A couple lawyers and fishy business men launch an ad campaign on RedTube. Through that advertisement they collected IP addresses of visitors.
Before launching that campaign they allegedly bought the rights for three cheap porn flicks.
Now they also claim that they have some miraculous software which allows them to track who has been watching those flicks on RedTube. They even get a totally unclear blueprint for that software officially certified by a surveyor. 
Then they appeal to a court in Cologne for the real world addresses corresponding to the IP addresses arguing they can prove those poor schmocks watched their illegally uploaded crap flicks.
Suddenly thousands of people receive letters threatening legal action if they do not agree on paying a fee of 250 Euro. Many people comply out of fear for their reputation and just pay.
(many of the original sources have been deleted and are only available through archive.org)
The scam seems to be well known. I presume it happened sometime.
Turns out it just shows up as the name of the shop, they don't bother to try and hide it these days. Pretty sure strip clubs still show up with innocuous names though, but it's been over half a decade since I've been inside one.
But people obviously do. And get nailed by stuff like RedTubeGate, and the Ashley Madison leak. It's mind-boggling.
Edit: OK, so I get the "I love my porn, and you closed-minded idiots can just sod off". That's easy to say, when you live somewhere that porn is legal and ~accepted. But many who read HN aren't in such places. And they may not realize just how much they're not in such places. Until the come to a prosecutor's attention, and they're screwed.
Why hide something so mundane? It’s like pretending you don’t poop. We all know you poop. You’re human.
Reminds me of a failed study I read about. Researchers wanted to look into the effects of porn and couldn’t find a big enough control group. There simply aren’t enough people who don’t watch porn to make the study viable.
PS: in terms of malware it’s religious sites you gotta worry about. https://www.pcworld.com/article/254694/religious_sites_carry...
They're both something many/most people don't like to advertise. Maybe they'd be even less happy to have details of either habit known. You might think that's silly, but it's far from unusual, it's the norm.
people close the bathroom door when they poop. I guess they also close the door when they whatch porn.
using a vpn is akin to (car analogy time) trying to using a rental car while in public. you actually expose yourself to the rental company, who might be shadier than the people at the place you're showing up at, who can still see you trhu the window (analogy for your 3rd party cookies)
Just like with many car rebtal companies.. very trustworthy and staking their reuptation on not renting you a car that breaks down, etc.
not to mention people. no matter how reputable the car renter is, it is still hiring a minimum wage clerk who will handle all your documents and credit card.
my little research suggests the opposite
Many public restrooms in the U.S. barely have a door, and if they do it is so high off the ground and so short it barely offers any privacy at all
I'm pretty sure the lack of privacy in US public restrooms stems from illicit use and loss prevention. Not a cultural norm of acceptance of pooping.
Which brings us to an interesting point. We all want immediate privacy right? Close the door when watching porn, make sure your webcam isn't turned on, close the bathroom when pooping etc.
But having a VPN when watching porn or banning phones from the restroom, that's not something many (most?) people do. How come? What's the difference?
I do, but not because I'm shy someone might see (a glimpse) of me being naked; I do it so that they don't attempt to enter a toilet already in use. I find myself often not closing the toilet in after hours. In fact, I don't close the toilet at home cause I know the people who can enter won't. Except when I poo, I might, because I don't want them to smell it.
Office wanking used to be an everyday, normal part of the working week. It was the big change in the 1990s after they banned office smoking.
As recorded by this fly on the wall documentary series from the UK, “Big Train”:
And yes, I am perhaps too curious.
However, I definitely wouldn't want anything beyond mainstream porn linked to my meatspace identity. Because I don't want to risk rotting in prison for ~five years, and getting permanent probation. But by using VPNs and Tor, I need not be overly constrained by those risks.
I mean, I can, but it does make me feel naked, nowadays.
Who do I want knowing my visit to example.com:
(1) my local sysadmin + my ISP + example.com
(2) my VPN + their ISP
Migration of leaked info to fewer and farther parties wins every time.
