Headline, January 04 2022/ OPINION : ''' '' SIGNAL PRIVACY SIGHTS '' '''



'' SIGNAL - AND THE DANGER OF PRIVACY AT ALL COSTS '' : ON THE WORLD STUDENTS SOCIETY - The Global Founder Framers always worry when a person or an organization places one value above all.

The moral fabric of our world is complex. It's nuanced. Sensitivity to moral nuance is difficult, but unwavering support of one principle to rule them all is morally dangerous.

The way Signal wields the word ''surveillance'' reflects its coarsegrained understanding of morality.

To the company, surveillance covers everything from a server holding encrypted data that no one looks at to a law enforcement agent reading data after obtaining a warrant to Eastern Germany randomly tapping citizens' phones.

One cannot think carefully about the value of privacy - including its relative importance to other values in particular contents - with such a broad brush.

SIGNAL - AND THE DANGER OF PRIVACY AT ALL COSTS : Two weeks ago, the Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey passionately advocated in a blog post the view that neither Twitter nor the government nor any other company should exert control over what participants post.

''It's critical,'' he said, ''that the people to have the tools to resist this, and that those tools are ultimately owned by the people.''

Mr. Dorsey is promoting one of the most potent and fashionable notions in Silicon Valley : that a technology free of corporate and government controls is in the best interest of society. To that end, he announced he would give $1 million a year to Signal, a text messaging app.

Like Messages on your iPhone, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, Signal uses end-to-end encryption, making it impossible for the company to read the contents of user messages. But unlike those other companies, Signal also refrains from collecting metadata about its users. 

The company doesn't know the identity of users, which users are talking to each other or who is in a group message. It also allows users to set timers that automatically delete messages from the sender's and receiver's respective accounts.

The company - an L.L.C. that is governed by a nonprofit - is founded on the belief that it needs to combat what it calls ''state corporate surveillance'' of our online activities in defense of an uncompromisable value : individual privacy.

Distrustful of government and large corporations and apparently persuaded that they are irredeemable, technologists look for workarounds.

The level of privacy can be beneficial on a number of fronts. For instance, Signal is used by journalists to communicate with confidential sources. But it is no coincidence that criminals have also used this government-evading technology.

When the F.B.I. arrested several Oath Keepers for rioting at the Capital on Jan 6, 2021, one of its primary pieces of evidence was messages on Signal. [It's unclear how the F.B.I. got access to the messages in this instance; there is a longstanding cat and mouse game between lawmakers and technology.]

The ethical universe according to Signal, is simple : The privacy of individuals must be respected above all else, come what may.

If terrorists or child abusers or other criminals use the app, or one like it, to coordinate activities or share child sexual abuse imagery behind impenetrable closed doors, that's a shame - but privacy is all that matters.

What's more, the company's proposition that if anyone has access to data, then many unauthorized people probably will have access to that data is false.

This response reflects a lack of faith in good governance, which is essential to any well-functioning organization or community seeking to keep its members and society at large safe and from bad actors.

There are some people who have access to the nuclear launch codes, but ''Mission Impossible'' movies aside, we're not particularly worried about a slippery slope leading to lots of unauthorized people having access to these codes.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Privacy, Dangers and the Future, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Reid Blackman.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Law Enforcement Agencies, Security Agencies and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the World.

See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - the exclusive voice and ownership of every student in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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