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Hi Greg,

Actually, I don't believe I used the word "privacy" at all.   That's certainly not what I'm discussing.

As for hackers, I'm not talking at all about data collection by government agencies.  I'm discussing automated malware scans, infections and attacks that occur in the hundreds of millions on a daily basis.  These attacks are for the purpose of, say, taking over machines for taking over other machines, for chaining those machines together into large botnets that are then rented for the purpose of streaming out spam or creating a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack or attacking remote servers that contain financial data.  

I'm also talking about malware that will search your systems and web browsers for passwords, account numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc all of which will be sold to others.  As well as stealing your contact info so that your name and someone else's address can be used to attempt to spread more malware, etc etc

Almost all these attacks end up being financially lucrative to someone.  If they're not directly making use of your data, nor selling your data to someone else, they're selling the illicit use of your machine to someone else.  There's a huge financial incentive to getting that malware on your machine, and some smart people can make a lot of money gaining access to your computer and millions of others.

Some of the malware is quite clever: for example, it'll install itself and then *remove* other malware on the system so there won't be slowdowns or system competition from other malware.  They'll upgrade antivirus so it works better… except for ignoring the malware that just did the upgrade, etc. etc.  It's kind of a game, except it comes with a big pot of money for those who play it well.

Windows XP was notoriously insecure (Windows 7 and 8 are supposed to be much better, though far from perfect).  The design of XP and its predecessors was such that internal applications weren't protected from each other or the network.  A brand new install of WinXP put on a wide open public network (such as a university or large ISP) would literally be infected by other, hacked systems, within five minutes of being connected to the network… quicker than you could download the patches for the vulnerabilities that the malware was using.

"So I should trust these corporations to protect me? If so, from what?"

From malware infestations on local computers, not from government data collection on remote servers/services and across the Internet.  That's an entirely different discussion.

And I don't exactly trust them on the malware level either… but I *know* that unpatched systems *definitely* have known vulnerabilities that malware can exploit.  I want those known vulnerabilities closed.  It's not just major corporations: Linux is free, open source, and not controlled by any corporation.  It also has close to daily updates for security vulnerabilities, including vulnerabilities within security software itself.

Arthur

On Jul 17, 2013, at 3:04 AM, Greg Schmitz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Arthur, your comments about "privacy" and "hackers" are absurd - especially considering the recent revelations about OS providers like Microsoft and Apple <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data>. So I should trust these corporations to protect me? If so, from what?
> 
> --greg schmitz
> 
> -- 
> Greg Schmitz
> Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association (AMIPA)
> Anchorage, Alaska
> greg /at/ amipa.org
> 
> The Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to media preservation and education to ensure long-term access to Alaska’s moving image heritage.