This New Tech Makes It Harder For ISPs To Spy On You

from Fast Company

With the exception–perhaps–of your therapist or significant other, no one has more power to learn your secrets than your internet service provider. An ISP can see every website that you choose to access. And with the scrapping of Obama-era privacy regulations last year, the U.S. federal government has no rules against ISPs collecting and selling your information to marketers. But new tech fixes are plugging the privacy holes that the government won’t.

The effort began in April, when Firefox browser maker Mozilla and content delivery network Cloudflare rolled out measures to block one of the easiest ways for ISPs to snoop. They started encrypting the browser’s “DNS lookup” of a website’s numerical IP address–converting Google.com to 172.217.7.196, for instance. (See our instructions for setting this up.)

Now Mozilla and Cloudflare, and possibly other tech companies like Apple, will start to close another loophole–one that reveals the identity of a multitude of smaller websites.

More here.

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17 Responses to This New Tech Makes It Harder For ISPs To Spy On You

  1. Jaden Tate October 2, 2018 at 2:16 pm #

    In This new tech makes it harder for ISPs to spy on you it speaks about the different ways that we will now be able to surf the web without seeing many things pop up as well as spy on you. I enjoy the fact that web browsers have decided to start trying to come with the technology to give their users an easier time of searching the web. Since the “government won’t” plug up the privacy holes, the web browsers took it into their own hands. Firefox was one of the first ones to come up with the technology to not allow for the pop-ups to follow you from website to website. Now Mozilla has linked up with tech companies such as Cloudflare and possibly Apple to “close another loophole- one that reveals the identity of a multitude of smaller websites.” By having a company like Apple, working on this project I feel it will speed up the process of getting this hole closed. Since Apple is very ahead of advancements of technology today, they are a terrific asset to have behind this project.
    The ESNI, encrypted server name identification, debuting as the Firefox nightly is clever because what I understood it to be is almost like a loophole for the loophole. By using the encrypted server name identification, it makes it harder for people such as “an ISP, a nosy government, or a hacker on a public Wi-Fi network” to see your information. By using these ESNI, it makes you virtually invisible to people trying to steal your information. When CEO, Matthew Prince said, “90% of the more than 10 million sites the company serves- often with 20 to 30 sites on a single address” is a crazy statistic. To be looking at one site but actually have about 20 to 30 different sites in a sense latched onto it is astonishing.
    The problem I believe that these web browsers are going to have with this add-on is that it might slow down the computers that have not updated or added on this technology. If this happens not only will it most likely force many people to add the add-on but then if the process of adding these protectors is difficult than many people will not want to do it. I am worried that if the putting this feature on my computer is going to take up to much space or if it will be complicated to work at first. If they could come up with a way to almost shut down the whole browser for an hour and do a worldwide update that would be great. Though we would be without technology for a little bit I believe people would be ok with it since when it comes back up and we go streaming the web there will be no extra stuff on the sides.

  2. Eyal Kleiman October 4, 2018 at 7:09 pm #

    This article brings up several issues which I think are relevant right now to everyones personal privacy, but is a topic many people are not talking about or even maybe aware of. When President Trump was elected, many internet privacy regulations were rolled back. What this did was make it possible for internet service providers to see every website you can access. On top of this, there are no rules against ISPs collecting and selling your information to marketers. So how does one combat this collection of data? Well, you can’t really. Unless you start downloading VPNs or use cloaking software, the only way for you to keep your data from being collected is if the websites you visit become more secure. According to the article, browsers and websites are beginning to plug the leaks that hackers and ISPs are using to collect this information. So, a common way that ISPs track your browsing is by using server name identification (SNI). Browsers and websites are finding ways now to encrypt such identification so that ISPs cannot obtain website tracking information. “The idea is to find all of these places where this type of information about where users are browsing is leaking and to shut those leaks down,” Senior director of engineering for Firefox, Selena Deckelmann says. Also, because of net neutrality protections being scrapped, websites and browsers must find preventative measures to protect against ISPs throttling access to sites or internet service. Because of the breakdown of net neutrality, ISPs will be able to charge corporations for access to priority of fast internet over smaller businesses. Mozilla and Cloudflare are working to protect individuals from this throttling. I hope to see more protection protocols implemented in the near future by more web browsers and their owning companies. Internet privacy is not what it used to be at all and our private information is being sold to the highest bidder.

