By Helen Nissenbaum, Finn Brunton

With Obfuscation, Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum suggest to begin a revolution. they're calling us to not the barricades yet to our pcs, delivering us how you can struggle today’s pervasive electronic surveillance—the choice of our info by way of governments, enterprises, advertisers, and hackers. To the toolkit of privateness conserving suggestions and tasks, they suggest including obfuscation: the planned use of ambiguous, complicated, or deceptive details to intervene with surveillance and information assortment initiatives. Brunton and Nissenbaum supply instruments and a cause for evasion, noncompliance, refusal, even sabotage—especially for general clients, these people no longer able to choose out or exert regulate over information approximately ourselves. Obfuscation will train clients to thrust back, software program builders to maintain their person facts secure, and coverage makers to collect information with no misusing it.

Brunton and Nissenbaum current a advisor to the types and codecs that obfuscation has taken and clarify how one can craft its implementation to fit the objective and the adversary. They describe a chain of old and modern examples, together with radar chaff deployed by means of global struggle II pilots, Twitter bots that hobbled the social media technique of renowned protest routine, and software program that may camouflage users’ seek queries and stymie web advertising. They pass directly to think of obfuscation in additional common phrases, discussing why obfuscation is critical, if it is justified, the way it works, and the way it may be built-in with different privateness practices and applied sciences.

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Additional resources for Obfuscation: A User's Guide for Privacy and Protest

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42 C hapter 2 II Understanding Obfuscation 3 WHY IS OBFUSCATION NECESSARY? Where does a wise man hide a leaf? In the forest. But what does he do if there is no forest? … He grows a forest to hide it in. G. K. 1 Obfuscation in brief Privacy is a complex and even contradictory concept, a word of such broad meanings that in some cases it can become misleading, or almost meaningless. It is expressed in law and policy, in technology, philosophy, and in everyday conversation. It encompasses a space that runs from a dashboard on a website—your privacy settings, managed through drop-down menus and radio buttons—to an overarching argument about the development of human society.

The agent would play the cassette into the mouthpiece of the phone. The tones, recorded on the cassette’s other side, could be played through an acoustic modem into the computer and then decrypted. (There was also an “outgoing” answering machine. ) This was already an enormously impressive network—not least because large parts of its digital side (including a way of implementing error-handling codes to deal with the noise of playing back messages over international phone lines from noisy booths) had to be invented from scratch.

23 For example, because of how the programming language C interprets names of variables, a programmer can muddle human analysis but not machine execution by writing code that includes the letters o and O in contexts that trick the eye by resembling zeroes. Some of these forms of obfuscation lie a little outside our working definition of “obfuscation,” but they are useful for illustrating an approach to the fundamental problem of obfuscation: how to transform something that is open to scrutiny into something ambiguous, full of false leads, mistaken identities, and unmet expectations.

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