Another Trip To Lowes? ALready?

Hmm.  Maybe I'm better off ordering from Amazon.

Say hello to 1984.  We've only slipped that ship date by about 30 years.
Verizon Patent Helps Deliver Relevant Ads By Eavesdropping Conversations
It's a patent that sounds like a plot description for a science-fiction movie or the result of Apple's Siri and Google's AdSense mating. With it, Verizon could program its set-top boxes to survey a room to determine relevant ads to display either on your television or mobile phone
Yeah... who in the world thinks this is a good idea? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

There there's a couple of new stories from Techdirt.  First up, the ITU wants to make sure that Big Brother legitimate world governments can access your data on the wire easily and efficiently:
ITU Approves Deep Packet Inspection Standard Behind Closed Doors
Techdirt has run a number of articles about the ITU's World Conference... One of the concerns is that decisions taken there may make the Internet less a medium that can be used to enhance personal freedom than a tool for state surveillance and oppression.
The telecommunications standards arm of the U.N. has quietly endorsed the standardization of technologies that could give governments and companies the ability to sift through all of an Internet user's traffic -- including emails, banking transactions, and voice calls -- without adequate privacy safeguards.
Well, hey!  Look what we have here!


Well, OK.  Sure, someone in a third-world banana republic might have to worry about government agents snooping their conversations, but that could never happen here in the good ol' US of A, right?
No Warrant, No Problem: The Government Can Still Get Your Data
Pro Publica has done it again... the shorthand version is that the government can pretty much look at an awful lot of your data with very little judicial oversight.
Seriously - what the world is going on this week?  Is this some sort of weird budgetary thing, where various agencies have to get their allotted level of civil liberties violations in before the start of the new fiscal year?

You know what we need to use up before the end of the year?


Oh, yeah.  One final thing.  You think encryption is going to save you?  Unless you know what you're doing - and, apparently, most people don't have a clue - it's probably already compromised, because you're using a weak-sauce password.  Don't think that a strong password is any better, either.

So... let's recap.
  • Verizon wants to give you 24/7 monitoring "to serve you better".
  • The ITU wants to make sure that the government has the ability to access all that data.
  • And law enforcement can pretty much get that information anytime they want, without a warrant.
Starting to rethink the whole rope idea, here.

A famous quote from Aliens seems far more apropos.

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