Governance of countries, throughout history, has always depended on monitoring and tracking its citizens. Common people within their effort to protect their privacy have tried to set a boundary to what could possibly be monitored and snooped. This boundary has kept shifting; particularly advancements in technology have always managed to get possible to reach further into the lives of common people and their personal stats. Add to that another powerful entity, the corporations, who in their pursuit of holy profit have tried to read customer behavior to ensure their profit targets are met. History shows businesses and governing powers have often worked on common agenda. Increasingly bypassing laws intended to protect folks from unreasonable interference within their life.
The line between governments and corporations is fading away. This is simply not a prediction but an undeniable fact which is happening everywhere. The govporation use and deploy whatever it can to keep the status quo regardless of the increasing gap between your common people and the few who own almost anything. Despite all the negativity most of us see, hear and read, you can find always people within governments and corporations who usually do not agree with certain actions or policies. We hope that they can bring differ from the inside by doing whatever they can to steer the ship to a better destiny. One cannot point to a complete government or corporation and say everyone inside it has gone out to dictate life to the others to serve holy profit.
Now the world has turned into a global digital community in which a large percentage of individuals and devices are connected to this entity called the Internet. One of the ways the web enriches our lives is that we can reach anyone with this net wherever they are. But then, do not forget that when you can reach anyone easily, others can reach you equally easily and dig into your daily life. When it started, it had been an instrument for collaboration between researchers and security issues weren’t on the mind map of developers. Any security mechanisms that people build today are retrofits attempting to cover the gaps. The internet, or the net to be short, reaches into most modern devices in one way or the other. It’s in your own home, office, outside “watching” you and even on your own body as a wearable. More worrisome is the rise of intelligent mobile technology that’s potentially high-risk whether you’re in the home or outside jogging in the park.
Several social-political trends indicate why those in power and in the monitoring / tracking business will seek to grab additional power and access. Look around you and see what is going on while reading this to understand we have been not seeing a decrease of threats to people everywhere but a rise. The additional power to monitor your lives in-depth will be justified through certain, man-made, events and technical developments. The threat is not just to privacy anymore but to life and limb. We will take a look at several current and upcoming developments which impact the personal world of the “commoner”. The pressures to stop personal data will undoubtedly be immense and relentless. An important defense for individuals is awareness and make an effort to set the boundary which governments, corporate bodies or other people must respect by real laws. Suitable laws will have to be enacted, you will need to be aware of new developments and their consequences. As somebody once said; eternal vigil is the price one has to cover to maintain freedom. You do not want to live in an Orwellian world where “big brother” watches your every move! Boundaries of your privacy should be guarded zealously.
Assuming by default that many people are a threat and therefor justifying total surveillance and control of people is not the ideal solution. It opens a giant can of worms which is a guaranteed ticket to a society we usually do not want. One reason is human nature as demonstrated countless times by history, not discussing the nice kind. Another reason is that governments come and go just like the world keeps changing. When, not if, we enter another dark period in history it will be an electronic disaster as all the data gathered is now offered by the hands of evil. Innocent data does not exist, it is just a matter of the right time and the wrong hands to turn it into a weapon.
Automated Multi Source Profiling
Automated multi source profiling is now part of daily life whether you prefer it or not. Such profiling can be used to narrow down targets that require to be watched for any specific reason. The reason may be good or bad, the method itself is flawed and will cause a lot of visitors to land in databases where they do not belong. The section of gathering data from as much sources as you possibly can and automatically use it to categorize people is requesting problems. Now that humongous amounts of data could be easily analyzed and computer technology provides the tools to manage this “big data” there will be increasing pressure to combine databases from many sources. Data gathered from government branches, commercial parties to non-profit organizations providing another piece of the puzzle about your daily life. With the technologies available today, it will be simple to collect, merge and manage the data about an individual. That is collected without reason, innocent or not, for profit or just because it is possible.
Biometric Data Sharing
The use of biometric data is to help determine the identity of individuals in an authentic manner, particularly when multiple sets of data are employed. For example, the passport documents of many countries now routinely are the fingerprint information but iris scan data and face recognition data are making an introduction too. Today the Canadian government uses the united states biometric database as well as what they have to determine the desirability of a person to enter the united states. Sadly enough the use of biometric data is now also applied on the streets and by third party organizations for different uses. Think about identifying someone at specific places within the united states and saving that information for later use. This will not target international travelers anymore, but everyone within borders can be remotely identified by face recognition camera’s without reason. Many experts have accused biometric data of raising a lot of false positives. You can find automatically identified as an undesirable person grounding your travel plans or worse. Remember, countries, corporations and others are linking an increasing number of of their databases to create a giant worldwide database in which a lot of folks have access. Some with not so good intentions.
