nav search
Data Center Software Security Transformation DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes BOFH

back to article
Internet users don't understand security or privacy, says survey

Survey version 2

I wonder what the results would have been if the questions were like "do you think people should have a right to privacy on the internet?" instead of (I imagine) "do you think Paedophiles are bad and should be stopped?"

Won't somebody think of the children?

23
1
Silver badge

Re: Survey version 2

Indeed. When the subject matter is not understood, then a survey makes little sense.

In an international survey (24,000 respondents in 24 countries), the group claims more than 70 per cent want the “dark net” shut down (which rests on the assumption that 70 per cent of people actually know what the “dark net” is).

Most of the darknet isn't actually dark and is available on clearnet by appending .nu or .link to the onion address. I run "dark net" sites for a number of reasons - just like other folk do. One is an art project available as an onion site, though also available on clearnet like this. Seriously, if people surveyed have no experience with the topic, what do their answers really mean?

15
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Survey version 2

Probably that people are too stupid to use the Internet, too proud to acknowledge it, and too stubborn to learn better. IOW, the Internet is rapidly descending into pariah status.

7
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Survey version 2 @Ole

> One is an art project

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean?

6
1

Re: Survey version 2

"The opinion of 10,000 men is of no value, if none of them know anything about the subject."

~ Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emperor, 161-180 CE)

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Who would support darknets?

1) Darknets are used by dissidents opposed to their government, (a crime in their country)

2) By people trying to get around censor-walls like the great wall of China (a crime in China)

3) By people afraid of surveillance (a real danger in the UK)

4) By criminals

So, a random man rings you up and asks you if you support darknets.

Which of those 4 groups would answer "yes" to that? Nobody would answer yes to that! Are you shitting me?? It would flag you for surveillance, for arrest...

Silk road was a canary, a dead one. First thing a dissident would do is check the canaries to see how healthy they are, and they're dead, not pining for fjords, dead. Hence no viable darknets and no way to protect free speech.

Apple are right to protect their users free speech, because asking people if they support government snooping on the internet, is not asking them if they support government snooping on THEM. The question is chosen to drive an agenda not target the main issue.

21
0
Devil

If I were to ask

Do you favor internet secrecy for pedophiles, terrorists, assassins, and drug smugglers?

Do you favor password encryption on mobile devices that protects child porn, terrorist attack plots, assassination schemes, and drug smuggling transactions?

It's brain-dead simple what the answers will be.

Ms. Jenkins: Regarding the account number and password to your bank account... would you be surprised to learn that I already have it? It was protected by encryption, but you voted to allow us to break the encryption that protects it. Thank you. Now, regarding that unexplained deposit your husband made on October 23 of ...

16
1
Silver badge

Classic Govenrmental Survey

Here is a classic example about Surveys.

Yes Prime Minister survey

You always have to ask yourself "What is the agenda of the organisation conducting the survey?"

22
0
Silver badge
Thumb Down

I was about to post that. Though with the added caveat that this survey doesn't have to have been half so devious as Sir Humphrey to get the answers it wants.

The Reg should be ashamed of publishing vague articles like this. It's simply meaningless without telling us the actual questions asked.

4
1
Anonymous Coward

Humans love secrecy

It will always feature in life (hopefully).

Your Government has no business in knowing your secrets, good or bad.

There are plenty of other ways (albeit more expensive) to detect the bad-uns.

3
0
Silver badge

When your secrets are bad, if they are a threat to other people's lives or livelihood then the Government damn well has the right to make it its business.

But only if it harms others. If you harm yourself, well I guess that's your business.

0
3
Silver badge

But if people are dependent upon you, then harming yourself has a knock-on effect, harming them, too. No one I know lives in complete isolation.

1
2
Anonymous Coward

re: "No one I know lives in complete isolation." CoTW :)

well, obviously ... no-one knows any of the people who live in complete isolation ... because they live in complete isolation ..

if you knew them, they wouldn't be living in isolation <-> if they live in complete isolation, you can't know them ...

