Hot answers tagged

107

Because Congress is accountable to their constituents. You are only accountable to yourself. If how they vote is secret, there's no way of holding them to the promises they made. They could just say "someone else voted it down, sorry" at the next election and you couldn't know that was a lie.


79

Several EU states endured surveillance by secret police in the past (for instance in Nazi Germany or Eastern Germany), making privacy a sensitive enough topic that constituents demanded strict protection from future large-scale surveillance attempts. In complying with these requests, law makers also ensured that it wouldn't be possible for a State to work ...


63

It's not really a matter of privacy itself being taken more seriously in Europe. It's more a matter of a differing view in the proper role of government. In the U.S., at least traditionally, the proper role of the government has been seen to be more limited than in Europe. While this is perhaps somewhat less true today than 200 years ago, it has still been ...


55

TikTok doesn't take just your location data, it also takes your clipboard. Everything you copy/paste while TikTok is open, even if it's only open in the background, is sent to their servers. So passwords, banking info, bitcoin addresses, anything at all that you might copy. This is not normal. This is why it is a national security risk. Caleb Chen, ...


50

Telegram is a lot more popular in Russia compared to Whatsapp within the opposition circles. It is used by many people whom the Russian government wants to keep track of, as evidenced by the fact that two factor authentication was added as a response to hacking attempts against Russian activists. Telegram was founded by an opposition activist Pavel Durov ...


45

An article in Wired took a look at this a few weeks ago. By and large, the experts agree with your assessment that TikTok in particular poses no special security risk and that a ban is not justified. Here's a key paragraph from the Wired piece. TikTok’s fiercest opponents argue that it should be viewed as a dangerous Trojan horse for Chinese Communist Party ...


38

TL;DR: The answer to "why" is because limits on freedom of expression makes the regime less disliked (your question is confusing cause and effect - the popularity of the regime is a consequence of limits on free expression) and reduces both the effort required to stay in power and the likelihood that it falls out of power. It's as simple as that. ...


30

This is largely a cultural difference in the value of privacy with respect to independent companies. The U.S. constitution offers no provisions directly for privacy; it is implied by the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 10th amendments that citizens have some level of privacy from the government. The EU government takes privacy more seriously, and has passed laws that ...


29

Yes, this is normal for the German media. The German justice system uses the concept of presumption of innocence. A suspect is just that - a suspect. They are not considered guilty until a court of law has made a guilty verdict. Until then everyone should assume that the person might be innocent, no matter how clear the evidence against them seems to be at ...


21

There is no consensus. Not even among the so-called Western nations, and certainly not beyond that. Many countries use double standards for their own citizens (or residents) and those of other nations. One group is protected by their constitution, the other isn't. Some countries are making distinctions between the content of communication and the metadata (...


20

I cannot offer objectives, because they are not publicly known. What I can list are benefits - possible motivations. Serve as a distraction. The current administration has a history of using news to distract from (even) less favorable news. Contribute to a greater strategy of vilifying China as an enemy to rally against. Demonstrate strength and leadership ...


18

That's how successful Autocracy works. Inspire radical nationalism where possible (see: Cult of Personality), put the fear of god into the rest. You can see this today in China and Turkey in addition to Russia. Xi in China touts a comparable approval score to Putin in this article's calculations, and Erdogan is reported similarly. All of these countries have ...


18

I can't speak for the motives of the administration, but the idea that TikTok is a national security risk is plausible. From location data alone, one can infer your political interests (do you go to the gun range? Are you attending BLM protests?), your religious affiliation (do you go to houses of worship?), and your hobbies/interests, and that alone (far ...


14

I'll take a jab at what the official explanation for restricting the freedom of speech is, from most sensible to the least: Democracy is overrated, we need a strong leader to run the country efficiently This argument is absolutely true, in theory. A benevolent dictator can be a lot more effective than popularly elected leaders as they can implement the ...