Everyone, Everywhere, Anytime
Think about the recent spate of news concerning the NSA snooping. Although for some people this was not just a surprise, for other people who always called worried citizens tinfoil crazies, it is embarrassing by all the revelations about the widespread mass surveillance. Not only have they been monitoring domestic citizens, they are cited for snooping on people and political parties far away. No doubt, the extensive option of internet technologies and the reach of the Internet have made these activities possible. That some well-known whistle-blowers could access the data acquired by NSA, is really a testimony that even intelligence agencies have difficulties protecting their operations and data against the human factor. It’s of-course not only the NSA, basically any similar agency far away does the same. Where possible they cooperate with others or go at it alone. Plenty of their operations are not reported to their own governments or only limited by a few people that are not allowed to state much. Among the reasons is that public figures will keep claiming there is nothing to worry about and life continues on for the common man. Also traditional intelligence gathering shifted to economic intelligence to greatly help the own economy. In commercial terms it’s called business intelligence however when it comes to the amount of secret agencies it goes beyond the known horizon. Many people are a target, just by scanning this article you’re probably already being monitored and categorized in a few database. Sorry to break it to you.
Hardware Bigger Target
There is a trend which is slowly finding its solution to the general public to utilize encryption software to secure data rather than leaving it in the clear. This goes for exchanging data but additionally storing data on an area computer ranging from tablets, phones, desktops to servers. The awakening of everyone is now also forcing plenty of companies to start implementing some type of encryption and privacy rules. That is encouraging however, not enough, especially the dominating corporations will always discover a way to breach that trust while at the same time enjoy protection from their friends in governments. Recent, leaked, information demonstrates hardware may be the new priority target to intercept data. Not only criminals but additionally government agencies are, with or minus the knowledge of manufacturers, rigging products to spy on the end-user. That Bitcoin Revolution Review gather plenty of information which has nothing in connection with a legitimate target they are after is ignored. Everything is stored for future use. Now with the web of Things, IoT, it is more important than ever before to implement proper security. Still it isn’t a warranty as other events show how shady agencies influence companies to weaken their product security to allow them easy access. Open-source hardware and software is advancing because of the cooperation of worldwide communities of people and is an option to “blackboxes”. Coupled with more decentralizing of encrypted data flows mixed through Tor-like networks it will mean people can still get data from the through X to B. Even if such progress is unwanted it can’t be stopped without destroying the internet since it is and turning the world into one big surveillance state. Crime in all its forms and shapes will be part of humanity to manage, so using this as a reason to sacrifice freedom, progress and alternatives is a no go. Perhaps it could benefit only the few who’ve a different agenda and need to spread fear to keep people in line serving them.
Increase of Cyber Strikes, Disinformation & Infiltration
It appears to be getting normal to attack first and investigate later as that’s “always” the best defense against those pesky enemies of hawaii; pre-emptive cyber strikes against other countries are increasing while disinformation has been spread through “bought” press outlets. Add to that infiltration of organizations and other entities and we have been another step nearer to perfect Orwellian societies. Cyber strikes aren’t as noticeable to the mass so they do not appear to be important enough to question or consider even if they get reported. Some media outlets spread disinformation on command, another example of the govporation complex. The question is what is accomplished beside making a potential situation worse by pre-emptive strikes, corrupting news media for hidden agendas and spreading distrust in society by more infiltrations? By knowing the why and who society can determine if this can be a world we want to live in or do we have to make changes.
More Secret Courts
Here we take including the U.S secret courts but this is by no means the only country using such setups for specific operations. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or the FISA of 1978 allows a secret court to be setup. It is considered to be almost a parallel supreme court today. Here the cases are completely one sided and so are argued by the government only. You will find a review process to appeal decisions of the FISA court but they are few and far between. Not one case has gone in appeal to the Supreme court. This is actually the court that issues warrants for (mass)surveillance including phone taps on individuals. The extent of the warrants reached 1800 in 2013 alone. The state story would be to stop terrorism and protect people which in itself is logical. The main point is that there is no more accountability for the people in this process. These warrants are bound to improve and specific judges of FISA will tend to be amenable to issuing more of the authorizations. The authorizations often allow massive amounts of data to be supplied to the NSA and other agencies by telecom operators. In its rulings the court often takes on questions about constitutional validity and delivers interpretations which never undergo any public scrutiny. That is happening especially in the countries which always boast about their democracy and indicate others which are not. Lots of the developed countries, specially the ones growing in to the “developed” club, certainly have such secret courts. The troublesome part, beside legality, is the use of such data for more control and economic espionage on everyone. The old mission to protect and serve the people is apparently getting less important with each passing year.
