Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Tech News

Feds killed your internet privacy, solution could be pollution

(TECH NEWS) ISPs want to invade our privacy, so here’s a solution to sabotage their efforts.

https pollution person woman desk laptop cyber security job

ISP saga

Last month, the U.S. government sold your soul to ISPs by killing privacy rules which, if they had ever been allowed to exist, would have forced Big Brother to ask nicely before he spied on you.

bar
But the powers that be have decided that ISPs can (and definitely will) sell your browsing and app usage history to advertisers looking to spend their ad dollars smartly.

Beating big brother

If you aren’t down with the whole ‘watching your every move’ vibe, you aren’t alone. But is there really anything you can do to stem the tide of calculated advertisements headed your way, other than sacrificing your computer to a force field of ad blockers and hoping for some peace?
Maybe not, unless you’re ready to go back in time to the pre-Internet era.

But you can try to trip up those clever ISPs by screwing with your data until its basically useless to them.

No one’s going to pay the big bucks for a bunch of nonsense they can’t turn into bigger bucks.

If you can’t beat ‘em, confuse ‘em

The idea is to mask your internet usage patterns with a sea of white noise and other pollution while simultaneously thwart ISPs looking for marketable info.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

If you’re not quite code-savvy enough to DIY, there are a few scripts and browser extensions that essentially randomize your browser history, including RuinMyHistory and Noizy.

Senior Staff Technologist at Electronic Frontier Foundation Jeremy Gillula wants this pollution strategy to work, but he’s skeptical. “I’d love to be proven wrong about this,” he told Ars Technica. “I’d want to see solid research showing how well such a noise-creation system works on a large scale before I trust it.”

“In the end, it turns into a game of statistical cat-and-mouse between you and your ISP: Can they figure out how to separate the signal from the noise?” Gillula wrote to Ars.

“I think ISPs will have a lot more resources (money and smart engineers who will be paid a lot) to try to figure out how to do that—way more resources than any individual or small open source project will.”

Is totally random totally effective?

Unfortunately, even with unlimited resources, this may not be the best strategy. See, patterns tend to stand out even stronger against a random background. Harder to catch patterns may actually be easier to find if you use a ton of random cyberspace pollution to hide your internet browsing habits.

[clickToTweet tweet=”A more effective defense might be to create a ton of fake patterns, so the real pattern is obscured.” quote=”A more effective defense might be to create a ton of fake patterns, so the real pattern is obscured.”]

You might end up with some weird targeted ads, but the ISPs will be selling less useful data, and your internet usage history will be better protected.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

#ISPy

Written By

Staff Writer, Natalie Bradford earned her B.A. in English from Cornell University and spends a lot of time convincing herself not to bake MORE brownies. She enjoys cats, cocktails, and good films - preferably together. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Ghostery Chrome extension helps you go incognito online - The American Genius

  2. Pingback: The FBI is recruiting in the unlikeliest of places: Geek Squad - The American Genius

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Advertisement

KEEP READING!

Tech News

When it comes to privacy and privacy invasions, we are our own worst enemies -- so what are we supposed to do!?

Business News

(NEWS) Genomelink is presenting a dashboard product to unlock further insights using your genetic data. Sounds cool...until you think about privacy.

Tech News

(TECH NEWS) To protect children from explicit content, the most recent beta version of iOS 15 includes a feature that allows users to blur...

Tech News

(TECH NEWS) If you've ever had to share your screen, you know that sometimes, your sensitive information still slips. But this extension helps by...

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.