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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] promoting Google Glass?

From: Michał 'rysiek' Woźniak
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] promoting Google Glass?
Date: Mon, 27 May 2013 21:19:10 +0200
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Hi there,

Dnia sobota, 25 maja 2013 o 22:22:54 Ted Smith napisał(a):
> Trimming a good deal of context for brevity.
> On Sat, 2013-05-25 at 19:13 +0200, Michał 'rysiek' Woźniak wrote:
> > I do not accept the premise that from now on I should be an "active
> > defender" if I wish to preserve my privacy! Similarly as I would not
> > accept that for example I should be an "active defender" (using
> > technical means) to preserve my freedom of speech and other basic human
> > rights.
> At a certain level of pragmatism, problems cease to be "technological"
> or "social" and merely become problems. Then, we just have to choose the
> right set of tactics to solve the problem.
> For example, home invasion is a problem. There is a social solution
> (imprison home invaders) and a technological solution (locks).


> I'm prepared to bet that you lock your doors when you want people not to
> open them; I don't see why using privacy-enhancing technology is any
> different.

Okay, that's an interesting way of putting it, I give you that. In that case 
however I hope you agree that since you propose a measure analogous to "locks" 
above, we would also need something analogous to "imprisoning" for invading 

If so, we agree here. Privacy needs additional protection.

> > Google Glass is one (important and big) step towards pervasive
> > surveillance of every aspect of our lives. Such a situation, when
> > combined with an ideology, had a name: totalitarianism.
> > 
> > And I'm not ok with any part of that definition coming to a town near me.
> This is an argument that has no basis in fact. Google Glass is far away
> from totalitarianism; totalitarianism has far more to it than
> surveillance; the implication is insulting to everyone involved.
> For a more realistic view, I suggest
> 74/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369512773&sr=8-1&keywords=totalitarianism (DDG
> affiliate link)

I am familiar with Hannah Arendt's work (by the way, I come from a country 
that had to fight both 20th century totalitarianisms for its independence, 
achieved only about 25 years ago), that's why I clearly and unambiguously 
stated that total surveillance *combined with ideology* is totalitarianism. I 
did not imply Google Glass is in and of itself totalitarianism.

Might I also suggest an interesting perspective:

> > First I am checking if I'm alone in this, or not. Apparently not. Then I
> > am getting my arguments in order and good shape -- this e-mail is part
> > of just that. Finally, I use any means at my disposal to contact
> > about it, get their comment and send it all out as widely as
> > possible.
> > 
> > You are welcome to join me.
> I won't join you, because I don't see how that will result in a better
> world by any metric I care about, for two reasons: I don't think that
> repudiating a passing mention of google glass in a comic strip
> will do much social good, and I don't think you'd be successful in
> getting them to do so.

Fair enough.

> > Oh really? What if there is a small text somewhere in the TOS saying
> > "Google reserves the right to upload images, videos and other media
> > created with Google Glass at their discretion to their services solely
> > for advertising purposes"? Is that blatant? Is that a lie?
> It is blatant; if it exists the EFF would blog about it. And I think
> that most of the people I know who think I'm crazy for using GNU/Linux
> would be disturbed by it, so I don't think they'd do that.

And yet Instagram and Facebook TOS do not make many people that disturbed. 
Also, not sure you're aware of the fact that for a long time any e-mail sent 
or received via a Google/GMail account was considered "publication":  |

And still there was no outrage.

My point is: had such a clause exist, many people would feel fine with it. 
Just look at Siri.

> > > The Glass hardware has already been rooted, however -- what happens
> > > when you have Replicant on Glass, or CM on Glass?
> > 
> > I have less problems with that. This does not lead to such centralisation
> > of information.
> Then it seems your task is relatively clear:
>       * Find out if Glass uploads all media to Google
>               * If it doesn't, we're done!

...for the time being. Nothing stops Google from changing that at their own 
discretion. The only way to be "done" for any sensible amount of time is to 
decentralise on as many levels as possible.

>       * Find out if Glass has an optional feature which uploads media to
>         Google
>               * If it does, find out if deactivating that feature
>                 actually stops it from uploading media to Google

Indeed. And if Google can enable it remotely.

>       * Find out if Google has the capacity to cause Glass devices to
>         upload media to Google.
>               * (This is probably the case, since they can push
>                 arbitrary code to Android phones already.)
>               * If so, find out how to remove this ability.


Also, one more crucial thing: find out if Google Glass has any external  
indication (i.e. red "REC" LED) of whether or not it is recording at any given 

> Until those questions are factually, empirically answered, any further
> debate is a waste of time.

I wouldn't say it is a complete waste of time. I believe many important 
arguments were voiced in this thread, from all sides taking part.

Michał "rysiek" Woźniak

Fundacja Wolnego i Otwartego Oprogramowania

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