Mindgeek have also shown themselves to be extremely savvy technologists, so this stuff is probably already being done. If it's your own ad network, is it really a third party, though? The plethora of domains does give the user the impression that they're leaving one business and moving to another, when it's really more akin to switching rooms.
example of unexpected situation: I used a credit card to join vanillanormalromance.com, but I watch weird stuff on redtube.
edit: for some reason it didn't occur to me, but there would clearly be an interest to sell these categories to other porn sites, facebook-style, generating even more info from people not on Mindgeek sites.
I feel like I remember a few Mindgeek/Manwin devs being good HN posters.
Porn has always been leaders in technology. They were the first to embrace home video and can arguably be credited for VHS winning over BetaMax despite being inferior, because it was cheaper and all the porn was VHS only.
This is something that is always mentioned, but sometimes I wonder if it is not a myth, or a simple exaggeration or simplification.
BetaMax housings were very small, so they didn't have enough capacity for feature films unless they were run at 1/2 or 1/3 speed, which reduced quality. The thing is, VHS could also be run slower to improve run times, but instead of maxing out at 90m, they could run for almost 250m for tapes about at the same price.
Tapes with longer run times eventually came to market, but well after VHS had established itself.
The first standalone Betamax VCR was the SL-7200 on which the timer was a $45 optional add-on.
Also at the time people were already buying wall socket timers for their reel-to-reel tape decks to record the radio, these would also work with a Betamax deck. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbNgbtZJAcU
Don't forget they continued the same scenarios in DVD's + vs - R!
This is typically repeated but I question if there is actual proof of it rather than one of those '8 glasses of water a day' which just keeps getting passed along or some kind of plausible and believable anecdote.
printing, broadsheets, photos, different forms of film, and definitely computer video. (Here in Seattle I recall reading about some form of early adult film that shows up notably in local laws...some form of -scope, though I don't recall the name)
DVD-HD vs blu-ray? Adult industry influence was not small. When HD rolled around, the adult industries had notable influence. Where did the makeup techniques for dealing with such high def come from? Porn.
I think the comparison to the "8 glasses of water" standard might be off because unlike that, here no one is claiming a precise measurement, merely an observation of trends.
Parroting the same about HD/Blu-ray is kind of hilarious though. Porn was deep into the streaming game long before blu-ray hit the scene.
When the dust settled, perhaps, but I recall when the issue first came up in 2000 and just about every discussion argued technical merits...and where the porn industry was looking. Anecdotal data, but in 2000 streaming wasn't viable for the majority of users (and still remains not viable for a lot) so that's no reason to discount the impact in that arena.
It also froze every 30 seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Awlgy3qUSE
As a recent (but maybe not too important) example, PH created hover-to-autoplay-gif for video thumbnails and then YouTube copied it.
That algo basically cuts off women’s heads and leaves just their cleavage.
Obviously we had to adjust it to try and avoid that, but even today you’ll see thumbnails on Reddit that are just cleavage.
I don’t remember exactly how we fixed it but I think biasing towards the top was involved.
I can count the number of reaction videos I've seen on one hand but the YouTube face is all over my homepage.
The next iteration to this is out, it's using extreme Snapchat-esque filters to comically exaggerate the size of the eyes and mouth of a reaction face.
It's mesmerisingly disgusting, I wonder what the next steps are. More digital augmentation awaits?
I have seen them in in-store advertising in supermarkets.
> I wonder what the next steps are. More digital augmentation awaits?
Virtual/retouched streaming personas. It's already a thing in japan and among furries.
This sounds very much in violation of GDPR. Are they just betting on people being too embarrassed to take them to court?
Additionally, sexual orientation is subject to special rules under the GDPR and cannot be processed at all without consent (and some edge cases). That could possibly apply as well.
Article 7 section 4 further clarifies that consent is not freely given if provision of a service is conditional on consent. 
Recital 43 is super clear: "Consent is presumed not to be freely given if... the performance of a contract, including the provision of a service, is dependent on the consent despite such consent not being necessary for such performance." 
The gdpr.eu website unpacks the legalese: "“Freely given” consent essentially means you have not cornered the data subject into agreeing to you using their data. For one thing, that means you cannot require consent to data processing as a condition of using the service." 
See, this was my thinking when I created an account and tried to train the recommendation algorithm.