  3. Michelle Vekshteyn October 5, 2018 at 9:31 am #

    I think that it is amazing that companies are trying to find loopholes around ISPs to get more privacy… since the government will not. Just like we discussed in class, there is no privacy anywhere anymore whether it be the websites someone searches or the streets someone walks. It really surprised me how we talked about London streets tracking every move of the people walking… how cute! Being born in this age of technology, I definitely am just used to things being the way they are and not thinking anything more of it. However, after all of these discussions and articles I want to take more caution to what I do and post… not that I am not already smart about it. It is just crazy that even though someone could be so careful and not post anything bad, yet ISPs will still take your information for other purposes.
    All marketers are constantly trying to buy information on peoples web history, essentially giving no one privacy as to what they can search. That is a very scary thought. Internet service providers literally know more about what goes on in your head than the closest people to you. Obviously, after net neutrality was thrown away last year, this was expected. What scares me more though is the fact that this will just keep getting worse and worse… scarier and scarier… less and less private. I absolutely hate receiving telemarketer phone calls constantly from phone numbers that I have never seen in my life, but know that my number was sold by some website that took my contact information.
    Before reading this article I never really understood what any of this meant, and while I am still a little confused with how it works I appreciate the efforts. The article states that, “They started encrypting the browser’s “DNS lookup” of a website’s numerical IP address–converting Google.com to 172.217.7.196, for instance” as a way to cope with blocking ISPs from seeing your search history. Their main goal is to shut down the leakage of browsing information. One company in particular, Cloudflare is predicted to introduce a service soon where ISPs could see traffic around Cloudflare itself but not the specific website. It is interesting to see companies trying to protect our privacy even in the smallest way.

  4. Nicholas Stefanelli October 5, 2018 at 1:42 pm #

    This new technology is amazing; finally, there are companies out there that want us to be protected while using the internet. This is something that the government has been lacking on for a long time. Can we blame them though? No, because they themselves like being able to track what we do and invade our privacy. During this past week, we had a discussion in class about exactly this. I remember one thing that stood out to me was when Professor Shannon said, “There’s a guy at snapchat with the world’s largest databank of teen nudes”. Though this comment was funny to me because I know I have never taken part in such activities, it made me wonder. What would happen if that data bank got hacked years later when we are all establishing individuals. It could potently ruin our lives, careers and social standing in society. The severity of this is not recognized because we see this happen to celebrities and what we see happen to them is they come out to make a joke about it or say that it’s disgusting that someone would do that to them. Then their lives go on with almost slight to minor repercussions. Now think if that happened to you if you were a CEO of a company. What will happen to you is this, you will be asked to step down from your position and forever be tarnished by an action you did back when you were a stupid teen.
    Now after reading the article I honestly can say that some of it makes sense to me and other parts of how it actually works does not. I understand that it prevents our data and usage of the internet from being tracked. We know that they are encrypting the browsers DNS lookup to block ISP from seeing our search history, but what is stopping them from saving it and selling it later. It is nice to see that companies have our best interest but how well do we trust them? This could just be another way for them to make more money.

  5. Jake Malek October 5, 2018 at 6:16 pm #

    While reading through this article, I was trying to apply myself to the situation and think how I was feeling while reading an online article. As I was reading through the article I was thinking about the way I was feeling someone could be looking at what I was looking at on my computer at all times. The most popular privacy problem that I see today is the people worried about their computer cameras. Big companies like Microsoft and amazon have begun selling their own computer screen covers for people worried about the government looking at them through the camera without their consent. Even though that may be the most prevalent issue seen by our society at the moment, it is worrying to see another problem which is less known by the general public. But, it is extremely nice to hear that some companies are fighting for the privacy rights of the general public even though the public may be unknowing of the security threat. As Nicholas said above in his post, some of the technical terms within the article were a little complex but overall I understood the context of the article.

