Please be considerate in contacting me about job opportunities. As much as I need a real job, I have seen way too much bullshit in this space. And I guess this is insufficiently obvious for some people: My decision to make contact information publicly available does not, in itself, constitute a solicitation for opportunities to part with my hard-earned money. Online service providers of various sorts should see here.
It is inappropriate to address me as “Mr. Benfell.” I have a Ph.D. Appropriate forms of address are “Dr. Benfell” or “David” or “Dave.”
I grew up mostly on Ramaytush, Ohlone, and Muwekma territory (San Francisco). In California, I last lived in Graton Rancheria and Southern Pomo territory (Graton), before that, Ohlone, Tamyen, Muwekma, and Awaswas territory (near Lexington Reservoir, Los Gatos). I believe I initially lived in 𐓏𐒰𐓓𐒰𐓓𐒷 𐒼𐓂𐓊𐒻 𐓆𐒻𐒿𐒷 𐓀𐒰^𐓓𐒰^(Osage) and Shawandasse Tula (Shawanwaki/Shawnee) territory (Baldwin Borough, Pennsylvania) but have moved to 𐓏𐒰𐓓𐒰𐓓𐒷 𐒼𐓂𐓊𐒻 𐓆𐒻𐒿𐒷 𐓀𐒰^𐓓𐒰^(Osage) territory (Upper Saint Clair, Pennsylvania)
I have and have had accounts on various social networks. But companies that run these platforms face a dilemma following Donald Trump’s abuse, and I support their long-overdue decisions to ban him. However, there is a larger problem in that such platforms also function as public squares where ideas need to be aired, but where the companies solve the problem of abusive speech with artificial idiocy. I have now run afoul of this a few times, even on utterly anodyne replies.
Google Plus had no appeal process whatsoever. Twitter’s appeal appears to be to the very same artificial idiot that flagged my post in the first place. LinkedIn’s censorship constrains political speech—if you find an account for me here, they have failed to follow my instruction to close the account and I am now treating all communications from LinkedIn as spam.
The very same arrogance that was a factor driving me away from California now also compels me to curtail my social media presence, as I simply have no reliable way to avoid running afoul of the artificial idiots that now police these networks.
Mail should generally be sent to the following address, addressed in the following format (I’m told this is critical):
10 Old Clairton Road
Suite 12A PMB 197
Pittsburgh, PA 15236-3933
I no longer live in the Sebastopol area. I am maintaining this mailing address for now and mail is forwarded from this address weekly.
321 South Main Street #12
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Telephone and Messaging
The Verizon number is signed up with Signal. Unfortunately, I had to stop using Signal as a default messaging app because it lacks the ability to permanently block abusive senders. I still have the app and you can use it; however, I do not accept “sealed sender” messages from non-contacts or people with whom I have not shared my profile.
Do not call me unless I have you in my contacts as your call will be automatically declined. I dislike phone calls anyway; I detest them with strangers. And I spend much of my time driving—I do not welcome more unpredictability than I already encounter on the road. I much prefer written communication.
I am also on iMessage and FaceTime as email@example.com and by the Verizon phone number. Due to a number of problems, including an appalling customer service experience and Google’s lackadaisacal attitude toward privacy generally, abortion rights, and the blocking of advertising, I am transitioning away from Google products.
Do not use Facebook chat applications, either Messenger or WhatsApp, to contact me. Facebook exists to compromise privacy. Its untrustworthiness is well-established. I have deleted Telegram due to a number of issues, including privacy and security.
Google Voice should forward to my Verizon Wireless number. All numbers are registered on both the federal and Pennsylvania Do Not Call lists.
|Boost Infinite||+1-412-228-0202||Probably the best number to call me on, this number had been deprecated but has won a reprieve with this carrier. Boost Infinite is a mobile virtual network operator, using its own network, AT&T, and T-Mobile. I’m hoping this, in addition to Verizon Wireless, will improve my mobile data coverage.|
|Verizon Wireless||+1-707-824-1194||Use this number for Signal or voice calls.|
|Session||(ask for it in person)||Session appears to be an improvement on Signal and other methods in that it is decentralized and does not rely on a phone number for identification. I am accordingly not making my Session identification public as this would be an avenue for adversaries to engage in network analysis, undermining privacy. I may share a Session ID via difficult to trace means. Anticipate that there will be some lag in communication as it relies on blockchain.|
|Element||@benfell:matrix.org||I’m still trying to figure all this out. Supposedly, it has encrypted or clear chat.|
Things I shouldn’t have to explain, but, jeez, I guess I do
- If I do not recognize your number, either because you have caller ID blocked or because you are not in my contacts, your call will be blocked or declined. This page is chock full of alternative means of contact. Choose another.