I was sorely disappointed when the secret sauce turned out to be nothing more than:
for vid1 in watch_history[:-10]:
for vid2 in all_videos: // Notice how it does not exclude watch_history
best[Levenshtein_distance(vid1.title, vid2.title) + Math.random()] = vid2
Maybe there's an opening for someone who can do it cheaply, or they've discovered that it's not worth it?
Maybe they don't recommend the best video for you (i.e. the one you'll like the most) but one that is relatively good fit for your taste, without being too good, so that you spend more time on the site. If you know what I mean.
separately, has there been any consideration given to googleanalytics (+google fonts) usage on your properties, and Google's ability to track visitors across your sites and the web?
Google Analytics is the only analytics product that can support the data we need processed at a reasonable price. We do use their IP anonymization by default and it's pretty easy to opt-out of GA tracking.
it would be interesting to see what sort of UA visit your site... I'm assuming Chrome is the dominant mobile browser (which unfortunately doesn't support ad-blocking)
BTW, I’m a hardcore Python snob who will eventually watch the world dissolve into an oblivion of Golang, Elixir, and Scala.
Traditional downsides like poor threading and overall performance were/are overshadowed in that most webcalls are always I/O bound. PHP7 has made great strides on this though, especially on memory usage.
> What Jack does not know is that incognito mode only ensures his browsing history is not stored on his computer. e sites he visits, as well as any third-party trackers, may observe and record his online actions.
> ‘30% of all the data transferred across the internet is porn,’ with site YouPorn using six times more bandwidth than Hulu (Kleinman, 2017)
> Herein, we take such a ‘sex positive’ view of porn and access to online pornography. While acknowledging the many racist, misogynistic, heteronormative and other problematic histories and themes in pornography and its production, distribution and consumption, our work recognizes the ubiquity and permanence of porn and its many uses and social functions, and the danger of societal, state, and institutional narratives that might work to discipline gender and sex.
> To identify third-parties found on a given website we used the webXray software platform. webXray 'is a tool for analyzing thirdparty content on web pages and identifying the companies which collect user data’ (webXray, 2018)
> We used four coders from diverse backgrounds: one primary
researcher and three volunteers. Three coders were women (one
identifed her sexuality as fluid; the others as queer), and one was a heterosexual man.
> Coders were instructed to code Presence for: ‘Any word or phrase that indicates or suggests the porn content will feature a specifc gender or sexual identity, orientation, or preference,’ and/or ‘Any word or phrase that indicates or suggests the porn content will feature a specifc sexual focus, body part or type, identity or character (like race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, profession), act, fetish, interest, porn genre, porn trope, etc.
>Our March 2018 analysis successfully examined 22,484 sites drawn from the Alexa list of one million most popular websites where the URL, page title, or page description includes ‘porn.’ We found third-party tracking is widespread, privacy policies are difficult to understand and do not disclose such tracking, and third-parties may often be able to infer specifc sexual interests based solely on a site URL.
> We identified 230 different companies and services tracking users in our sample. Such tracking is highly concentrated by a handful of major companies, some of which are pornography-specifc. Of non-pornography-specifc services, Google tracks 74% of sites, Oracle 24%, Facebook 10%, Cloudflare and Yadro 7%, and New Relic and Lotame 6%. Porn-specific trackers in the top ten are exoClick (40%), JuicyAds (11%), and EroAdvertising (9%).
> Based on a random sample, 44.97%of porn site URLs expose or strongly suggest the site content includes or targets one or more specific gender or sexual: identities or orientations, and/or topic(s) of interest/focus.
> We contend that the tracking of online porn consumption represents an even riskier violation of privacy, in line with Citron’s (2019:1870,1881) argument that: "Sexual privacy sits at the apex of privacy values because of its importance to sexual agency, intimacy, and equality. We are free only insofar as we can manage the boundaries around our bodies and intimate activities… It therefore deserves recognition and protection, in the same way that health privacy, financial privacy, communications privacy, children’s privacy, educational privacy, and intellectual privacy do."
> For example, same-sex relations between consenting adults are criminalized in 70 United Nations member states, with punishments ranging from imprisonment to death (Fox et al., 2019). Thee consequences of sexual privacy violations in such contexts would clearly be severe. Even in societies with less regulation around sex, breaches of sexual privacy often have bodily stakes
> Porn website privacy policies are long, dense, difficult to understand, and only 11% of the third-parties observed tracking users on a given page are listed in the policy, leaving users ignorant of which organizations may be assembling catalogues of their perceived sexual interests
Edit: I have been adding to this comment as I read the study. I do have other things to do today.
