#1 By: Cory Doctorow, September 18th, 2013 22:39
#2 By: Miramon, September 18th, 2013 22:50
I'm going to go with "dumb" on this one.
#3 By: James Kilpatrick, September 18th, 2013 22:54
I kinda doubt the NSA, (or anyone else) cares what words get added to website names on your own computer.
#4 By: Nadreck of Palain 7, September 18th, 2013 23:24
A very old idea. As far back as the 80s the GNU version of the EMACS editor had a command built-in to put an appendix full of anarcho-verbiage at the end of whatever you were editing. This was done in fear of the NSA "line-eaters" which were assumed, correctly as we now know, to be monitoring everything.
See also The Prisoner episode Hammer Unto Anvil for people doing this in a Total Surveillance Society. There they were called Jammers.
#5 By: Ross Munro, September 18th, 2013 23:37
Why dumb? It's the kind of easy civil disobedience that should be happening. It's a measure of how much the "system" has got us scared that, a) it's taken this long for something like this to appear and, b) that we even pause to discuss whether it's safe to do it. I'm of that generation that marched over Viet Nam and racism and the environment and, and, and... Now everyone is scared to add keywords in their browser? Really?
#6 By: TheMetalPedant, September 18th, 2013 23:45
I'm kind of surprised it didn't happen sooner, too. Wouldn't it be excellent if every e-mail we sent had a signature filled with "bombing," "fertilizer," "jihad," and other such keywords? It's not going to happen with business communications, obviously, but even personal e-mail ought to be enough to choke any simple-minded word-flagging program.
#7 By: Phasma Felis, September 18th, 2013 23:51
It's not that we don't think it's safe, it's that we don't think it'll do anything. Modern commercial spam filters have gotten very, very good at distinguishing between legit communication and spam trying very hard to look like legit communication. There's no reason to assume that that the NSA's filters aren't at least as good.
With spam filters spammers can at least evaluate what gets through and what doesn't and refine their technique based on that. We have no idea what the NSA's algorithms look like. Since people have been putting NSA-bait in their email sigs and homepage small print for decades, there's every reason to assume that the NSA is quite capable of filtering those out, and we can't begin to guess what tricks will sneak around their filters.
#8 By: sqlrob, September 18th, 2013 23:56
On your computer? It ends up going in the clear over the network to the destination host and ending up in their logs.
#9 By: Inquiry, September 19th, 2013 01:10
At some point I had a firefox add-on that would randomly grab text from the front page of settable websites (nytimes/fox/etc) ... and then it would google/yahoo/bing/whatever that text as a way of popping the google filter bubble.
I seem to have lost that add-on, though.
#10 By: Preston, September 19th, 2013 01:51
My hovercraft is full of eels.
#11 By: rocketpj, September 19th, 2013 01:52
Yeah, speaking as a non-American with ZERO rights in the USA, the last thing I am going to do is red flag myself for when I take my family to the reunion in Hawaii this November.
I rarely travel to the US, but this is a family trip. I don't trust your border guards, your law enforcement lunacies, and I really don't trust my own government to do anything but toady if I were snatched up on trumped up charges. (They would have to be trumped up as I have no ill intentions towards anyone).
That said, I'm sure this discussion has already triggered at least a couple of actual NSA eyeballs reading it. Sigh. Democracy was such a neat idea.
#12 By: Victorhazzard, September 19th, 2013 02:13
everyone besides me should do this. i've seen my file and it's pretty big. still waiting for a post about greece!
#13 By: Victorhazzard, September 19th, 2013 02:16
apt-get install anarchism
#14 By: MythicalMe, September 19th, 2013 02:31
Dumb. The NSA doesn't need keywords. They have a lot of computing power and storage capabilities. A few random keywords will be analyzed in picoseconds. It won't even be noise.
#15 By: Ross Munro, September 19th, 2013 03:05
So, all the "dumb" voters seem to be arguing that it won't do any good anyway. So, what's stopping you? You can't be offending anyone if it does no harm. It only takes a second to install. And what it does do is say to the NSA, your actions are unacceptable in a democracy.
#16 By: Immutable Michael, September 19th, 2013 03:35
taps side of nose knowingly...
#17 By: L Obrien, September 19th, 2013 03:39
@Nadreck....Du musst Amboss oder Hammer sein... Not quite a good analogy. .While Jeff Lyon may feel like a real #6, and yeah the NSA is definitely the real #2, Most of us are not living in "The Village" just yet, more like on the outskirts of The Village (no big bubble to swallow us up just yet) I will always be a #6 but, until I actually wind up (hopefully never) on an inescapable island I'm gonna go about my business in a stealth manner.
#18 By: L Obrien, September 19th, 2013 03:47
BTW... I must say I like Jeff's Idea (or should I say Idealism) ..."You must be Anvil or Hammer and never worry about being taken for mad, live your dream"...http://lukevs.wordpress.com/2009/08/15/du-musst-amboss-oder-hammer-sein/
#19 By: Alessandro Magni, September 19th, 2013 04:25
it is TrackMeNot http://cs.nyu.edu/trackmenot/ and I have it installed since forever.
More obfuscation by noise than strictly aimed with suspicious keywords (thus overriding fears like those of rocketpj - fears that I share) and I think that obfuscation by noise is REALLY THE RIGHT IDEA.
#20 By: Daniel Friesen, September 19th, 2013 04:52
*shudder* this makes the web developer and sysadmin in me cringe.
Extra query parameters to every URL you visit? So much for browser and server side caching to keep sites running fast.
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