- If I screen your call, this is your opportunity to identify yourself properly and to state what the call is about. Follow fucking directions.
- Legitimate callers will not have a problem identifying themselves.
- Failing to identify yourself does not make me more likely to answer your call on subsequent attempts.
Now, can somebody please explain why that’s so hard?
I’m letting Proton Mail handle my email now. SMTP is an old protocol that’s been tweaked to resist spam; the various measures one must take to be trusted as not a spammer are just too difficult and I’m no longer running my own server anyway. So all my current email addresses are on Proton Mail in one form or another. You may find old university email addresses for me in various places; to the extent they still work, they should forward to current addresses, but I doubt any of them still work.
Because technology companies and even some online pharmacies have proven ambivalent about abortion rights and about protecting the privacy of those who seek abortions, it is necessary, as cryptography advocates have argued for a very long time, to make cryptography normal, so that when people use cryptographic means of messaging, their messages do not stand out.
In my own way, I will be nagging you to embrace cryptography. Please go to Proton Mail. They make it all ridiculously easy.
My emails are now cryptographically signed and accompanied by an attachment with my key. I use with the following ECC (Curve25519) keys:
-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- xjMEZAVgERYJKwYBBAHaRw8BAQdA49gSoslGhSt/IB4rrg9u4AMxVT0+Rnf5 elYAmpFJJgPNOWJlbmZlbGxAZGlzdW5pdGVkc3RhdGVzLm9yZyA8YmVuZmVs bEBkaXN1bml0ZWRzdGF0ZXMub3JnPsKMBBAWCgA+BQJkBWARBAsJBwgJEBRY 0squtWTFAxUICgQWAAIBAhkBAhsDAh4BFiEER8zWyooG/Ig3Q6pGFFjSyq61 ZMUAAFnWAQCQqwvsF+vamofcTFWRV1rkVG8hsH5gEKeu4Th8DpPqpgD/Y973 xEIVE8tRtT2CEchtVmXc3InPNPqlxA6lWiCbbg3OOARkBWAREgorBgEEAZdV AQUBAQdAdCVed/+SiHph6EqlEFsMJStty5dQQGO7agP3qHvB5xMDAQgHwngE GBYIACoFAmQFYBEJEBRY0squtWTFAhsMFiEER8zWyooG/Ig3Q6pGFFjSyq61 ZMUAAFeKAQC8J+UnaRIHWiljqXgEvehgUHzD6xRBvoA7hN3T6+8vjQEAt5cm OlrzydPtPg9JDGoRV4WiX2Dwh2TeZzrs5DAY4Qo= =gfN8 -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Contact encryption (not for email):
-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- xjMEZAVEABYJKwYBBAHaRw8BAQdA4to/teC3zDlFaAXd4bV6PJVe2erk+Vk+ 8xmeDJ7oUNnNO25vdF9mb3JfZW1haWxfdXNlQGRvbWFpbi50bGQgPG5vdF9m b3JfZW1haWxfdXNlQGRvbWFpbi50bGQ+wowEEBYKAD4FAmQFRAAECwkHCAkQ EfZTBBzksUcDFQgKBBYAAgECGQECGwMCHgEWIQSMfKU8es7U2yIYtTgR9lME HOSxRwAA6yoA/2htimP7J/lGKPk05xN/thdDiPDRG98tmmqiX9sdfTDDAQCI rCxHUNWCMXsNcnX/MM0VdvUAqPkApIc1ABKZq/J9D844BGQFRAASCisGAQQB l1UBBQEBB0B8UuYw5ktwF+n8ZGk5qALobfOiXOzy6F8dFgNwSlnROgMBCAfC eAQYFggAKgUCZAVEAAkQEfZTBBzksUcCGwwWIQSMfKU8es7U2yIYtTgR9lME HOSxRwAAgd4A/3yR0+RgPZT4OlVh2uXtDkhft/u9ByMCPBuFyBYJRHV3AP9B sr5itFl1Pn2PvkR7RReU2P7AwG128z6DmoM1bo00DA== =Con+ -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
- Drivers should be able to earn a living and costs of operation go far beyond the trips themselves, including downtime and trips without passengers. As such, I believe appropriate compensation for drivers using their own cars would be four times the Internal Revenue Service mileage rate (In 2023, 65.5¢ per mile, which, multiplied by four, comes to $2.62 per mile) plus $25 per hour. This is not meant to be competitive with existing services. It is meant to be just.↩
- Native Land Digital, “Native Land,” n.d., https://native-land.ca/↩
- Margi Murphy, “Facebook, Instagram and Twitter lock Donald Trump’s accounts after praise for Capitol Hill rioters,” Telegraph, January 7, 2021, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2021/01/06/calls-twitter-facebook-mute-donald-trump-violence-breaks-capitol/; Tony Romm and Elizabeth Dwoskin, “Trump banned from Facebook indefinitely, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says,” Washington Post, January 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-resignations-25th-amendment/2021/01/07/e131ce10-50a3-11eb-bda4-615aaefd0555_story.html; Nitasha Tiku, Tony Romm, and Craig Timberg, “Twitter bans Trump’s account, citing risk of further violence,” Washington Post, January 8, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/01/08/twitter-trump-dorsey/↩
- David Benfell, “The public square of the Internet,” Not Housebroken, June 6, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/06/06/the-public-square-of-the-internet/↩