Obviously that doesn't rule out other browser fingerprinting methods of course (see panopticlick, evercookies, etc)
Edit: It seems like they are saying you can be tracked within incognito mode sessions? That seems pretty obvious. I don't understand why this is surprising.
Isn't the whole risk here that you could have your porn browsing habits tied to your "real" identity? (i.e. your facebook/google/twitter identities). It doesn't really bother me that Google is aggregating porn browsing habits if they can't tie that to my real identity.
Or within private mode. (I use private mode by default, and anytime I open a new tab, I need to log into HN again).
The matching engines will keep matching on. You can't ever slip up, even once.
If you leak any sort of signal, its all for naught - and the matching engines may be able to use that signal to link that anonymous collection of habits back to a real resolved identity.
Only for new installs. For existing installs it'll be "in the coming months" (I believe around the Firefox 70 timeline, though that could slip).
Edit: I tried visiting them without adblock and I'm actually surprised they didn't even have ads.
Those are the best ones :)
Well, you can be disturbed by the work if you want, but please don't discriminate against the people who are into it.
We're just human beings like everyone else: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SD9-4pUPH0&t=130
Some old-school shock sites were a little like that. Lemon party, for example, is a disturbing image, for an old man. And that girls/cups one. But even those are just funny, compared to what I'm talking about.
If you email me, or PM me on Keybase, I'll share the link.
Being deep into this fandom, I'm skeptical you can find anything that will surprise me, but I'll shoot you an email anyway.
And on reflection, I get that what I'm talking about isn't all that uncommon. Just torture, hanging, decapitation, cannibalism, etc. Some of my favorite fiction features all of that. Burroughs, Abercrombie, Morgan, Stover, and lots of older stuff.
But still, mixing that with S&M disturbs me.
Edit: Oh, apparently there's built-in UI now:
The matter of virtual graphics drivers cuts both ways, however. Multiple VMs in a host that use the same virtual graphics driver have the same WebGL fingerprint. So if you want multiple fully compartmentalized VMs on a given host, they must use different virtual graphics drivers. That is, Windows vs macOS vs Debian family vs vs Red Hat family vs BSD family etc.
ad nauseum actively poisons the dataset by clicking on every link it is presented. this can be useful when it is combined with other techniques. https://web.archive.org/web/20180714043311/https://iotdarwin...
(sadly) do-not-track also doesn't work - it makes you stick out even more when activating it. best is to try to blend in with aggressive hardware compartmentalization. there are no solutions that can easily be recommended to somebody less tech-savvy which would protect them from bad actors (and GDPR or not - there will always be plenty of them).
On Panopticlick with Firefox Mobile, with Ghostery plugin active in a normal tab I get 18 bits of info, in a private tab I get 17 bits, but the best is a private tab with Ghostery paused - then I get 16 bits, and equal results on the other parts.
Are privacy plugins really redundant in this day and age? Or is the test too incomplete to reflect their value?
17.62 Chrome 75.0.x normal (non-incognito)
16.62 Chrome 75.0.x incognito
15.62 FF 68.0.1 (Private doesn't seem to make a diff, I get the same score)
text/html, */*; q=0.01 gzip, deflate, br en-US,en;q=0.9,fr-FR;q=0.8,f...
Chrome seems to do better (less unique) in both Hash of canvas fingerprint and Hash of WebGL fingerprint. I've summarized the main differences I see below, seems like combining the best of Chrome w/ the best of FF would result in even better privacy:
Edit: I think Chrome's HTTP_ACCEPT Headers is like that because I've installed/enabled many languages in it for l10n testing. I'm removing them now, which should make Chrome get a better score than FF.
So, the true number is somewhere in-between.
Of course, that makes total sense, because many of the factors that can identify your system have little to do with the browser, but are determined by the underlying system: fonts, display, date/time information, graphics fingerprints, etc.
The second article CiPHPerCoder linked seems to be more focused on the VPN marketing aspect. A more interactive approach might be https://faq.dhol.es/@Soatok/cryptography/which-vpn-service-w...
easy. use firefox, open about:config, and set privacy.resistFingerprinting => true.
