@k_o_t
mod
admin
41Y

oh wow, I knew it was bad, but not that bad!

I sincerely hope that current financial institutions will fail at some point to the point of no recovery and cryptocurrencies will become ubiquitous…

@fruechtchen
creator
31Y

Me too, i found this link btw on https://lemmy.ml/post/32472

Clearly “pal” is a straight up lie.

@cipherpunk
11Y

I’m always disgusted when I see projects centered on civil liberties who accept Paypal. In particular, these organizations should be ashamed of using Paypal:

  • ACLU
  • EFF
  • Tor Project
  • FSF – they try to discourage Paypal with: “(not recommended: requires nonfree JavaScript)”, but really they shouldn’t be accepting it
  • Pinephone store – exclusively Paypal! You can’t buy a phone without it!
  • Protonmail
  • Thinkprivacy – would be foolish to donate here anyway
  • Framasoft
@k_o_t
mod
admin
4
edit-2
1Y

these projects need as much money as they can get, they can’t afford to lose such a source of revenue, can’t really blame them… what one can blame them for though is not accepting particular privacy payment methods…

@cipherpunk
2
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1Y

correction: these projects need as much money as they can ethically get. When their mission is inherently ethical in nature, tossing out ethics (ethics of their own mission) defeats their own purpose and undermines their credibility. They’re subjecting unwitting donors to civil liberties abuses. You don’t do that to your supporters – the people trying to help out.

ACLU and EFF only need money from Americans, since they only benefit Americans. They must have US bank accounts to deposit the Paypal money into, and their US based donors also necessarily have US bank accounts. So check & ACH wire are inherently available. And in most cases credit card is also a common option for US-based donors & recipients. Adding Paypal is purely adding to the privacy abuse.

Tor Project are simply sellouts. They never turn down money. They’ve accepted donations from DDG and Reddit. Tor Project has a strong presence in the US and Germany. Nixing Paypal does not hinder conventional US or European payment methods. I’m not sure how much of their funding comes from Russia or Asia but at a very minimum they could restrict the Paypal option to the regions that need it. Note as well the Torproject accepts bitcoin and they do so in a manner that ironically subjects donors to a CloudFlare site (the top adversary of the Tor Project). They’re simply reckless.

FSF is essentially US-based and serving the US. FSFE covers Europe. Other regions benefit incidentally from FSF, FSFE,Protonmail, & Framasoft. In any case, they too could limit Paypal to non-US-EU payments.

@k_o_t
mod
admin
2
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1Y

correction: these projects need as much money as they can ethically get

I don’t think I can agree with that. Because otherwise they would have virtually no money at all, and thus shut down (see what happened when WikiLeaks when major payment providers blocked them), because, unfortunately, almost everyone uses those payment methods at the moment.

And if you think about the word ethical, what would you qualify as so? Are banks ethical? Of course not. Is cash ethical? No, but less unethical. I would argue that anything that interacts with US dollar is unethical. Then what do we have left? Bitcoin? 80 % of its hashrate is concentrated in China, and thus ultimately under it’s control. Etherium? Maybe… But if you count in the developer premine, the fact that the project is largely controlled by a single person etc etc, probably not so much.

As you can see, if you go far into trying to classify and accept only ethical donations, you end up with no money at all. And given that all their donation (at least from regular people) do not oblige them to anything at all, they should accept it. Accept anything they can get: money from banks, cash, PayPal, gold, money sent via pigeons etc, because ultimately the benefits from their actions far supersede the negative effects of contributing to the current broken financial system, accepting money from questionable sources etc etc.

Tor Project are simply sellouts. They never turn down money. They’ve accepted donations from DDG and Reddit.

I mean, their main sponsor by far is CIA, what else is here to say? If they suddenly only started accepting only ethical donations, then their major money supply (CIA) would disappear overnight, and given that they are (were at some point) responsible for way over half of all the money Tor got, this would kill Tor. And again, I think that the negative consequences of that would be huge, far worse than the fact of accepting questionable donations.

Nixing Paypal does not hinder conventional US or European payment methods.

I don’t have a bank account, nor do I have PayPal, so I’m not really sure about that, but from what I know it’s a lot more convenient to pay with PayPal than it is to pay from a traditional bank account. But again, not sure about this…

Torproject accepts bitcoin and they do so in a manner that ironically subjects donors to a CloudFlare site

lol what? How? I mean, you really only need to leave your Bitcoin address… that’s weird…

@cipherpunk
3
edit-2
1Y

Because otherwise they would have virtually no money at all, and thus shut down

ACLU, EFF, & Tor all pre-date Paypal’s existence. No, they don’t “need” Paypal for survival.

(see what happened when WikiLeaks when major payment providers blocked them), because, unfortunately, almost everyone uses those payment methods at the moment.

This proves my point. Wikileaks was not just blocked by Paypal, it was blocked by credit cards as well. Despite the massive blockade, Wikileaks survived.

Paypal is the biggest offender of payment blockades (particularly political in nature and biased in favor of Peter Thiel’s right-wing agenda), which only advances the point that we have an ethical duty to shrink Paypal.

And if you think about the word ethical, what would you qualify as so?

By my own standard it’s unethical for any org or person to accept Paypal, but I’m not applying my own standards here in the context you’re replying to. I’m applying the standards of the orgs themselves. Paypal works against ACLU’s own mission. Paypal works against EFF’s own mission. Notice that I did not name countless vendors of electronics, bicycle parts, etc that accept Paypal, because Paypal doesn’t contradict their mission.

It’s one thing to hold everyone to your own standard, but if you can’t hold an organization to their own ethical principles something is wrong.

I mean, their main sponsor by far is CIA, what else is here to say?

First of all, the Navy invented Tor, so if you have a problem with a nation having an intelligence agency or military then you’re advocating against Tor’s creator.

There are countless free software projects that operate without a dime because people who need that software have an interest in contributing maintenance code. If Tor Project were to hypothetically get zero funding, you might see little or no outreach programs, Tor stickers, and marketing frills, but the software would live on.

I don’t have a bank account, nor do I have PayPal, so I’m not really sure about that, but from what I know it’s a lot more convenient to pay with PayPal than it is to pay from a traditional bank account. But again, not sure about this…

Convenience is the top rationalization for unethical conduct and transactions. It also has the least merit.

lol what? How? I mean, you really only need to leave your Bitcoin address… that’s weird…

Things have changed, so my comment is no longer relevant. In the past, Tor Project did not publish a BTC address. Donors were forced to go to a CloudFlare site and do the transaction through a 3rd party (bitpay.com). It was an absolute embarrassment for Tor Project and there was a long bug report about it. The bug report lingered for years but it seems to have been deleted– likely due to the embarrassment. They claimed that they could not simply let BTC enter because they need to make a tax declaration on what they receive, and the tax declaration must be in a national currency. So they used a 3rd party who instantly converted all their bitcoin donations into national currency for accounting purposes. They foolishly chose a CloudFlare site to do that. Seems to be history now. They are using btcpayserver.org and superficially i see no issues there.

It’s worth noting that Tor Project has a record of not eating their own dog food. Apart from subjecting ppl to CloudFlare sites, their bug tracker has a history of mistreating Tor users, and if you try to subscribe to their newsletter using an onion email address they can’t handle it.

@k_o_t
mod
admin
2
edit-2
1Y

ACLU, EFF, & Tor all pre-date Paypal’s existence.

How’s that relevant? Now PayPal is ubiquitous and they depend on it.

No, they don’t “need” Paypal for survival.

They do actually. According to the following statement from this document by WikiLeaks

Yesterday, PayPal, the US based internet banking giant, froze the public donations of whistleblowing publication WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is entirely supported by donations from the general public, most of which come via PayPal.

PayPal contributes a huge portion of their donations. Judging by the use of the word most I would assume that over half. But that’s not relevant. What’s important that PayPal is hugely important for their monetary survival. I extend this logic from WikiLeaks to ACLU, EFF etc because I think it would be reasonable to assume that WikiLeaks donations sources are representative, and thus can be applies to other organizations.

Despite the massive blockade, Wikileaks survived.

Yes, they did. But take a look at this graph.

It it taken from this document issued by WikiLeaks. As you can see, after the payment blockade virtually all donations stopped.

And according to this statement from the same document

As a result, WikiLeaks has been running on cash reserves for the past eleven months.

they only survived thanks to money they already had at that point, not thanks do donations via payment methods that were not blocked.

Paypal is the biggest offender of payment blockades (particularly political in nature and biased in favor of Peter Thiel’s right-wing agenda), which only advances the point that we have an ethical duty to shrink Paypal.

Yes, unfortunately true. But as you can see from what I’ve written above WikiLeaks and others cannot abolish it, as they would run out of money. It would be nice if they did, but they can’t.

First of all, the Navy invented Tor, so if you have a problem with a nation having an intelligence agency or military then you’re advocating against Tor’s creator.

Yes, I know. My point was that Tor already has one shady donor, so why would they accept/deny donations from other unethical organizations/sources?

There are countless free software projects that operate without a dime because people who need that software have an interest in contributing maintenance code. If Tor Project were to hypothetically get zero funding, you might see little or no outreach programs, Tor stickers, and marketing frills, but the software would live on.

Yeah, I guess. But this only applies to Tor and other software projects, and not organizations that employ thousands of staff, lawyers etc.

Convenience is the top rationalization for unethical conduct and transactions. It also has the least merit.

Yup. But that doesn’t really contradict my point which is that however unethical PayPal is, a lot of projects/organizations depend on it, because PayPal is convenient to use, and thus a lot of people use it, and so it becomes a major source of income for many of the aforementioned organizations projects, and so they can’t stop accepting donations via it.

@cipherpunk
1
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1Y

ACLU, EFF, & Tor all pre-date Paypal’s existence.

How’s that relevant?

It’s proof that they are capable of surviving without Paypal.

Now PayPal is ubiquitous and they depend on it.

It’s an unnecessary dependency – and it’s a stretch to call it a dependency at all. You’d do better to argue that banks are essential. But certainly not Paypal. Paypal is replaceable by already existing payment methods.

PayPal contributes a huge portion of their donations. Judging by the use of the word most I would assume that over half. But that’s not relevant. What’s important that PayPal is hugely important for their monetary survival.

This is non-sequitur logic. It does not follow that because most donations are via Paypal, that absence of Paypal implies those donations go to zero. Those donations simply take a different path in the absence of Paypal. Now the case of Wikileaks is special because banks and credit cards cooperated in the blockade at the same time, so the normal alternate paths were shut down as well.

I extend this logic from WikiLeaks to ACLU, EFF etc because I think it would be reasonable to assume that WikiLeaks donations sources are representative, and thus can be applies to other organizations.

Even if you were able to establish that Wikileaks can’t survive without Paypal, it would not extend to ACLU or EFF, which are American orgs not in the slightest at risk of a blockade. ACLU and EFF both have US bank accounts, and so do the Paypal donors. In the US Paypal is 100% redundant.

My point was that Tor already has one shady donor, so why would they accept/deny donations from other unethical organizations/sources?

It’s a red herring. While every single Paypal donation acts as an enabler for Paypal and directly generates data for abusive sharing, payments from the government do not pose a direct, tangable, obvious compromise on civil liberties. Perhaps you can speculate that Tor does favors in return, but you’d have to elaborate on what those favors are and whether they compromise civil liberties. Either way, it’s irrelevant to this discussion. Even in the most perverse case scenario, such payments still do not support a case for Paypal donations. This is just grasping at straws.

But that doesn’t really contradict my point which is that however unethical PayPal is, a lot of projects/organizations depend on it, because PayPal is convenient to use, and thus a lot of people use it, and so it becomes a major source of income for many of the aforementioned organizations projects, and so they can’t stop accepting donations via it.

In the face of many options, people choose the most convenient, for the most part. When you eliminate the most convenient payment option, they will still choose the most convenient option. The high numbers are nothing more than a testament to what a majorty of people find most convenient and this has fooled you to think it’s essential. It is not.

@developred
0
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5M

deleted by creator

@cipherpunk
1
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1Y

Sure it has. First of all, there is the same effect when the NRA donates money to a republican candidate. There doesn’t need to be an explicit reciprocity agreement for a senator to realize they need to please the NRA. And when a senator takes an action that benefits the NRA, they can make countless excuses citing other (official) reasons for their action. This is the same for any org that receives donations.

DDG, who is falsely positioned as privacy respecting gave $25k to Tor Project, who then endorses DDG and maintains DDG as the default search engine on Tor Browser. The effect is directly evident. DDG also leads users straight to the prime adversary of the Tor community: CloudFlare.

Tor Project is also very tight with EFF. If they were any tighter they’d be the same org. And so you will find that EFF also endorses DDG despite its history of wrongdoing.

@developred
0
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5M

deleted by creator

@cipherpunk
11Y

All of the mentioned issues with DDG relating immediately to the user in the thread you linked are circumvented by the Tor browser.

That’s not true, nor would it suffice if it were true. I’ll deal with the truthfulness first:

  • Tor cannot change the fact that DDG was caught using tracker cookies, nor does Tor prevent the storage and transmission of cookies of any kind (be it session cookies or tracker cookies).
  • Tor does not prevent fingerprinting. A specific browser (Tor Browser, should you choose to use it) can resist fingerprinting but it’s not fool proof. Anti-fingerprinting is lost when a user installs browser plug-ins.
  • Tor cannot change the fact that DDG includes your language with the session data that it collects.
  • Tor does not prevent DDG from sharing your session data with advertisers.
  • Tor cannot prevent DDG from producing Tor-hostile CloudFlare sites in the results. Tor is useless against data CloudFlare collects on all traffic (including HTTPS traffic with user creds).

It’s also insufficient to disregard issues that do NOT “relate immediately” to the user. Of the tens of privacy abuses cited in that article, there is exactly one bullet point that does not directly affect Tor users. Let’s do a walk-through: Tor cannot change history, so Weinburg’s history of privacy abuse does not change. Tor cannot prevent DDG from blacklisting Framabee. All of the abuses w.r.t CloudFlare are actually more acutely exaserbated for Tor users, and in fact deanonymization of Tor users arise out of CloudFlare. Tor does not circumvent DDG’s censorship of anything, including the threesome injunction. Tor does not stop DDG from partnering with other privacy abusers like Amazon & Verizon. Tor does not prevent DDG from abusing a spot at FOSDEM to market their service.

The user is not forced to use DDG

This is irrelevant. The issue is that DDG’s money bought influence, and it worked. Torproject is abusing the public trust and exploiting its perceived credibility.

and frankly shipping with DDG puts them ahead of every major browser project.

Nonsense. A privacy-centric browser does not “get ahead” by endorsing a privacy abuser – most especially one that masquerades as a privacy champion. Tor project is playing a significant part in proliferating DDG’s falsely positioned marketing. And it only cost DDG $25k.

The EFF have done so much important legal work for the wide-adoption of Tor in the US. They should be applauded for this and I’m not sure why you bring up being close to the EFF as though it’s a bad thing.

I never said it was “a bad thing”. It’s important to understand the effect of that relationship. When one project sells out it enables the corruption to spread to other partners.

@developred
2
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deleted by creator

@cipherpunk
1
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1Y

Tor Browser is a tool for achieving anonymity while using services are actively trying to identify you. If every service had a perfect record of no-logging, no-tracking and no-fingerprinting then the Tor project would be obsolete.

You’re conflating Tor and its network with Tor Browser, which is an optional browser client for the web. Tor serves purposes beyond anonymity. Tor also conceals metadata from your ISP, not just the service. Tor also conceals your whereabouts – and gives you the option to appear in a different location of your choice. If I’m in India trying to buy airfare from California to London, some airlines try to be smart and guess your location as a basis for where to make the sale and consequently force you to use Indian money and payment methods. Tor can make you appear to be in California to make the transaction possible. Some merchants try to restrict sales to the country they operate in. E.g. sears.com will show you the door if you access it from outside the US, when in fact you may be travelling out of the country looking to do transaction within the US.

DDG is not capable of any serious direct attacks on Tor identification and if you have evidence showing the contrary please share it here.

DDG and DDG’s privacy-abusing partners all profit from advertising. The metadata has value to marketers so all contributions to that data ultimately feeds the bottom line – and thus feeds privacy abusers (Amazon, Verizon/Yahoo, Microsoft). Data is worth more than oil. The mere use of Tor is itself immediately evident to DDG simply from the IP address, and that data is also worth money. And that’s before we even begin to discuss the browser prints.

Tor cannot change the fact that DDG was caught using tracker cookies,

This is intentionally obtuse and you know it. I’m obviously not arguing that the Tor project can change anything about DDG internally, but it’s cookie policy and identity resetting feature prevent DDG from linking multiple sessions together (and you should not be doing multiple unrelated activities in the same browser without a reset, as they advise.)

You’ve argued that Tor eliminates all direct privacy abuses from DDG that were enumerated in the referenced article. This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how cookies work. The Tor network does nothing to cause or hinder cookies. The Tor Browser honors cookies (if it didn’t, you wouldn’t be able to login to websites). Users can take extra steps with any browser to mitigate abuses with cookies but this has nothing to do with Tor.

DDG relies on users trusting them. Most DDG users trust DDG, and thus didn’t generally do anything special to mitigate tracker cookies when DDG was pushing them. DDG has proven to be untrustworthy, and Tor Project is still directing users to it.

Tor does not prevent fingerprinting.

Tor browser is the most developed anti-fingerprinting project out there.

You’re conflating Tor with TB here by quoting a comment about Tor. You should have addressed what I said just after that (about Tor Browser), b/c I’ve already addressed this. While I agree that TB has the best FP resistence, this does not support your thesis.

You’ve lost track of the thread and your line of reasoning. You’re trying to advocate Tor Browser defaulting to DDG on the basis that Tor eliminates privacy abuse arising out of DDG use. When in fact Tor has the same effect on any search service. The same reasoning would just as well support Google as a default search engine.

The problem is that default search serves as an endorsement by a trusted authority. And it’s more than that, because users who aren’t meticulous or don’t care about endorsement will actually use the default b/c they either can’t be bothered to change it, or they don’t know how. If you can’t see the privacy abuse then you’re not following the money.

@developred
1
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5M

deleted by creator

A place to discuss privacy and freedom in the digital world.

Privacy has become a very important issue in modern society, with companies and governments constantly abusing their power, more and more people are waking up to the importance of digital privacy.

In this community everyone is welcome to post links and discuss topics related to privacy.

Some Rules

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