    In the end of the article I appreciated to hear that large companies such as Amazon and Netflix were also getting help from companies looking to scramble their IP addresses periodically. I felt like the article was aimed at the security of the small company but was leaving the large company websites out to die. This security issue affects all the types of websites because ISP will notice ALL websites looked on by the customers. I believe it should be focused on the smaller websites first by establishing and implementing server farms but the large websites should also look into getting protected.

  6. Joseph Capouch October 5, 2018 at 7:02 pm #

    Before I even read the article, “This New Tech Makes It Harder For ISPs to Spy On You”, I was sure that it would be an important article to read. This is because of the fact that in modern times, security online, maintaining one’s privacy, and staying up to date on how to do that is extremely important. With news sources releasing stories frequently about instances of hacking into social media, unauthorized use of user data by companies, or other concerns, it is clear that there is evidence of why consumers need to be aware of these threats. I also believe that staying informed is their first defense, meaning an article like this should be of great interest to many people.
    When discussing the overall topic of online security, the author of this article, Sean Captain, did an impressive job of keeping his writing clear. This included the simple language used, as well as explanation of terms and abbreviations that can be found in his writing. I found this to be an important aspect of an article like this, because it isn’t truly helping anyone if it is written in a way that makes it difficult for an average reader to understand. Moving on to the main topic of the article, ESNI, which is the new tech mentioned in the title, I was very intrigued. First of all, its encrypting abilities seem like an excellent option to give people using browsers with ESNI peace of mind when surfing the web. I know that I personally would appreciate that extra level of security being given to my data, especially considering I spend a lot of time using the internet, and for a variety of things from school work, to entertainment, to communication with friends and family. Even though this does seem promising, this articles also raised concerns in my mind.
    With Mozilla bringing this technology forward, and applying it to their own product, this could very well increase the popularity of their browser. It is interesting to see how the article states that huge companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon have not given comments with regards to ESNI. I am a consumer of products from all three of those companies, but if I believed that Mozilla valued my security more than the others, I would with a doubt at least consider switching. Furthermore, if so many consumers would value technology like this, why wouldn’t other companies want to implement it? This question does raise the fear that they are in some way benefiting by leaving their customer’s information vulnerable, and that encrypting it would actually hurt them. While I am not aware of any proof of a possibility like this, as a consumer I do find it necessary to at least consider it, and would be very interested if something like this was discovered in the future.
    Furthermore, this technology is still limited, and is far from able to solve all of the problems dealing with data security on the internet. Even though I have been on the internet for a large part of my life, I have become increasingly concerned with issues such as this the older I get, especially because use of the internet, and reliance on technology only seems to be growing. However, the fact that companies like Mozilla and Cloudfare are clearly trying to make progress in this field is hopeful. As a person who takes this topic seriously, I know that I would be interested to see any news following what was discussed in this article, especially with respect to individual companies that I may or may not choose to do business moving forward.

