Friday, 7 April 2017

internet noise

Here's an interesting little tool to play with if you don't like your information being collected on-line:


The coder Dan Schultz released a search randomizer called Internet Noise, which offers a way of veiling one’s real interests online.

The coder Dan Schultz released a search randomizer called Internet Noise, which offers a way of veiling one’s real interests online.

Sometime before dawn on March 29th, not too many hours after Congress approved legislation that allows Internet-service providers to sell your browsing history to whoever wants to buy it, a coder named Dan Schultz released a search randomizer called Internet Noise, which offers a way of veiling one’s real interests online. I heard about it that night, went straight to the charmingly bare-bones page, and clicked the “Make some noise” button. A new browser tab opened and began to refresh every few seconds with search results based on random pairings of words. “Fact cereal,” “fire mind,” and “raft flanker” were the first ones; “final hotel,” “component nation,” and “giraffe cloister” soon followed. I stared at this whimsical procession for a while and then went to bed. The browser refreshed with random word combinations while I slept—an accident of timing that may have influenced how I think about Internet Noise. Upon waking, I reviewed my browser history. All the random word pairings had the strange associative logic of a dream, as though I had been made privy to the Internet’s unconscious.

I kept the browser tab open throughout the day. Now and then I would check in, and I found each visit hypnotizing. It was interesting to note what vanished immediately from my mind and what lingered: a PDF about the aquifers of West Central Florida; a man reading a Susan Minot story out loud in the privacy of his own room (a mere eighty views on YouTube, but his dark room and dramatic whisper are now lodged in my imagination); a painting from the seventeenth century, “Bearded Man with a Beret.” At one point I checked in to discover an article titled “Anna Nicole Smith: Cleavage in Bankruptcy.” I had enough time to grasp that the article was about an intricacy of bankruptcy law that involves something called cleavage and had nothing directly to do with Anna Nicole Smith, before the browser refreshed to something else.

There’s Nowhere to Hide on the Internet - The New Yorker

And here's the website:

Internet Noise

On March 28th, 2017 congress passed a law that makes it legal for your Internet Service Providers (ISP) to track and sell your personal activity online. This means that things you search for, buy, read, and say can be collected by corporations and used against you.
Click this button, and your browser will start passively loading random sites in browser tabs. Leave it running to fill their databases with noise. Just quit your browser when you're done.

This is an early stage and still evolving project. Please offer feedback via twitter and if something goes wrong let me know.

IMPORTANT: this button will make some noise as a form of digital protest. IT DOES NOT MAKE YOU SAFE.
Advertisers don't give you what you want. They manipulate you into wanting what they have.
If you are genuinely interested in thwarting the tracking efforts of your ISP and advertisers you should:
  1. (15 seconds) Add HTTPS Everywhere to ensure your web activities are encrypted as often as possible.
  2. (15 seconds) Add Privacy Badger to block spies and hidden trackers from sites you visit.
  3. (60 seconds) Donate to the EFF.
  4. (10 minutes) Learn about Tor.
  5. (20 minutes) Consider using a VPN

Internet Noise