13

My understanding is that this is because, culturally speaking: Europeans fundamentally trust governments and rely on them to keep others in check Americans fundamentally distrust governments and feel it necessary to keep them in check That's basically the gist of it. (And of course this is just an average tendency, not necessarily true for every individual ...


12

In a nutshell because "the EU" simply doesn't want more "hard" anonymity. In particular, they surely don't seem to want more financial anonymity, which is a large part of what you propose. Witness the withdrawal of the 500 euros bill in order to fight crime etc. Also the EU certainly doesn't like pseudononymous bank accounts, given how easy it is to use them ...


11

In simplest terms, it seems that the answer is that at most any information that a user had opted to share with his/her friends was available to Facebook apps prior to 2014. The documentation for the "user" object under v1.0 of the Facebook Graph API can still be found on the wayback machine: Facebook documentation 2010. However there is some Javascript on ...


11

The problem is not that we're forced to provide our private data. We want to provide it, but expect the sites to handle it responsibly. Let's take the simple example of ordering a pizza online. You can provide a false name, but you can't provide a false address (because then you won't get your pizza). The restaurant gets your address, which is private ...


10

There are areas where it is illegal to even take a photo of your ballot because it would violate ballot secrecy. It should be noted that we used to have no secrecy in regarding to how you voted and in fact you used to vote just by party instead of selcting who you voted for. https://www.vox.com/21523858/ballot-selfies-state-rules Thanks to secret ballots, ...


9

The state can regulate and even ban any medical procedure, at least in California. For example, a proposed San Francisco ballot that would ban circumcision in San Francisco was struck down by the courts because medical procedures are regulated by the state. However, California did not ban gay conversion therapy. If you look at the article to which you ...


8

Practically, it depends This is definitely impossible at the very least where I live, or any other place that uses voting machines (as opposed to hand-filled ballots) The voting machines are anonymous - you show your ID to a volunteer to gain access to the machine (and they do NOT record anywhere when that happened, merely tick off the checkbox against ...


8

The formal reason for the ban is Telegram's refusal to collaborate with the FSB in decrypting or tracking the messages of a purported terrorist group. (Sources: Bloomberg, court order) Quoting Roskomnadzor (i.e. the Internet censorship department) itself: On the basis of Art. 15.4 of Federal Law No. 149-FZ "On Information, Information Technologies and ...


8

The problem with this approach is that you're severely underestimating how hard it is to stay anonymous. Think of your identity as a graph, with your aliases being the nodes and common data between the nodes being the connections: without any reason to destroy data or limit the spread of it, the number of connections between your aliases will always grow, ...


8

It's not too clear what the question actually is, but public and private US corporations are held to different public-reporting standards regarding their taxes; the former need to apply GAAP, the latter do not: A publicly traded corporation is required by law to disclose information about the company’s financial performance to its shareholders and the ...


7

It's quite common in France for example. The birth register (acte de naissance) can be annotated (mention marginale) and a full birth certificate would mention this. Specifically, it would reflect: Name change Marriages Adoption Death Newly acquired French citizenship It can also mention: Civil partnerships Divorce Having a recent birth certificate ...


7

I think the fears expressed by some human rights groups are that such invasive tracing mechanisms might be "here to stay" once implemented. In contrast, it's a lot easier to roll back public assembly bans (which essentially don't rely on any new infrastructure or mechanisms in their implementation) once a public health crisis passes. (I'll try to ...


7

Some research based on field experiments involving simulated threats to privacy (e.g. poll workers seemingly gleaning over to "see" whom the subject was voting for) as well as plain-old surveys have found that those who were most concerned about voting privacy/secrecy were those in a political minority in a given area. This is in line with other ...


6

There's one thing I didn't see in the other answers, that I think is extremely relevant too. These are US companies entering a European domain; this is a foreign entity to them, and foreign entities, even in the US, have a lot more privacy concerns and regulations than domestic entities. That's not saying there isn't some difference in our laws, but I think ...


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