Facebook CSO Alex Stamos is a human warrant-canary for the Trump era

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/23/facebook-cso-alex-stamos-is-a.html


Government taps in Facebook? You’re dreaming.


get our data as far away from Mark Zuckerberg’s servers as possible.

Way, WAY ahead of you on that one.


asdfghjkl " suspected of a crime " had they not complied in the first place this wouldn’t be a problem, unless they got sued and lost :unamused:

If you’re waiting for Stamos to tell you to move your data away from Facebook, you haven’t been paying attention.


Should Stamos suddenly get “poached” by another company or decide to leave Facebook for some other unspecified reason, the rest of us should probably take that as a cue to get our data as far away from Mark Zuckerberg’s servers as possible.

Hmm. It’s already a very good time to get one’s data away from zuck, and in fact has been for many years. Anyone who continues to use facebook and rationalizes it by saying “well, Stamos hasn’t resigned yet” is really not concerned about privacy, and frankly, won’t be when Stamos resigns.

Same can be said by degrees for any of the boastful medias, but facebook is the worst.


Unfortunately, while I wholeheartedly endorse kicking Facebook to the curb, they still aggregate and analyze your data. Facebook accounts created by people and orgs that have a connection to you, however tangential, add up to a you-shaped hole in enough dimensions to make David Hilbert’s head spin, creating a shadow more detailed than you thought a shadow could be. And that’s before we talk about giant companies you’ve never heard of such as infoGROUP (formerly infoUSA, which early on, and probably still, hired former members of the US intelligence community), that have been vacuuming up your online presence and other private information for resale since at least the Clinton administration. I’m afraid that they are WAY ahead of you (and me).


SO: don’t use facebook sign-in anywhere, AND use Privacy Badger and other related tools to prevent the ability of facebook (and advertisers in general) to track you. Use noScript whenever possible. And if you wanna get funkier, proxy through other boxes, and/or hop onto Tor. Facebook et al’s greatest asset here is collective ignorance, and to the extent that any individual cares, that individual can indeed change the game dramatically.

And ps, don’t even use facebook at all, ever. If you can’t take that first step, the rest is probably crap.


I block Facebook at the router to prevent all those tracking icons from phoning home. No doubt they have some alternate domains that I don’t block yet.

unless Stamos has been replaced by a clone, in which case all bets are off.

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This is true, and you should take every precaution you’re willing to. The remaining problem is that you leak information through other people over whose own security you exercise little to no control. There’s a tendency for the security conscious to become overconfident in those tools, which while useful and necessary, are not by themselves enough to win the war.


It’s true that not using Facebook (which I, partly against better judgement, still do) is not enough.

You may have friends on Facebook, maybe a spouse that’s listed as “married”, maybe sometimes you appear in a picture - and as @GulliverFoyle said, there’s a you-shaped hole which actually adds up to a nice shadow profile.


I’m conscious that, while I will sometimes tinker with various measures more or less for fun, my security bathtub is by no means completely watertight, so my day-to-day online presence really has no more guarantees than the typical Facebook user’s. I think a more useful strategy would be to just have the insecure presence, but think about how / whether you could also run a Snowden-type presence when you’re really thinking about it.

That said, being tracked in a thousand databases is better than being tracked in two thousand, so by all means do the obvious stuff like blocking (some) trackers and avoiding (actually logging into) Facebook.


There’s also this:

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OTOH, we know that most people aren’t paying attention to this sort of thing, and will continue to not pay attention to it.

Regardless of whether or not you personally use FB, most of America does. And Trumpy is going to make use of that.

Get your own shit away from FB, sure; you shoulda done that ages ago. But keep watching; when Stamos goes, it’s a flag that things are about to get worse.

There is more to fascist-resistance than just self defence.

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