- David Benfell, “The paradox of free speech and censorship,” Not Housebroken, November 1, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/11/01/the-paradox-of-free-speech-and-censorship/; David Benfell, “Our new Satan: artificial idiocy and big data mining,” Not Housebroken, January 13, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/01/13/our-new-satan-artificial-idiocy-and-big-data-mining/↩
- David Benfell, “On profanity,” Not Housebroken, October 11, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/09/27/on-profanity/↩
- David Benfell, “Farewell, California, I’ll miss you and I won’t miss you,” Not Housebroken, April 9, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/04/09/farewell-california-ill-miss-you-and-i-wont-miss-you/↩
- David Benfell, “Customer disservice and the Google ecosystem,” Not Housebroken, April 11, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/04/11/customer-disservice-and-the-google-ecosystem/↩
- Corin Faife, “Firefox and Chrome are squaring off over ad-blocker extensions,” Verge, June 10, 2022, https://www.theverge.com/2022/6/10/23131029/mozilla-ad-blocking-firefox-google-chrome-privacy-manifest-v3-web-request; Shane Goldmacher and Stephanie Saul, “Democratic Candidates Woo Silicon Valley for Donations, Then Bash It,” New York Times, June 6, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/06/us/politics/democrats-2020-donations-silicon-valley.html↩
- Darryl Coote, “N.Y. AG to Google: Stop directing people seeking abortions to anti-abortion centers,” United Press International, June 30, 2022, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/06/30/New-York-Google-Maps/9871656579373/; Cory Doctorow, “Google makes millions on paid abortion disinformation,” Medium, June 15, 2023, https://doctorow.medium.com/google-makes-millions-on-paid-abortion-disinformation-7cd4e4b72e28; Poppy Noor, “Google targets low-income US women with ads for anti-abortion pregnancy centers, study shows,” Guardian, February 7, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/feb/07/google-targets-low-income-women-anti-abortion-pregnancy-center-study↩
- Corin Faife, “Firefox and Chrome are squaring off over ad-blocker extensions,” Verge, June 10, 2022, https://www.theverge.com/2022/6/10/23131029/mozilla-ad-blocking-firefox-google-chrome-privacy-manifest-v3-web-request↩
- Sebastian Meineck, “Five Reasons You Should Delete Telegram from Your Phone,” Vice, November 25, 2020, https://www.vice.com/en/article/jgqqv8/five-reasons-you-should-delete-telegram-from-your-phone↩
- The problem here is that these networks can be traced, and activity used to build “behavior models” that can inform surprisingly accurate guesses as to what people are doing. This threat is serious and was known long before this article, even if it is not quite as alarming as the headline: Technische Universität Darmstadt, “Popular Messenger Services – Such As WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram – Are Extremely Insecure,” SciTechDaily, September 20, 2020, https://scitechdaily.com/popular-messenger-services-such-as-whatsapp-signal-and-telegram-are-extremely-insecure/↩
- Meghan Bobrowsky, “Google Says Maps, Searches Will Identify Clinics That Provide Abortions,” Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/google-says-maps-searches-will-identify-clinics-that-provide-abortions-11661457587; Darryl Coote, “N.Y. AG to Google: Stop directing people seeking abortions to anti-abortion centers,” United Press International, June 30, 2022, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2022/06/30/New-York-Google-Maps/9871656579373/; Jennifer Gollan, “Websites Selling Abortion Pills Are Sharing Sensitive Data With Google,” ProPublica, January 18, 2023, https://www.propublica.org/article/websites-selling-abortion-pills-share-sensitive-data-with-google; Poppy Noor, “Google targets low-income US women with ads for anti-abortion pregnancy centers, study shows,” Guardian, February 7, 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/feb/07/google-targets-low-income-women-anti-abortion-pregnancy-center-study; Runa Sandvik, “How US police use digital data to prosecute abortions,” TechCrunch, January 27, 2023, https://techcrunch.com/2023/01/27/digital-data-roe-wade-reproductive-privacy/; Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert, “Facebook and Google are handing over user data to help police prosecute abortion seekers,” Business Insider, March 4, 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/police-getting-help-social-media-to-prosecute-people-seeking-abortions-2023-2↩