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United States Privacy

Year In Communications: NSA Revelations Overshadow Communications Breakthroughs 61

MacRonin writes "Communications news in 2013 was dominated by serial revelations of the National Security Agency's mass collection of data from major Internet companies and mobile carriers, leading to widespread cries of governmental overreach. But those revelations, based on leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, were accompanied by remarkable advances in wireless communications. The Snowden documents also galvanized new efforts at making the Internet more secure and private. The folks at MIT Technology Review have their year-end rundown."
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Year In Communications: NSA Revelations Overshadow Communications Breakthroughs

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  • Uh, okay? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @03:24AM (#45786357) Homepage

    This reads like: This bunch of corporate press releases haven't been getting as much attention as we'd like, so we'll mention Snowden, which is what seems to get attention these days, and then proceed to dump a list of the stuff we do care about.

    It doesn't seem to be anything that exciting. Yeah, technology marches on. Somebody figuring out a way to get more bandwidth out of a cell tower is normal and expected. And I can't say I care that much since all this would do is to allow me to consume my tiny quota faster.

    The more interesting bits about balloons and IETF proposing Tor already got discussed, so not like they got overlooked either..

    • Re:Uh, okay? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @03:29AM (#45786375)

      I also like how, apparently, we're calling it "mass collection of information", instead of "spying", now.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        well.. according to the usa government it only becomes spying if one accesses the data.. ..for which they have "safeguards" against.

        • by gmuslera ( 3436 )

          Is amazing how easy is for them to dodge those safeguards [], even if there is no relation in 3th grade with anyone foreigner (what is already pretty hard).

          Anyway, this is not just about spying, is also about control, in particular of the US citizens.

      • I also like how, apparently, we're calling it "mass collection of information", instead of "spying", now.

        A collection of books doesn't equal an education unless you read and understand them.

    • Re:Uh, okay? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 26, 2013 @04:01AM (#45786453)

      Really /. has beaten this into the ground. And you make good points on the wording they choose to use about this.

      Does anyone honestly believe that million/billion dollar internet companies are going to do anything to make people's privacy secure? It was bad enough they fooled some people with these FBI/NSA letters requesting information, meanwhile they were pretty much just giving these agencies anything and everything they wanted while using this "transparency" report to appear as if people have some sort of freedom from any random invasion.

      No, no, no the only thing that is going to happen is the status quo, companies will use PR to mind f**k citizens. Politicians, and Washington in general, will do the same, were already reading stories coming out on how the NSA has been given more wide spread abusive go ahead from the White House. And meanwhile the NSA and other agencies will lock down everything preventing anyone even politicians (tho I think it is a safe bet they do not care anyway) from finding out what secret plans or programs they have, or the next wide spread abuse of power among these spying agencies.

      With legalizing Marijuana, we may not end up enjoying it for to much longer, or anything for that matter, this country will have cameras everywhere, facial recognition, almost an immediate police presence because there will be algorithms written into the software/hardware to recognize when you are in a "bad act", thinking about going to a night club or raven, thinking of going out and doing a little drinking? Wrong put your hands on the car, you'll be seeing the judge. Your Honor you see the camera shows this girl is on drugs, and drunk after coming out of this night club, the blood test will prove the presence of !!! and of !!!..

      Sorry but it is going to get to that point, it has already started with people being on the "wrong street" at the "wrong time".. People need to get there arrogance out of there ass and realize that while they "think" this would not happen, the fact the this country has continued to do things people didn't "think" possible, we continue to see how wrong we are.

      Everyone has something to lose despite the ignorance of thinking they are not a stereo typical "criminal" or "terrorist".

      • by Endymion ( 12816 )

        We've been slowly moving in that direction for quite some time now. Often, when some of those small, individual steps have been noticed and discussed, the discussion tends to (understandably) focus on the declne itself and the problems it brings.

        Unfortunately, this almost always ignores another slowly-amplifying aspect of the problem: the gradual conditioning (Pavlov-style) of the people responsible. Each time we - The People - allow abuse of power to go unpunished or a another roadblock placed in the way o

  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @03:29AM (#45786373) Journal

    Google pushed its high-speed fiber and TV service in Kansas City, and expanded elsewhere; evidence emerged that the result was better prices and faster speeds in those markets.

    Increased competition leads to better consumer offerings and lower prices.
    You don't say.

    In general, there is plenty that the dominant Internet providers can do to provide better deals without much effort, she says. Cable companies like Time Warner Cable and Comcast have the technical capacity to speed up service, and also plenty of room to lower prices, given the estimate from one analystâ"Craig Moffet of the Wall Street firm Bernstein Researchâ"that they typically make 97 percent profit margins on Internet services.

    In other words: the average consumer is paying the "fuck you" price.

  • by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Thursday December 26, 2013 @08:04AM (#45786981)
    I read TFA. There was not one advancement I would consider to be "remarkable". I would argue that some were really developed before 2013 as well. Of course, throw something about Snowden or the NSA in there, you'll get a few folks to read it. The NSA headlines also overshadowed everything else not worth reporting on.

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.