of our cause, but the fight isn't there anymore, because we won. Our
cause has achieved its effects.
The Mozilla Foundation and the FBI recently have clashed over security
weaknesses. The FBI is aware of a weakness in the Tor browser that
may affect Firefox—it's a weakness the FBI has exploited during
Among the countless essays and posts I've read on the fight over crypto that's
been going on between Apple and
the FBI, one by the
title above by T.Rob Wyatt
in Medium stood out so well that I asked if he'd like to help me adapt it into
an article for Linux Jou more>>
I'm not generally a privacy nut when it comes to my digital life. That's
not really a good thing, as I think privacy is important, but it often
can be very inconvenient. For example, if you strolled into my home office,
you'd find I don't password-protect my screensaver. more>>
The other evening a bunch of us were sitting in a friend's
living room while a series of photos scrolled across her
TV. The photos were a screen saver served up by her new Apple TV box.
Some of the
pictures were of people,
birds, flowers, cats and other typical stuff. more>>
Try to nail two boards together with your bare hands.
Can't be done. You need a hammer. But the power is not the hammer's.
It's yours, because the hammer is your tool. As a tool, it becomes part
of you. That's what tools do: they enlarge your capacity for action and effect.
That capacity is called agency. To have agency is to operate
with effect in the world. more>>
Whatever your opinions about Do Not Track, set them aside for a minute and
just look at what the words say and who says them.
Individuals—the people we call "users" (you know, like with
drugs)—are the ones saying it. In grammatical terms, "do not
spoken in the first person. more>>
I'm writing this in a hotel room entered through two doors. The hall door
is the normal kind: you stick a card in a slot, a light turns green, and the
door unlocks. The inner one is three inches thick, has no lock and serves a
single purpose: protection from an explosion. more>>
There's an old quote from Jamie Zawinkski that goes: "Some people, when confronted with a problem, think ‘I know, I'll use regular expressions.’ Now they have two problems." Even people like me who like regular expressions laugh at the truth in that quote, because we've seen the consequences when someone doesn't think through the implications of a poorly written pattern. When some people write a bad pattern, they end up with extra lines in a log file. When the NSA does it, they capture and retain Internet traffic on untold numbers of innocent people.