Talk:1269: Privacy Opinions

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m (Clarified that Snowden leaked issues about GCHQ as well as the NSA.)
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:Also in "strong cryptography" I would require not only algorithms to be strong but also authentication schemes. The current SSL system uses Certificate Authorities, which are broken by design, thus not "strong" in the sense I was meaning it.
 
:Also in "strong cryptography" I would require not only algorithms to be strong but also authentication schemes. The current SSL system uses Certificate Authorities, which are broken by design, thus not "strong" in the sense I was meaning it.
 
:While good companies using VPNs and encrypted hard drives is a good ideal, 90% of the companies do without them to save the money involved (performant hardware + setting up). Additionally they do not use encryption when communicating with others (e.g. their customers). Think of all the websites that cannot be accessed with HTTPS (including this one). -- [[User:Xorg|Xorg]] ([[User talk:Xorg|talk]]) 10:14, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
 
:While good companies using VPNs and encrypted hard drives is a good ideal, 90% of the companies do without them to save the money involved (performant hardware + setting up). Additionally they do not use encryption when communicating with others (e.g. their customers). Think of all the websites that cannot be accessed with HTTPS (including this one). -- [[User:Xorg|Xorg]] ([[User talk:Xorg|talk]]) 10:14, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
 +
::Strong encryption in form of VPN is available to everyone and I believe lot of companies are using it. Also HTTPS is used relatively often, although many sites lack it, only use it for most important areas or only for administration for performance reasons. Thats all. Most importantly, no way of encrypting email is simple enough to be actually used by public, and I seriously doubt that majority of instant messaging is point-to-point encrypted (I know for sure Skype chat aren't - they may be encrypted on wire but keys are available to their servers).
 +
::Note that while centralised solution of Certificate Authorities is less secure that decentralized ones, you can still get usable security in SSL ... unless you need it for HTTPS. The fact that NO HTTPS page is signed by multiple authorities is the real problem. -- [[User:Hkmaly|Hkmaly]] ([[User talk:Hkmaly|talk]]) 23:56, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
  
 
At the present moment, what exactly is incomplete in this explanation? When Dgbrt added the incomplete tag, it was because "it should be mentioned that the NSA incidents are a source for Randall's ideas here", however the very first line of the explanation reads "Randall parodies some of the reactions to Edward Snowden's revelations of widespread intrusive surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency" which pretty much covers it.  Furthermore, that line was already in place when the incomplete tag was added.  Am I missing something?  [[Special:Contributions/88.9.73.162|88.9.73.162]] 19:59, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
 
At the present moment, what exactly is incomplete in this explanation? When Dgbrt added the incomplete tag, it was because "it should be mentioned that the NSA incidents are a source for Randall's ideas here", however the very first line of the explanation reads "Randall parodies some of the reactions to Edward Snowden's revelations of widespread intrusive surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency" which pretty much covers it.  Furthermore, that line was already in place when the incomplete tag was added.  Am I missing something?  [[Special:Contributions/88.9.73.162|88.9.73.162]] 19:59, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
 
:Wait, what? That'll teach me to read the comments page rather than checking changes to the explanation. Randall's comic is about reactions to *all* internet privacy concerns. It explicitly mentions Google. Why is everybody assuming that the NSA is the only source of issues here? Sure, there have been recent revelations about the NSA. And GCHQ (indeed, by Snowden). And Google. And Facebook. And every country introducing mandatory network filters. And my employers (and anyone else's with a firewall data sniffer). And quite probably a lot more I don't know about. Can we please stop putting words in Randall's mouth and having a blinkered focus on the NSA as though it's the only source of problems when the comic itself mentions more concerns than that. I didn't think it was my place to remove the incomplete tag, but I now support the assertion that it's inaccurate, rather than incomplete. (Sorry; I was annoyed enough to register here in order to try to balance this bias! Perhaps someone with more seniority can paraphrase?) [[User:Fluppeteer|Fluppeteer]] ([[User talk:Fluppeteer|talk]]) 21:52, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
 
