Wednesday, January 04, 2012

"Freedom in The Cloud"

[Update] Audio-only files now available for download, if you prefer. See this post.


Sorry to have back to back posts featuring videos that are probably longer than you care to sit still for, but there it is. I guess yesterday was a big teevee day for me.

At any rate, here is something else, a talk given by Eben Moglen, that I wish I could get everyone to watch. I'll say right up front that I don't agree with everything he says, and we can talk about that in the Comments if you'd like, but I think he raises a valuable set of points that everyone who cares about privacy ought to be thinking hard about. You don't need to be a software developer, even though that's who's in the room where the talk was recorded. You only need to care about the long-term consequences of ever more efficient gathering of bits of personal information, be it by government or private industry. And remember, we're not just talking computers here. These concerns apply just as much if you use a phone, a credit, debit, or club card, an E-ZPass, the list goes on and on, and will only get longer. We like our conveniences. And we shouldn't have to suffer for that.

Sometimes I think the door has slammed shut on our ability to do anything about controlling access to our thoughts, tastes, and social connections, but Eben Moglen convinces me that the fight is not yet lost, and that all of us can still be part of that effort.

Following are two videos. The first is the talk itself, the second is the Q&A. For some quick background, you might want to glance first at Moglen's Wikipedia page. Short version: he's a guru and we're lucky to have him on our side.

Also, he is a hugely entertaining speaker. Trust me, after the first couple of minutes of technical glitches at the start of the first video, you're in for a great hour or two.

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Want more? Visit Moglen's personal site and the FreedomBox Foundation.

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