Here's what Brit snooping tells us: IE users are no fun

Here's what Brit snooping tells us: IE users are no fun

Summary: The latest presentation dumped by former U.S. contractor Edward Snowden reveals a mishmash of bad psychology, slightly delusional big data dreams and presentations that would require a lot of faith in government IT practices to believe.

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What does a lot of time spent snooping on Internet behavior and tapping into global Web traffic cables tell us: Users of Microsoft's Internet Explorer are agreeable, less neurotic than other browser users and not as open to new experiences.

Gee, thanks. The latest presentation dumped by former U.S. contractor Edward Snowden reveals a mishmash of bad psychology, slightly delusional big data dreams and PowerPoint discussions that would require a lot of faith in government IT practices to believe.

Check out exhibit A from a presentation leaked by former U.S. government contractor Edward Snowden and posted by NBC News:

snowden nbc1

 

Earlier: Meet the 'Spy Smurfs': Here's how the NSA, GCHQ target iPhones, Android devices | Snowden's Squeaky Dolphin leak: Brits spy on YouTube, Facebook behavior

From there, we're supposed to believe that tracking likes on Facebook and YouTube shares adds up to some real-life insight on people and how they think. Ultimately, the governments around the world can run this stuff through filters and Splunk dashboards and hit the big data mother lode---catching the bad guys.

I think I'll call BS on this concept. All this snooping presents one major fire hose of data issue. So much of the data collected is pure junk. Facebook could basically be called Fakebook in many circumstances so beware of the public funding sinkholes tracking likes. How are the psychographics of browser users really telling us all that much?

Topics: Privacy, Government, Security

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17 comments
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  • Nice spin

    What I see in the chart is IE users' highest level of conscientiousness, which unsurprisingly got conveniently overlooked in the article.

    5-star spin-job.
    LBiege
    • re: Nice spin

      > What I see in the chart is IE users' highest level of conscientiousness

      Hmm, how does that square with the millions of Windows PCs in botnets? Apparently the makers of these charts didn't use care and update of AV software in their calculations of "conscientiousness."
      none none
    • IE

      ..and they have the highest level of extroversion
      Flash6969
  • I am British ...

    ... and I now long for the day when The UK Government cuts ties with the US, just as the US cut ties with the decaying British Empire.
    jacksonjohn
    • What's that supposed to mean?

      The US and UK have maintained regular diplomatic relations continuously since the end of the War of 1812 in 1815, and have been allies since WWII. So what do you mean by "breaking ties"?
      John L. Ries
    • Huh? When did the US "cut ties with the decaying British Empire"?

      I'll agree that the US and India weren't always friends during the cold war, but other than that, the US has had close ties with most commonwealth members since the empire's decay began decades ago. The empire, by the way, hasn't existed for a while now.
      Flydog57
  • I agree . . .

    "I think I'll call BS on this concept."

    I agree . . .

    A graph with "Extroversion," "Conscientiousness," "Neuroticism," "Agreeableness," and "Openness to experience?" WTF??

    Looks like it came from a drunk psychology student.
    CobraA1
    • It's called OCEAN test

      It's a very well known theory in psychology, actually: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits
      fogbank
  • Top Secret

    LOL, this is top secret. I suppose Captain Crunch classified this data... what's behind those redacted bits... could be earth shattering.
    greywolf7
  • So this means

    Firefox users are insufferable nerds? I jest, I jest. :) I use them all, so not sure what is says about me.
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
    • 21st century schizoid man?

      :-) j/k
      greywolf7
    • So this means

      I use all of them also. Plus Opera. I like the Italian language.
      unklmik
  • IE users are no fun

    These are the old farts that don't know the difference between a browser and a search engine. Only use IE because it's there.
    randyd2@...
    • So, you didn't like the results, and then, you issue your own

      simplistic and stupid conclusion from the report or data?

      I'd take my chances with the "old farts", rather than from one who draws idiotic conclusions from data he/she doesn't like.
      adornoe
  • Kind of a stretch

    Rather conclusively proving that IE users are no fun, the chart does nothing of the kind. I would have thought that it would have shown the average IE user as unsophisticated in IT, timid in general and living in fear of any kind of change whatsoever, but it doesn't say that either. Maybe the average IE user thinks a computer is a toaster, you buy it, you plug it in, it works as well as it works and when it doesn't work anymore, you buy a new one.
    WhatsamattaU
  • This graph means nothing

    All four of the browsers show very similar results, so this graph says nothing at all about the differences between browser users. If anything at all, it's the 'agreeableness' of IE users that stands out (if only just). This is probably true as most users of IE ARE users of IE simply because it's already there and no work needed to change it.
    Snak
  • Opera

    Stupid of me to publicly say that the NSA apparently isn't interested in this Opera user? (Hi!)
    Jezetha