:Wait, what? That'll teach me to read the comments page rather than checking changes to the explanation. Randall's comic is about reactions to *all* internet privacy concerns. It explicitly mentions Google. Why is everybody assuming that the NSA is the only source of issues here? Sure, there have been recent revelations about the NSA. And GCHQ (indeed, by Snowden). And Google. And Facebook. And every country introducing mandatory network filters. And my employers (and anyone else's with a firewall data sniffer). And quite probably a lot more I don't know about. Can we please stop putting words in Randall's mouth and having a blinkered focus on the NSA as though it's the only source of problems when the comic itself mentions more concerns than that. I didn't think it was my place to remove the incomplete tag, but I now support the assertion that it's inaccurate, rather than incomplete. (Sorry; I was annoyed enough to register here in order to try to balance this bias! Perhaps someone with more seniority can paraphrase?) [[User:Fluppeteer|Fluppeteer]] ([[User talk:Fluppeteer|talk]]) 21:52, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
 +
::NSA is not only source of issues, but it's definitely the most currently debated one. Even mentioned companies are currently debated in context of their collaboration with NSA. -- [[User:Hkmaly|Hkmaly]] ([[User talk:Hkmaly|talk]]) 23:56, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Revision as of 23:56, 26 September 2013

Sometimes I think all my burritos are imaginary. Nathkingcole (talk) 11:55, 25 September 2013 (UTC)Nat.

This may be pointless, but Kudos to 63.85.81.254's edit. Saibot84 (talk) 13:13, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

This may be offensive, but Redeemer's edit was both excellent and necessary. 96.254.46.231 13:26, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't call it offensive (outside the language); it's simply opinionated. Thanks Saibot84. 63.85.81.254 13:37, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Fail on both counts, from me (for Redeemer's contribution), as neither excellent nor necessary. Only in the light of that does 63.etc's edit (who has just ninjaed me with an edit conflict... hi there!) actually make any sort of sense. But what do I know? I'm just an IP, and you can probably find that I'm not even in the US, from that...
Redeemer's meta-analysis of Randall, even if false, was still an exemplary display of critical thinking that I've found to be surprisingly lacking with XKCD fans. If Randall is anything like the person I think he is, he would appreciate such an alternative perspective. Additionally, it was an absolutely necessary defense against a straw man-like simplification of an all too legitimate concern for privacy rights. I will agree that Redeemer's edit would have been more appropriate here as a Discussion item rather than an edit to the Explanation, but this differing viewpoint should still be heard. 96.254.46.231 15:26, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Can we just have a proper explanation, instead, please? Let's say something like: there's those that overthink the situation, those that over-do it, some overestimate the problem, some overestimate other problems, some enjoy the idea too much and some just enjoy their food more. Eh? Any good for ya? I'm sure it can be tweaked, to taste. 31.109.31.130 13:41, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Done. Or at least a start. -boB (talk) 14:04, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

I have an opinion, but I'm keeping it private for now. -boB (talk) 13:24, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

One mention of the NSA, one mention of Google. I'm not sure how Randall's politics are relevant, or how he's excusing privacy concerns, and the "explanation" says a lot about the interpretation and US-centric perspective of the poster without adding to the comic. Unless it was a deliberate parody of the conspiracy panel, not appropriate, dude. (And I'm a Brit - I definitely didn't vote for any political party in the states. But hello, Echelon.) Fluppeteer (talk) 13:37, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

The comment was so off the wall I think it pretty much had to be parody, in keeping with panel 3. -boB (talk) 14:04, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

I wonder why some Americans consider that world-wide issues like on-line privacy have to be related only to U.S. politicians. 88.9.73.162 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I'm pretty sure the explanation of the Nihilist isn't right. In my opinion Randall jokes that if all of your actions are meaningless (the nihilistic way of thought) then the same applies to all your data. 188.174.192.237 14:51, 25 September 2013 (UTC) Thanks to whoever classed this place up by deleting that vitriol. 50.148.241.3 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I'm a fan, but I'm disappointed. Don't tell me I didn't "get it" though. I "got it" very well. I love XKCD very much, but not today. I would like to thank Saibot84 and 96.254.46.231 for their heartwarming support. A Reddit post about the edit can be found here: My protest against XKCD's underhanded defense of the NSA -- Yours truly, Redeemer 31.172.30.1 16:37, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm genuinely concerned about internet security issues, and I'm entirely sympathetic to your perspective, Redeemer. But, whatever Randall's background or motivation, this comic stands alone in poking fun at extreme positions on the subject. I don't believe it either trivialises the argument or makes a reasoned statement about an acceptable position - none of the panels show a "normal" perspective. Whether or not Randall intended it to be, there are many more sources of privacy concerns world-wide than the NSA, and many reasons to hold an opinion on NSA network analysis other than support for a political party (which to me rarely means support for every position that they hold). Let's stick to explaining the comic, not meta-analyzing Randall's motivations for posting it. This is not the place, no matter how your perspective may colour your interpretation of the message behind the comic. Fluppeteer (talk)
TL;DR, but the current NSA incidents are a source for Randall's ideas here. It should be mentioned. Incomplete done tag by me.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:52, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Too impatient, can't be qualified to comment. Randall mentions the NSA in one panel. The issue isn't whether the NSA is a concern, it's that the NSA is not the only source of internet privacy concerns or media scares; if not mentioning it "excuses" the NSA/current US Government, singling it out "excuses" other organizations (other governments and surveillance bodies, Google, Facebook, network operators...) - and Randall himself mentions Google. Don't assume this is just about the NSA. Even if that was Randall's inspiration, it's not the only context for the comic. There have been repeated incidents regarding GCHQ, for example.Fluppeteer (talk)
I also can claim "web scraping, network administration and security [as] my professional area of expertise" (only currently on personal time, hence this pseudo-anonymous IP, which I know wouldn't fool the NSA), but I think you just don't get it, Redeemer. Nor do some of your Reddit contributors. Not wanting to reddit (by a name I'd jump into there with, that is), I won't even attempt to disabuse you of your opinion, however. But you do not vandalise key areas of wikis with such personal venom. Bad show for doing so, and stick to your blogs. Anyway, for myself: Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2, line 358, second half. 31.109.31.130 23:07, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
"These foils have all a length"?150.135.210.50 23:22, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
"The rest is silence." according to Shakespeare-navigators.com. Much as I'd love to be educated enough to know that by heart.Fluppeteer (talk)

