Big brother is watching you

Last Sunday, I got stuck in a one of those conversation you’d only imagine happening in a late cheap TV show. I would have probably smiled if what was stated did not reflect the opinion of both a majority of the French population and our political class.

We were discussing about giving kids access to the Internet, how, and when when the troll started.

Anyway, Internet is dangerous, it’s not reliable and it needs to be strongly regulated.

I was so surprised I almost puked my chicken. I had a quick look around me. I was not at the elderly division of a right wing party, but talking with a 31 years old educated upper class working woman.

Yeah, indeed. Internet should be shut down. It’s full of nazi pedophile who trade illegally downloaded celebs porn. Or maybe not. Maybe people who behave stupidly online should have their access terminated because they’re dangerous for other and for themselves.

There’s one thing I tell my kids when they use the Web: never do online something you would not do in the street or at school.

Let’s put it this way.

I’m sure you never forget to lock the door when you leave home. So why do you leave your computer, your tablet or your smartphone unlocked? They’re your door to the Internet, and leaving them opened can have the same consequence as leaving the house door unlocked.

When someone calls you and pretend they’re your bank, there’s no way you give them your credit card information or any sensitive data. The same thing happens online. Don’t trust someone or something unless you’re sure they’re what they say they are.

And to end on this point, I’m sure your parents told you not to trust strangers in the street when you were a kid, and you probably won’t do it as an adult. So why would you do it online? Once again, that’s exactly the same thing.

We then had a debate about the celebs whose photos were leaked on the Internet. We had a totally opposite point there.

She said the problem was people who took nude picture of them and upload them on the internet. So it was their fault if the picture leaked. I strongly disagree, this was not the problem.

Imagine you rent a safe at your bank. Before leaving for a trip, you leave your precious engagement ring there. What’s in your safe is your business only and no one but you should access it. If someone access it and steal your stuff, that’s your bank fault, not yours. You’ll probably sue your bank and win.

That’s exactly what happened to the celebrities whose pictures were leaked. Whatever you save on your cellphone (and in any cloud storage service) is your business, and your privacy.

In the end, the problem is not the Internet. The problem is people. And stupidity.

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