I installed CanvasBlocker, and one of the things it does is fake results for a handful of API calls. So while Panopticlick reports a unique fingerprint each time, it looks (to me, based on their results) like a different browser each time.
In particular, the two most specific categories they track are canvas and webgl hashes. Those are changing every time, which I believe makes them less useful as tracking information; the next-most-specific thing is a list of fonts, which is almost two orders of magnitude less specific.
I tested with my browser and it was unique as well. It seems to be caused by high dpi monitor breaking the window size rounding logic. Retrying with high dpi disabled results in
Within our dataset of several hundred thousand visitors tested in the past 45 days, only one in 5551.36 browsers have the same fingerprint as yours.
Currently, we estimate that your browser has a fingerprint that conveys 12.44 bits of identifying information.
> Within our dataset of several hundred thousand visitors tested in the past 45 days, only one in 417.05 browsers have the same fingerprint as yours.
> Currently, we estimate that your browser has a fingerprint that conveys 8.7 bits of identifying information.
However I think those VPN companies that throw around suspicious abouts of cash advertising all ask for credit cards or similar. I would never do business with one of them, it's pointless.
I also hate NordVPN's YouTube advertising campaign in particular, in which they pay YouTube creators to mislead their audience. Suggesting among other things that connections to your bank's website are unencrypted if you aren't using a VPN.
Also ask your girlfriend / boyfriend to tag imgur links with NSFW :)
Here's the important bit from the article where children will need to bypass:
> From the launch date in July, porn websites will have to show anyone visiting from a UK IP address a landing page that doesn't show any explicit content.
This is so going to result on a ton of teens with credit cards. Just look at what is already happening with mobile games. Sounds like a boom for the porn industry. Sure enough, MindGeek is already on it:
>The most well-known of these is AgeID, designed by MindGeek
Do I care if Google & Facebook track my viewing habits? I'm not sure I understand what the potential harm to me might be.
Countries can change. There are plenty of examples in history.
Just visited on my mobile and didn’t get the same effect. It was different back in the day.
There are also shared accounts of paid websites going around and we can see the "recently watched" lists. There shouldn't be any shame to pornography unless you are consuming illegal content.
Unless you are a content creator and wish to keep your personal and online life separated, there's not much of a blacklist potential.
I would wager you wouldn't talk casually about it to any prospective girlfriends, assuming you guys have any...
We'd say "Oh, go log in as 'CoolUser69'. The password is 'hunter2'. We are sharing this account together, chip in a few bucks a month if you can" or "oh, I have a curated playlist of [XYZ category]. Look up 'CoolUser69' on [KinkySite.xxx]".
The age range is 26-31 years. Both males and females. Anything from owners of small web development agencies to university students or government office workers. I attempt to keep a diverse social group.
I am female and currently in a stable relationship. There has never been a person I have been in a relationship with that didn't know my kinks and turn-ons. I am not sure how that would work exactly.
I'm a few years from the age range you mentioned, and I can't say I have seen the same level of openness. Not even close.
I am mostly talking about second and third generation atheists from Montréal and the surrounding region. The way of life is obliviously very different than what it would be in let's say, conservative southern USA.
That being said, being open about sexuality brings openness. For example, I had a very long conversation with a woman from Haiti this last weekend. She has a lot of questions and we talked about everything from the existence of female orgasms to gender identities and sexuality. I could literally see the weight and shame lift off her shoulders as I explained and normalized concepts for her.
Claiming there would be no consequences from sharing publicly is unrealistic at best and dishonest at worst.
Could you provide examples on where disclosing your sexual preferences could be hurtful or dangerous? I honestly cannot imagine any situation except some edge cases where illegal habits are
involved. (E.g. a high school teacher that searches for pornography involving people roleplaying as minors.)
The only other situation that comes to my mind is people not out of the closet being found out and outed before being ready.
I'll concede anecdotes are not data, so believe me as much as you want.
However, as a very shallow representation, google: lubbock lgbtq hate crimes
I haven't been there in years, but as of the beginning of this year, out of the maybe 2 dozen folks at possible risk that I know from my time there, only one has stayed, and that's mainly due to her wife's extended family living there and property she can't sell for what she wants.