1
0

@Pascal

"When your secrets are bad, if they are a threat to other people's lives or livelihood then the Government damn well has the right to make it its business."

On the bare fact of what you have written, you are wrong, Pascal. Maybe you meant something slightly different than you wrote, but even secrets that threaten others may not be any business of the State, or anyone else. Many secrets are just about opinions and thoughts. In fact, it is often the revelation of these secrets that causes the harm - e.g. a married bloke fancies a colleague but does nothing about it, his friend knows about it and lets the wife know, resulting in harm. Indeed, many affairs would cause no harm if the other partner knew nothing about it. Stepping up the scale, a person might fill in the lonely hours of the night by plotting murder and mayhem. As long as that remains a secret, there should be nothing the State can involve itself in.

1
0

@ Charles 9

Whilst it may be selfish to harm yourself because of the effect it might have on others, I think the right of self-determination trumps the interest of others not to be harmed.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: @ Charles 9

No, because THEY have the right of self-determination, too, and if your actions impede with their self-determination, then that's a matter of one right interfering with another right. And they outnumber you.

0
0

Survey on surveys

Take a survey of 24000 people and ask them whether they respond to surveys and 74% will say no.

7
0
Silver badge

72% of Internet comments are wrong

52% of those written are badly.

And, 115% of online stats are made up 82% of the time.

4
0
Silver badge
Happy

And 80% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Really!

0
0
Silver badge

Government mistrust in Germany and Korea

The government mistrust in Germany and Korea is not so surprising. Germany still remembers the role of government data collection back in the days when computing devices from Hollerith (also known as IBM Germany) allowed to sort and kill some 6 million Jews and commit a good number of other atrocities. The survivors' tales nicely highlight that secrecy / privacy has its values.

In Korea, you find a very high awareness of technological issues and a nice string of political scandals to illustrate government misuse of data (typically to smear the opposition).

Also, neither country has yet seen a major terrorism attack that could be exploited to instill fear of the 'darknet' (whatever that is). Let's hope it stays that way.

8
1
Silver badge

Re: Government mistrust in Germany and Korea

Germany has seen terrorist attacks*, it's just that thankfully it's been a while since a large successful one.

*amongst others:

- mid 1960ies to mid 1980ies the Baader-Meinhof group and three generations of 'Rote Armee Fraktion', including the hijacking of LH181

- Olympic Games Munich 1972

- Oktoberfest Munich 1980

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Government mistrust in Germany and Korea

I think the mistrust in Germany is more a statement of freedom NOW and more recent history than something from the long past.

German courts have overturned the EU data Retention directive as illegal, and gone after the German Spy Agency for assisting the NSA surveillance of Germany, and of course Merkel was spied on. So they are freer to speak. A lot of the freedom campaigners live in Berlin. You certainly wouldn't live in the UK and speak out like that, that would be nuts with the surveillance you'd be under. I doubt any UK politician would dare express strong pro-privacy views in the current oppressive climate.

The second thing is, half of Germany is former East German, and they had the STASI watching their views for signs of dissent up until the early 90s. That's well within the memory of many people in Germany. When you think about it, there's no real difference between STASI then and GCHQ/Police Forward Intelligence unit, now.

3
0

Re: Government mistrust in Germany and Korea

Also, the German population seems to realise that "for valid national security reasons" tends to mean "for valid national security and business interests of the United States of America and its corporations"

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Mexico ... above 80 per cent saying it should be eliminated

No suprise there, they want to sell their drugs on the street and control the prices.

2
0
Silver badge

Basically a "no shitte Sherlock" survey.

We know most don't have clue about security, privacy, or Tor. How many times have we heard that someone calls up from "Microsoft" and promptly trashes the computer and charges their credit card? Or they open a doc such as "great new.doc.exe"? Or will give their password for a piece of chocolate? Ad infinitum ad nauseam.

They want the bad guys caught and put away and any means of doing that is fine... until someone looks at their data and then their offended.

As for these types of surveys... pure politics and playing into some politician's desire for more control, surveillance, power.