  7. Petar Micevski October 5, 2018 at 7:49 pm #

    IP Addresses. It’s amazing how so many people use the Internet but don’t know that IP stands for Internet Protocol Address. Come to think of it, most people don’t care about security unless the website or application tells them to change their password or authenticate their email addresses. So how can you expect people to protect their privacy if they don’t understand how to protect it?
    Some people are so lazy sometimes that they don’t even change their default password. These are the types of people that are first to get hacked. The Internet is such a vast place, which also means that there are people with malicious purposes located on the Internet. By getting a hold of a network’s IP address, hackers are able to collect data on the users connected to that network by tracking their clicking and typing history. While the clicking and typing history isn’t a big deal when it comes to YouTube videos, it does come handy for the hacker when you’re putting in your personal information on the computer. This could be in the form of an online purchase or bill payments. What Cloudfare does is simply fog up the user on the network. What Cloudfare does is simply tell the hacker the number of users on the network, not the actual IP addresses of the users. The reason why the IP addresses show up in the first place is that when the Internet was being made, many people simply thought that they could live in harmony and follow the Internet’s protocols as a family. Well, as technology became more and more advanced, cyber-attacks became more and more effective in stopping the enemy. Personally speaking, I think that if we were to go to war anytime soon, cyber-attacks would prove to be more fatal than using materialistic weapons. That is why privacy has been such an issue. When we put too much information on the Internet, we forget that we are putting ourselves out to the world. When you put it like that, it makes me not want to post anything ever. With extra precautions and authentications such as Cloudfare, we would be able to surf the web in privacy through encryption. Sometimes, a secure server (HTTPS) is not always enough to protect confidential information for businesses. I think that we are taking correct step in helping bring awareness to the fact to how scary and unprotected the Internet really is. Without cybersecurity majors, the Internet will continue this manner unless protected by those willing to learn about the technology they so obsessively use every day. Without them, how can we expect to keep our information secret on a global platform?

  8. Amanda Nitting October 5, 2018 at 7:55 pm #

    The general public has a significant amount of reliance on technology for various reasons, among them being for access to the internet, required by place of business, and for school work. However, the internet is extremely dangerous due to the abilities hackers have and others that thoroughly understand how this type of technology operates. Furthermore, people that use technology should take a greater interest in the knowledge behind a computer or phone because it is easy to take advantage of its easy accessibility. With that being said, there are negatives and consequences to technology because everything that is done on it is recorded and can be tracked back down.
    This article heavily focuses on internet service providers (ISPs) because whether or not people are aware of this, they can and will delve into one’s activity. On top of that, “the U.S. federal government has no rules against ISPs collecting and selling your information to marketers” (Captain). From this, it there are two sides to justify as to the reasons this might be the case. First, if the government were to get involved in securing the privacy with ISP and the internet, there will be those that highly disagree with it. This could be due to the idea that the government should not have that type of authority because it leads to too much power. On the other hand, there are those that will argue that the federal government should put some type of regulation on this issue due to lack of trust of these companies. Putting differing opinions aside, as of right now, it is unregulated which is now incentivizing those such as Mozilla and Cloudflare to step in to aid in closing up the “privacy holes.”
    In addition to the technology companies previously stated, Apple might also be a possible addition to this movement. A new technology that is being enforced by some companies is called encrypted service name identification (ESNI). The purpose of ESNI is to conceal any data or information from “Anyone sitting between you and the server–be it an ISP, a nosy government, or a hacker on a public Wi-Fi network–can easily read these SNIs to track your browsing” (Captain). This new idea of ESNI seems like it could be very beneficial in protecting people’s personal privacy. We are currently living in a world where the lack of privacy is becoming if not already is a societal norm. With that being said it makes it extremely easy to forget about this right and take technology for granted without recognizing the dangers that also come along with it.
    Since the ESNI is only in beta version and Mozilla is calling it Firefox Nightly, it seems that there still needs to be corrections to it while they are still developing it. That being said, if this new technology gets up and running, it has the potential to solve some of the issues that the internet contains. Knowing that this could prohibit internet service providers from accessing information and being able to invade on people’s privacy is comforting to know. In addition, if Apple and other companies also begin to think about implementing the same thing, will cause the public to feel more secure.

