Rant: Value your privacy
Saturday, June 08, 2013


If you haven't been updated on the recent saga, here are a couple of articles that you might be interested to read first.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/6/4403868/nsa-fbi-mine-data-apple-google-facebook-microsoft-others-prism
http://www.engadget.com/2013/06/06/washington-post-nsa-fbi-tapping-directly-into-servers-of-9-lea/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jun/07/uk-gathering-secret-intelligence-nsa-prism
http://www.engadget.com/2013/06/07/report-uk-prism-gchq/

Facebook and Google responded the most aggressive saying that they are not giving governments direct access to your data, and make their stand against this invasion of personal privacy. Again, no matter how pretty the words are, or how technically correct they are, it doesn't change the fact that they are lying through their teeth.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/8/4408622/google-cannot-say-this-more-clearly-no-government-access-to-servers
http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/7/4407648/facebook-like-apple-and-google-hadnt-even-heard-of-prism-says-ceo
http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/8/4408658/former-government-official-nsa-had-no-direct-access-to-tech-company
(reason for using theverge is because they do an excellent job of congregating all the information from all the news websites)

And this is the reason why they are "lying".
http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/7/4408256/tech-companies-reportedly-built-secure-portals-for-government-surveillance

Even though it their PR is technically correct, it doesn't change the fact that they are giving information to the government when requested. I really cannot stand this.

Governments always use phrases like "the fight against terrorism", or "it's for your own safety". Yes, I know that you cannot have 100% protection with 100% privacy, the real world doesn't work like that, but this news is simply outrageous; even more so that it has been sanctioned since 2006.

Politics is always about sugar-coating your words, but all I see is a pile of crap spouted by people who are infringing on human rights. But then again, it's not like the News is the definite truth with words like, "reportedly", who the fuck reported it and where's the chain of trust/proof? I could only assume that everything reported has been striking the red tender spot based on how all the companies and government have been reacting to it.

This is the internet, and most if not all of the top social companies is based in US. Their laws and surveillance doesn't just apply to their country, the whole world is being surveyed with their every keystroke.

And my dear Singaporeans, we are not any better off. This is the new licensing law that has been in effect since June 1st 2013.

http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/new-licensing-scheme-news-websites-reach-50000-people-month-20130528
http://www.zdnet.com/sg/spore-outlines-new-licensing-rule-for-online-news-sites-7000015945/
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/new-mda-licensing-scheme-becomes-fodder-for-singapore-satire-130417193.html

In short, any [news] website that garners more than 50,000 unique visitors from Singapore has to sign an agreement under this framework. This license allows the government to take down any article that they don't deem as "right".

Currently, for now, the list of websites affected are these 10. (they have to pay $50,000 to be in the framework)
straitstimes.com
asiaone.com
businesstimes.com.sg
omy.sg
stomp.com.sg,
tnp.sg,
zaobao.com
as well as the sites for Today newspaper, ChannelNewsAsia and Yahoo News

And so, the government has control over all news. We are effectively silenced and screwed over. Any popular/influential blog that report news will fit into the category and this license might very well expand to include them in the future.

Here's the thing, I've heard people tell me this before.

"If you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to be afraid of."

That is not the fucking point people.

"If I am not doing anything wrong, you have no business snooping around my stuff. Respect my human rights."

It's like having someone stare at you in real life 24/7. They are not causing you any direct harm or inconvenience, but it is creepy as hell and it is just wrong.

We have to do something about it. But I don't know what exactly I can do to change this, so I can only try my best to raise awareness about this increasingly crazy world that we seem to be okay living in.


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