It's going to be interesting to watch presidential elections in around 2040, when voters can dig up candidates' teenage angst pics and posts from old social media and discussion forum archives.
It's not publicly known, but antivirus companies co-operate all the time. On the surface, antivirus vendors are direct competitors. And in fact, the competition is fierce on the sales and marketing side. But on the technical side, we're actually very friendly to each other. It seems that everyone knows everyone else.
Governmental surveillance is not about the government collecting the information you're sharing publicly and willingly; it's about collecting the information you don't think you're sharing at all, such as the online searches you do on search engines... or private emails or text messages... or the location of your mobile phone at any time.
It's high time for a fresh European alternative to enter the market, taking the existing Internet behemoths head on. What the world needs now is a cloud storage service that is not subject to uncontrolled access by intelligence agencies.
Today, in 2011, if you go and buy a color laser printer from any major laser printer manufacturer and print a page, that page will end up having slight yellow dots printed on every single page in a pattern which makes the page unique to you and to your printer. This is happening to us today. And nobody seems to be making a fuss about it.
Everything is being run by computers. Everything is reliant on these computers working. We have become very reliant on Internet, on basic things like electricity, obviously, on computers working. And this really is something which creates completely new problems for us. We must have some way of continuing to work even if computers fail.
Stuxnet, Duqu and Flame are not normal, everyday malware, of course. All three of them were most likely developed by a Western intelligence agency as part of covert operations that weren't meant to be discovered. The fact that the malware evaded detection proves how well the attackers did their job.
The truth is, consumer-grade antivirus products can't protect against targeted malware created by well-resourced nation-states with bulging budgets. They can protect you against run-of-the-mill malware: banking trojans, keystroke loggers and e-mail worms. But targeted attacks like these go to great lengths to avoid antivirus products on purpose.
It's so cheap to store all data. It's cheaper to keep it than to delete it. And that means people will change their behavior because they know anything they say online can be used against them in the future.
The United States has an unfair advantage, as most of the popular cloud services, search engines, computer and mobile operating systems or web browsers are made by U.S. companies. When the rest of the world uses the net, they are effectively using U.S.-based services, making them a legal target for U.S. intelligence.
In the 1980s, in the communist Eastern Germany, if you owned a typewriter, you had to register it with the government. You had to register a sample sheet of text out of the typewriter. And this was done so the government could track where text was coming from.
One thing we should all understand is that we are brutally honest with search engines. You show me your search history, and I'll find something incriminating or something embarrassing there in five minutes. We are more honest with search engines than we are with our families.
Nuclear scientists lost their innocence when we used the atom bomb for the very first time. So we could argue computer scientists lost their innocence in 2009 when we started using malware as an offensive attack weapon.
We're risking the future of the net. People are already losing their trust. Once you get burned once - somebody steals your credit card, or makes a purchase on your account - people tend to stay away from online commerce and from trusting online services.
There is a difference between the stuff that people put online themselves, like pictures and their trips and flights and meals they've eaten, than the stuff that they don't realize is also going into foreign computers. Like, for example, copies of your emails or every single online search you ever do, 'cause all that is being recorded as well.
It's been a bit sad to see that out of Linux distributions, it was Android - the most successful mobile Linux distribution - that has really introduced the malware problem to the Linux world.
Foreigners like me have no privacy rights whatsoever. Yet we keep using U.S.-based services all the time, making us a legal target for gathering and storing our private information. Other countries do surveillance as well. But nobody has the global visibility that United States does.
I believe in the freedom of the net, but I don't believe in the freedom of the net at the cost of having these online criminal gangs running completely loose and using the freedom of the net to steal everybody's money and take away the trust we have.
Alternative services would mean that there would be services available to compete with Google, Facebook, Amazon, Dropbox, Skype, etc., and they would be run by companies not based in the U.S.A. The rest of the world has simply failed in being able to compete with them, and we really should be doing better here.
Anonymous is like an amoeba: it's got too many different operations run by truly different people which might not share a single person with another operation, but they use the same branding - they are part of the Anonymous brand, just like al-Qaida.