Is it just me, or is it actually Danish instead of Megan in the Nihilist panel? The hair looks too long to be Megan's. Sciepsilon (talk) 00:09, 26 September 2013 (UTC)


I have to disagree with "Since a large percentage of people and companies present in the internet don't have the ability or intention to do strong cryptography". Strong encryption is extremely available to 100% of people and companies. It is public and free to use. Most significant companies use VPN's and encrypted hard drives. It is just untrue to suggest that strong cryptography is not available to anyone. 184.66.160.91 06:57, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

That is the difference between availability and ability. While the necessary software is freely available, people don't understand how to use it (no ability), even don't want to learn how to use it (no intention).
Also in "strong cryptography" I would require not only algorithms to be strong but also authentication schemes. The current SSL system uses Certificate Authorities, which are broken by design, thus not "strong" in the sense I was meaning it.
While good companies using VPNs and encrypted hard drives is a good ideal, 90% of the companies do without them to save the money involved (performant hardware + setting up). Additionally they do not use encryption when communicating with others (e.g. their customers). Think of all the websites that cannot be accessed with HTTPS (including this one). -- Xorg (talk) 10:14, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Strong encryption in form of VPN is available to everyone and I believe lot of companies are using it. Also HTTPS is used relatively often, although many sites lack it, only use it for most important areas or only for administration for performance reasons. Thats all. Most importantly, no way of encrypting email is simple enough to be actually used by public, and I seriously doubt that majority of instant messaging is point-to-point encrypted (I know for sure Skype chat aren't - they may be encrypted on wire but keys are available to their servers).
Note that while centralised solution of Certificate Authorities is less secure that decentralized ones, you can still get usable security in SSL ... unless you need it for HTTPS. The fact that NO HTTPS page is signed by multiple authorities is the real problem. -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:56, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

At the present moment, what exactly is incomplete in this explanation? When Dgbrt added the incomplete tag, it was because "it should be mentioned that the NSA incidents are a source for Randall's ideas here", however the very first line of the explanation reads "Randall parodies some of the reactions to Edward Snowden's revelations of widespread intrusive surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency" which pretty much covers it. Furthermore, that line was already in place when the incomplete tag was added. Am I missing something? 88.9.73.162 19:59, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Wait, what? That'll teach me to read the comments page rather than checking changes to the explanation. Randall's comic is about reactions to *all* internet privacy concerns. It explicitly mentions Google. Why is everybody assuming that the NSA is the only source of issues here? Sure, there have been recent revelations about the NSA. And GCHQ (indeed, by Snowden). And Google. And Facebook. And every country introducing mandatory network filters. And my employers (and anyone else's with a firewall data sniffer). And quite probably a lot more I don't know about. Can we please stop putting words in Randall's mouth and having a blinkered focus on the NSA as though it's the only source of problems when the comic itself mentions more concerns than that. I didn't think it was my place to remove the incomplete tag, but I now support the assertion that it's inaccurate, rather than incomplete. (Sorry; I was annoyed enough to register here in order to try to balance this bias! Perhaps someone with more seniority can paraphrase?) Fluppeteer (talk) 21:52, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
NSA is not only source of issues, but it's definitely the most currently debated one. Even mentioned companies are currently debated in context of their collaboration with NSA. -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:56, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
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