I absolutely reject the normalization of puritan values you are pushing. There is nothing abnormal and unusual at all about being learned about human sexuality and discussing the subject with friends. Yes, it can be something that does not attract you. You cannot, however, make such claims and present them as facts.
Being open about sexuality does not mean that you are socially awkward. Of course you need to read the room first. I would never assault someone with facts about sexuality and find it extremely distasteful when someone does so myself. You can be open about your sexuality while staying polite and professional. Being socially revolting is a character trait and has nothing to do with sexuality.
For example, I would never talk about sexual encounters with anyone from my office. I will, however, demystify and explain the details of sexuality and kinks if I hear people spreading stereotypes.
Talking with your close social circle at a bar or a house-party is not the same game as talking with co-workers or strangers. Nor is talking about your personal sex life the same thing as discussing the subject of human sexuality.
I have been talking about sexuality a lot in this thread and I strongly doubt that I have been revolting or distasteful about it.
I understand the point you’re trying to make, but your argument sounds dangerously close to “why do you need privacy if you have nothing to hide?”
We absolutely need privacy even with nothing to hide. My point is that pornography is not any more of an important issue than anything else. It simply sells more clicks and make people take more when news are reporting on it.
Millennials are on the cusp of displacing Boomers as the dominant power in society, bypassing Gen X completely (as it was always clear would be the case.)
> there's the potential that what they've done (while being tracked and recorded every moment of their lives) could be used to blacklist the entire generation by zombie boomers and their xer children
Boomers' children are often Millenials, just as plenty of Gen X have Silent Generation parents. But, in any case, no, there's not, because Millenials are increasingly the ones running the show.
> They've already come of age during a ruined economy,
When they wouldn't have had much even if it was a good economy; meanwhile, GenX got wiped out mid-career by it, and Boomers facing retirement.
Sucks for everyone, but I'm not convinced it sucks worse for Millenials.
> Xers will live long enough that they could skip most of the millennials in favor of their kids
Except Xers will never be the dominant political, economic, or social power group, at best being #2 behind Millenials once the Boomers die off sufficiently.
Millennials are up to 38 years old in 2019.
At work, my team is composed mostly of individuals born in the 80's and we are only a handful of 90's. We share the same workplace attitudes.
The person I am dating was born in 1985. We see the world in a very similar way and share a lot of the same hobbies.
I did not come up with the date range. Look anywhere and that's what you will see.
"Researchers and popular media use the early 1980s as starting birth years"
Their kids are also up to 20 years old, and are more polished online than they were; they were born being judged for what they posted, and knowing that everyone at school would see it.
Also, there is the possibility of creating false data that is worse than the average blackmail material. For example, say you are a political dissident starting a new party that appears to be an actual threat to the incumbents. Oops, we leaked the data showing you had an uncanny knack for finding and repeatedly viewing the most illegal of material before our moderators manage to take it down.
No matter how well you can defend against such a claim, your political future is now over.
And with porn it's so multifaceted. Everybody breaches some taboo or other, but they're all different taboos. Not to mention that every social taboo immediately gets sexualized.
If the conspiracy theory was true though, they would have never let Tumblr go down. Tumblr was the mecca of weird, fringe, taboo porn. And they could even take down the people who made it.
That's not true, because it requires a further massive step (that is unlikely to occur): all people must be similarly revealed to be doing the thing in question.
You'd have to know that everyone is cheating on their spouse; everyone would have to have max knowledge / transparency. Until then, the ones that get revealed will get judged by those not yet revealed. In my observation, people tend to be very comfortable with being a hypocrite, right up to the point where they're burned by it.
And further, if there's even a small detail that is different, the crowd will use that detail as the point of differentiation to say that they're not as bad as some other person.
If you have 100 people all surfing the same porn, and only one of them gets publicly revealed for the behavior, most of the remaining 99 people - assuming individual separation - will pretend they're not doing the same thing. They'll ostracize or harshly judge the person that got revealed publicly, pretend they're not doing the same thing, and go on doing the same thing in private. This behavior seems to repeat essentially non-stop among people socially; you see it in the news, with politicians or celebrities, with scandals, in various group behavior, among friends & family, et al.