  9. Robert Musantry October 5, 2018 at 8:14 pm #

    Our ISPs can easily figure out every detail of our lives, and most people have no idea. Since we all use the internet from the time we wake up in the morning until we fall asleep, our internet history can paint a pretty complete picture of who we are. Now, in a general sense, this may not be an issue. These companies provide us with access to the internet, and return see whatever we can see. That’s fine, we’re not hiding anything anyway. But what if they were not the only people who could see it? That may actually be the case, with hackers looking for anyway to get an advantage over someone. Plus, there is also the chance that the government is looking at our history, depending on who you believe. Now, all of a sudden, letting our internet footprints out into the world seems less enticing. This idea is not something I had ever considered, I will admit. Reading this article and seeing how easy it could be for me to protect myself makes it seem like an obvious move I need to make. For instance, Mozilla Firefox is establishing new features that will work to hide one’s internet tendencies from any prying eyes. It is going to just be built straight into their browser, it literally could not be any simpler than that.
    A larger point here is that as we lose our privacy, we may not even notice it. I guarantee that if you take a random group of young people, who have grown up using the internet for their entire lives, they do not know who has access to their internet history. They most likely won’t even care either, meaning companies and other organizations can easily sneak themselves further into our lives without anyone noticing. This is a slippery slope, in my opinion, and it could lead to a very dark place where everything we do is instantly logged and kept forever, and potentially used against us later on. Will we get to that point anytime soon? Most likely not, but it could occur in our lifetimes. Plus, it doesn’t even matter if we reach that point, we still as humans deserve our privacy. If we begin to lose our privacy, we begin to lose who we are and will become more like everybody else.

  10. John L. October 5, 2018 at 8:30 pm #

    It is a noble endeavor that private internet browsers are advancing their browsers to make it difficult for ISPs to track your internet activity. ISPs, or Internet Service Providers, seek every available option to make a profit. With the rise of the lucrative industry of selling your internet browsing methods to third-parties, ISPs are cashing in. Most people are in an uproar over the spying taking place from ISPs. Customers believe that just because they pay ISPs to use their services doesn’t mean the ISPs have the right to sell their private browsing history to anyone that asks. It is a complete invasion of privacy and betrayal of customer trust. As this new political administration seeks to deregulate the industry, private companies must take up the mantle to institute tools that were meant to regulate the industry in the first place.
    It is beneficial that certain Internet browsers are formatting their products to make it difficult, if not impossible for ISPs to monitor your Internet browsing. Certain companies such as Mozilla and Cloudfare are rolling out new technology known as ESNI, encrypted server name identification, to further shroud customers in privacy. Mozilla and Cloudflare will benefit themselves greatly by having more and more users flock to their services. More people wishing to find privacy and security will want to use these encrypted browsers. This has been evidenced with more and more internet users preferring to use DuckDuckGo over other search engines because of its dedication to keeping users’ searches private and not selling the information to advertisers and other third-parties. It is important for private companies such as these to continue to produce browsers and software that will protect user information.

  11. Brandon Ruiz October 5, 2018 at 8:45 pm #

    The internet can sometimes be a very scary place. There are many reasons for this, but the biggest reason is due to your privacy constantly being infringed upon without you knowing. Even as I read this article there were probably ISPS reading my SNIs. SNI stands for Server Name Identification and appears in the address you enter in to get to a certain website on the internet. It is extremely easy for ISPS to track these SNIs and to violate your privacy in this way. The crazy part of this is that this is something that’s completely legal for someone to do. They are legally able to use ISPS to track your SNIs and sell the SNIs that you visit to advertisers and companies that would then use them to specifically target you as a consumer. However, browsers like Mozilla and Firefox are making an effort to protect people and their privacy. Mozilla has developed something called encrypted SNI in order to prevent things anywhere from ISPS to hackers working on a local Wi-Fi network. Mozilla is planning on implementing this software by releasing a beta browser in order to test the new Encrypted SNI feature that they are planning to eventually implement into their Firefox browser. A major concern I have is that it is completely legal for someone to use software in order to track what websites I visit on the internet. Former president Barack Obama had put a plethora of privacy regulations on the internet, but this past year those regulations were scrapped. This means that the United States government has no laws against ISPS taking your SNI information which is unfortunate due to the things that are possible with ISPS. ISPS violate people’s privacy legally. Even though in person it is illegal to violate someone’s privacy through stalking, it is legal to stalk someone on the internet. This could set a precedent for internet laws in the future which would be very unfortunate. People need laws to regulate their privacy on the internet. It is something that is absolutely necessary. The people of the United States need to realize that and ask our government to change. Something needs to be done now, not later.