2
0
Silver badge

Statistics

cherry picked.

Thats all.

1
0
Silver badge

Is this some kind of effing satire?

The citizens that most trust their governments were in Tunisia, at 27 per cent, and Pakistan, at 21 per cent

Must have asked only in posh areas, then.

4
0
Bronze badge

Re: Is this some kind of effing satire?

-- Must have asked only in posh areas, then. --

Maybe, or maybe if you were living in Pakistan and some stranger walked up to you with a clipboard, (maybe took your name and address) and asked if you trusted your government, and you did not have a death wish, you would reply in the affirmative.

4
0

This post has been deleted by its author

"The question is chosen to drive an agenda not target the main issue."

That.

2
0
Silver badge

Always worth checking: who paid for the survey/study?

He who pays the band gets to pick which tunes it will play.

2
0

Surveys

If you ask the correct questions, a survey can be made to produce whatever result you desire.

This is especially true when you ask people who don't have a clue about what you're asking them.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Surveys R Us

1: When did you stop beating your wife?

2: By how much did you cheat on your tax last year?

3: When was the last time you stole something?

4: Did you enjoy your time in the Hitler youth?

2
0
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Surveys R Us

But those are really easy to answer!

1: When did you stop beating your wife?

-I have never stopped beating my wife.

2: By how much did you cheat on your tax last year?

-Only half as much as the year before.

3: When was the last time you stole something?

-Is that the time? Must be off.

4: Did you enjoy your time in the Hitler youth?

-Didn't you?

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Surveys R Us

Actually, for some there are even easier answers:

"When did you stop beating your wife?"

What wife? I'm a bachelor.

"By how much did you cheat on your tax last year?"

I didn't have a job then, so I didn't earn enough to owe income taxes.

"When was the last time you stole something?"

Several years ago, when I stole the show at a rock concert.

"Did you enjoy your time in the Hitler youth?"

What's what? And who's this Hitler you speak of?

0
0

Re: Surveys R Us

mu ;-)

0
0

dihydrogen monoxide

They should be asked at the same time whether the killer substance dihydrogen monoxide should be banned

4
0
Silver badge

It might be fun ...

To ask Germans if they trust the government of South Korea, and ask people in Turkey if they trust the government of Hong Kong etc. (to name the 4 most "trustworthy" governments from the survey result). You might then ask how likely it is that your government may one day decide to share the secrets they trusted it to have with the governments of other countries.

2
0

i finally paid for the highest rated internet security program and i couldn't be happier. i'd mention the company but i'm not working for them or anyone else. just use google for best internet security or best antivirus.

0
0
Silver badge

It's hardly surprising that citizens of Turkey (45 per cent disagree with government access)

That number may be a tad bigger today, what with the whole country being pwned via

government database:

Also, we're even seeing a FUD knee-jerk response in El Reg comments; which is disappointing. I use Tor for a bunch of legit reasons (web diagnostics; not getting clipped for airline tickets because of my postcode; just on general principles to make gov snoops earn their fucking money; visiting a destination that may be risky in the 'possibly loaded with malware" sense (Tor doesn't run javascript out of the box so you're a little safer) and so on). That's technically dark web and I can't remember that last time I used it for anything approaching naughtiness.

1
0

That is quite some arrogance

A survey of users disagreed with me so they must be uninformed because there is only one correct opinion, mine. Everyone who understands has the same one as me.

This isn't really a highly technical question, it's about the trade off between privacy and security. It's legitimate to have a differing opinions on that.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: That is quite some arrogance

Not really; the survey users are uninformed because they're wrong. The "dark net" is defined as anything that can't be accessed by the government at whim and anyone opining that the dark net should be shut down 1) Is casting a vote for the government to have access to *everything* and 2) Clearly doesn't know what they're talking about.

Even if you trust your current government; who's to say the next lot will hold the same high...cough...ethical standards as your current crew?

A government is a collection of people. Abuses of trust can, do, and -in time- will happen.

