[messaging] metadata does not kill (was: Re: TFC - Onion routed messaging with endpoint security)

holger krekel holger at merlinux.eu
Thu Jan 24 14:10:01 PST 2019

On Thu, Jan 24, 2019 at 20:56 +0000, dawuud wrote:
> I feel totally justified on harping on this one point until we arrive
> at a good solution because ex-NSA director, Michael Hayden is famously
> quoted as having said: "We kill people based on meta-data".

Well, the important part of this sentence is: "We kill people".
And the reasoning behind is arbitrary and not as rational
as it sounds.  An algorithmic AI feeding on perforated, inconsistent
massive data heaps, for computing kill markers on device users and then
targetting all people around a marked device ... has this anything 
to do with a fair trial? 

And how to even precisely separate metadata from content? 
The pervasive advertisements in Youtube's movies for children -- 
could they be the actual content of this Google operation? 
Whereas movies (some think it's the content) with their views, 
clicks, likes, messages are merely metadata for this logic 
that targets children, optimizes for value extraction? 

In any case, you can perfectly hide messages and metadata 
in plain sight if you share a private context with your 
communication partner. And not even a godlike algorithmic AI 
could capture the full meaning of collected plain messages.
Maybe mixnets can help to further confuse targetting algos 
but the idea to use "metadata" to kill people is already
pretty confused to begin with.

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