    • David S October 5, 2018 at 10:47 pm #

      With the way that ISPs (internet service providers) can track and have the knowledge of what websites people are visiting there is definitely an Internet user’s right to privacy being violated. Although the right to privacy is not explicitly stated in the US constitution it is undoubtedly a present factor in the rights listed by the Constitution. What makes people most uncomfortable about ISPs being able to identify what websites people are visiting is that they have the ability to hold onto or store other people’s information such as browsing or search history. These internet providers can also sell a person’s browsing history and there is no concrete law that says they can’t. The new technology that encrypts the DNS lookup for a web address restricts ISPs to only being able to see that traffic is being directed towards a certain website instead of listing exactly who is visiting that website. Technology like this is a step in the right direction for web users to be able to fully utilize their rights to privacy.

  12. Julia Ausborn October 5, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Since Obama’s privacy regulations came to a conclusion last year, marketers are now able to collect and use our information with almost no rules or regulations governing them. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have the power to oversee all our online interactions. Our ISP will then sell the information they collected from us. Even though there are currently no laws that can stop ISP’s from doing this, there is hope for us to contain our privacy. There is new tech coming out that will focus on fixing these privacy loopholes that are now being exploited by ISP’s.
    I understand the marketing perspective of this, however I believe this goes a step too far. The Internet provides me, along with the rest of the modern world, with almost all my information. The information I’m seeking from the Internet is done from the comfort of my own home, or the privacy of my cellphone. In other words, I am doing this in an environment where I feel safe and other people can’t readily see my every move. I don’t want people to see everything I’m shopping for or looking at. If I did, I would use one of the various social media outlets at my disposal to do so. I think it would be more appropriate for marketing agencies to get the information they need from material that has been posted on social media.
    With all that being said, I’m delighted to hear that big tech companies such as Mozilla and Cloudflare are coming up with plans on how to block ISP’s from getting our information. One way these tech giant are fighting for us is by implementing encryptions. These encryptions will manipulate the “DNS lookup” and make it harder to identify who’s who for ISP’s. Another encryption that is being developed is the encrypted server name identification. This will act almost as an alias, shielding our identity.
    While our online privacy is currently at its lowest, it’s good to see that we are being fought for. Big tech companies are honoring our loyalty to them by helping keep our privacy safe. While this is far from an ideal situation for any Internet user, it is a step back in the right direction. We need to continue to fight for our privacy, and help the companies that are standing with us.

  13. Chris Vena October 5, 2018 at 9:28 pm #

    After getting rid of many privacy rules that were in place, online security is a big issue. These new tech fixes can definitely be helpful from blocking unwanted users from knowing what someone is doing on the internet, but there is also a side of the story not discussed here. The ability to collect information from what people are doing online is also helping businesses and others advance technology. The concept of big data began with the idea that companies can capture all the data relating to their business and apply it to create more value. There is also a newer idea that this data can increase speed and efficiency. Big data allows firms to stay competitive as they can keep up with other businesses as well as predict the future. Some of the largest technological advances over the recent years have been fueled by big data. While performing business operations there is a lot of data that has always gone unnoticed. For a business to stay competitive they must analyze current and future trends, and with the evolution of strong software and big data systems, companies are now able to collect big data to do this. Although everyone needs their privacy, there is also a lot of good that can come from this.