Governments have repeatedly demonstrated their lack of competence to secure data. It's Turkey today.

You may not necessarily be encrypting against the government; but against all the other buggers out there.

Good encryption can insure that people have to come after you with a warrant; thus forcing them to obey their own fucking laws and due process for a change.

There are many valid, legal and ethical reasons why you would not want your whole life to be world-readable.

0
0
Silver badge

Oi! El Reg!

1) It's 'ensure', not 'insure'

2) Where's the edit button gone?

0
0

Re: That is quite some arrogance

"The "dark net" is defined as anything that can't be accessed by the government at whim"

Really? That's a new definition for me. So you would include https://www.admin.ch for example as part of the "dark net" on the basis that our government can't access everything within it?

"1) Is casting a vote for the government to have access to *everything* and 2) Clearly doesn't know what they're talking about."

1) In the physical realm the government has access to everything, the police can (with a warrant) go anywhere and search anything, there are some other official bodies like Customs and Excise who have even more powers. If we're happy that the legal system, acting through authorised police officers, is able to come to my house, break open my filing cabinet and read my diary, why aren't we happy for them to read my Whatsapp messages under similar circumstances?

2) Now you (or indeed I) might not agree with the argument I've just written above but I don't accept that only someone who doesn't know what they are talking about would make it.

"Even if you trust your current government; who's to say the next lot will hold the same high...cough...ethical standards as your current crew?"

The government has tanks. If you're concerned that the goverment are out to get you, you're pretty fucked. The way to fix that is by being democratically involved and holding the government to account and by ensuring that the government's ability to snoop is transparent and accountable. Giving digital communications a privileged status on a par with medical records or lawyer client confidentiality does not seem like the right way to do it.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: That is quite some arrogance

1) In the physical realm the government has access to everything, the police can (with a warrant) go anywhere and search anything, there are some other official bodies like Customs and Excise who have even more powers. If we're happy that the legal system, acting through authorised police officers, is able to come to my house, break open my filing cabinet and read my diary, why aren't we happy for them to read my Whatsapp messages under similar circumstances?

It's the with a warrant bit that's relevant here. If the police were to break into your house and read your diary, you'd know about it. And if you had stuff in your diary that you felt it was important to keep secret, you'd take measures (like cyphering) or not writing it at all. Same with electronic communications. More to the point this makes it easier for a range of people to intrude on your private (or at least personal) business at minimal cost; with bugger-all oversight and ditto accountability.

Let's face it shutting down the dark web isn't going to happen...it's impossible. And calling it the dark web is just propaganda.

The government has tanks. If you're concerned that the goverment are out to get you, you're pretty fucked. The way to fix that is by being democratically involved and holding the government to account and by ensuring that the government's ability to snoop is transparent and accountable.

I don't think the government are out to get me, in particular. Your 'being democratically involved' plan is -in its way- as unrealistic as the government's hopes of being able to view everything that's happening on the net. The government's ability to snoop has never been transparent and accountable and never will be...the world just does not work that way. I don't have serious beef with a government...if I did, I wouldn't be having it on the internet; that's for sure. However, I do dispute the cheeky cunts thinking they can legislate themselves the right to hoover up everybody's private/personal biz. It's fuck all to do with catching terrorists and all about power. Worse; there will be scope creep; the powers will expand; the number of departments on the reading list will expand; and inevitably the records will be hacked; at which point your biz will become truly world-readable.

Giving digital communications a privileged status on a par with medical records or lawyer client confidentiality does not seem like the right way to do it.

You're straw-manning me a bit there. And medical records and lawyer-client communications are part of what the government wishes to monitor (and has already been caught doing, in the case of lawyer-client comms).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: That is quite some arrogance

"The government has tanks."

And I know the terrain and know how to make powerful Semtex-class explosives out of oil drums. I may even be able to design them to be switch-hitting: concussive OR penetrating. Or maybe a simple thermite grenade snuck down the barrel.

Why do you think Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were such slogs? Home field advantage counts for a lot. Your next move?

0
0

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing