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The Carceral Archipelago

Bentham’s panopticon is the perfect architectural manifestation of power and discipline – it can operate as a school, an asylum, a factory or a prison and allows each inhabitant to be surveilled so completely that they even start watching themselves.

Sound familiar?

Facebook’s privacy policy takes 5,830 words to tell you that they own you. This graph shows the slow death of privacy on the site.

There’s a new initiative from four students at NYU who are designing a system called Diaspora. They say that the software will be open source, transparent and ‘privacy aware’. All the information is encrypted and under the control of the person sending it.

It’s a good idea: if you use Diaspora with Facebook the system will know when you are communicating with a person who also has Diaspora, and it will encrypt the message and send it peer to peer. The idea is that eventually, as more people start using the system, we can all wean ourselves off Facebook completely.

Facebook seems to be losing friends, and people are looking for an alternative. The Diaspora team made an endearing video to croudsource money for the project and quickly passed their goal of $10,000 – the ticker is now at  $149,825. And if you can’t wait, you can always commit Facebook suicide. But if you are going to do it, do it right.

One Comment

  1. Nic wrote:

    Interesting –

    Monday, May 17, 2010 at 11:42 | Permalink