  14. Matthew Brown October 7, 2018 at 6:34 pm #

    Privacy is a continuously divisive subject for all parties involved. ISPs spend millions lobbying the government so they can sell their users’ information. Mozilla, as opposed to other internet browsers, is focused heavily on the privacy of the user, and it is not surprising they would implement a feature like this to hide activity from the ISP. From a user perspective, this is a good upgrade as they can surf the web and make purchases without the fear that their provider will sell their information. Less tech-savvy users can safely use the internet without having to install a third party software like a VPN to protect their web activity. If additions like this become widespread across internet browsers, there will be less people whose information is sold and spread throughout the consumer market. However, from a business point of view, this security feature would potentially limit a huge revenue stream for ISPs. This means the company needs to be adaptable and have other forms of revenue if the stream from selling information dries up. Big Data, and the businesses and technology that surround it that allow companies to make decisions, is a huge market in the last few years. Companies who can compress and analyze large amounts of data and make marketing or product decisions based on that data have a competitive advantage. If an ISP was unable to attain and therefore sell that pivotal information, large corporations won’t be able to buy the information, and therefore face challenges in new product releases or marketing campaigns.

  15. Adam C. October 7, 2018 at 11:56 pm #

    With the end of Obama-era internet privacy regulations, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are now free to collect and sell personal information to marketers. Despite the government’s decision to end internet privacy regulations, new technology, spearheaded by Mozilla and Cloudflare, is being created to ensure privacy against ISPs. This is achieved through Encryption of Server Name Identification (ESNI). An alternative method is through the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). However, the use of such a privacy measure implies that the user has something to hide and could signal possible illegal activity.

    The line between privacy and security is often extremely fine. To increase or decrease the strength of one side over the other would mean to give up certain liberties. In this case of internet privacy, to decrease the strength of privacy would mean a more secure nation as the government would be able to more actively monitor the internet actions of its citizens. This information could be used to stop crimes before they even happen. However, this would drastically reduce the amount of privacy citizens have, lead to businesses selling personal information, and the possibility of 24/7 government surveillance of internet traffic. On the other hand, the existence of a completely private internet would be extremely dangerous to our society. Illicit activities could be conducted online and the government would have no power to intervene. Yet with a private internet, the citizens would have the power to as they please and view any information they want.

    While privacy is integral to the foundation of our country, so is the basis of security. To value one side so highly over the other would skew the values of country and the delicate balance between consumer rights versus government powers. While the complete removal of Obama-era privacy regulations completely skewed the scale in favor of security and government power, it is important that when internet privacy is strengthened, it does not compromise the security and welfare of our nation.

  16. Douglas Tkac October 12, 2018 at 8:40 pm #

    This article describes how to fix leaving your internet browsing completely up for grabs for the government to see and monitor, and this puts a lot of people (like me) at ease. The fact that people have seen proof of the government and other corporations see what they view for this long makes me wonder two big questions: what they’ve seen already and why people haven’t taken these precautions anyway.

    There is a lot that can be done to protect yourself from the government to spy what exactly you are looking up. The development for more secure programs of ESNI (Encrypted SNI), and using things as simple as downloading a VPN or utilizing a certain ISP should protect very well against any attempt to track your browsing information. One of the most seemingly uplifting facts about the advancement of security for browsing privacy is that a lot of companies and internet browsers are doing the beef-up of security for you, with Firefox rolling out Firefox Nightly (Firefox that has been reinforced with ESNI).

    I think this is one of the smartest things somebody can do when browsing the internet, regardless whether or not a person or an internet browser is protecting themselves. The internet can be quietly and subtly monitored whenever, wherever. The most unsettling thing is that it can really be anyone looking at your browsing history, and you like, what you shop, what you eat, and so on.

    I think Instagram should think about arming itself with some type of ESNI. After browsing the internet, I feel very unsteady when I look something up using the Safari browser on my iPhone, and 30 minutes later I see an ad for Instagram for that EXACT item I was looking for. Not only that, but Instragram also has thousands of spam accounts who try to follow users often, with a lot of people (including me) having to deny requests to follow me, or to block the spam manually and it gets very annoying. If Instagram can outfit itself with some type of ESNI, I think it would benefit the company so much and clean up it’s user databases, not to mention the improved sense of safety while looking at your timeline.

    I am glad that companies and people in general are taking action to neutralize any type of lurkers spying on our history. It is ultimately our right to view what we want to view, and as long as the material isn’t illegal, we should not have to be so paranoid all the time over simple google searches.

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