More Threat Branding
It is no secret that many entities come beneath the scanner of government agencies and also companies trying to take over part of that job. As more and more people get “connected”, like on the Internet, their activities become visible to those who want to monitor and track them. How or on what basis any entity is dubbed a “potential threat” is usually a subjective thing. Unless these decision makers have strict checks and balances, you will see higher prospect of getting dubbed a potentially disruptive influence by someone. Now with all the newest technologies you can easily get tagged as a threat but extremely difficult to fight against it or even know such entry exists in some database. The broader powers the govporation complex gets the more entities will undoubtedly be branded as a potential threat. Right now everyone who critically followed worldwide developments can predict a “threat” could be predicated on economic motivation or simply asking the “wrong” questions, even as a journalist.
Weaponized Urban Drones
Amazon has announced that it will be delivering products bought by its customers through drones. That could or may not become reality, but it clearly demonstrates that commercial behemoth thinks it really is feasible. Drones that have capability to reach the required addresses are feasible today. However, authorities in various countries need to finalize regulations governing flying drones in urban airspace before commercial projects could launch. You can easily realize that the many governmental agencies are already increasing the urban use of flying drones for surveillance and monitoring purposes. Beside that it plays a part in mass-surveillance, a worrying development is arming drones with lethal and non-lethal weapons for use against civilians. They are not the sort of heavily armed drones used in military operations but instead the compact type with an increase of features fitting an urban setting. Perhaps an initial step to robocops of the future with the authority of a genuine cop. As of this writing there are various companies already offering armed drones for crowd control with pepper-spray, rubber bullets, blinding lasers, ear-piercing audio and so forth. A drone built with high-definition cameras and other light spectrum modes can quickly identify targets in real-time linked to some mainframe. Several experts conclude there is an increasing trend of militarizing police forces and extending their capability with drones. The day may not be far off when police drones can launch missiles and other projectiles on a crowd in its mission area, in your backyard rather than in a a long way away country.
World Events Impact Liberties
Today’s world is fast changing with each negative event accelerating certain unpopular agendas. Not saying that change is always bad, but we focus here on the result it is wearing liberties and how some powerful groups reap the benefits of it. After every major event like 9/11, wars in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, regional bloody revolutions with or without foreign influence, we do just what we have to not do; sacrifice liberties we fought so hard for in the past just to get a false sense of security. That sort of flawed logic has helped raise the monitoring, tracking, limiting freedom of citizens and increasing the power of the govporation for its own agenda. What we should be doing is find the root cause of why a conflict or event happened in the first place and learn from it instead of just fighting the outward symptoms as usual. If you still think after all what has happened so far and leaked to the general public there’s still no reason going to the alarm button then nothing else will change your view until it really is too late. Perhaps it really is too late.
The Rise Of Crypto Currencies
Several crypto currencies attended into existence over the last few years. Bitcoin may be the most well-known of the while there were 275 crypto currencies in existence as of 2014. One clear trend you can actually notice is their popularity is steadily increasing. The marketplace capitalization is an excellent indicator of this although it is a bumpy ride with the speculators involved. The Bitcoin market cap is currently around $4.3 billion, Ripple as another is at $774 million and Litecoin as a third at $96 million. With economic and political issues affecting various countries on the globe, more people begin to hedge their bets on the national currencies and use these crypto currencies that are not controlled by any government or entity. It really is another exemplory case of how people push back by starting to develop and provide alternatives to something which will not serve them anymore.
Cash Limits & Debt Increasing
Most developed countries, governments, float nowadays on credit while a growing amount of citizens run through their credit limits and start to live to pay the rotating credit repayments. The larger this burden, the lesser may be the freedom of the person to really follow his free will. The principal concern of the individual involved will be to adhere to the existing job, not rock the boat at all and feel the daily grind to guarantee the debt repayments happen. One very effective method of control would be to have greater burdens on everybody’s shoulders. To help keep that control it is vital for those in capacity to restrict means of trading which cannot be easily monitored, taxed and controlled. God forbid people to actually skip the middleman and deal directly with one another and change the system from within.
Worldwide Increase of Conflicts
By the finish of year 2013, The Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research (HIIK) reported the existence of some 400 conflicts all over the world. At least 20 of these fit the category war. By 2015 the rise of conflict areas in per year is worrying since elements of such are starting to find a way into the daily life of several people in stable communities. That alone could be bad or good if it awakens visitors to reality and see why these things happen, the story behind them and not just a symptom out of the blue. The following is really a limited list, in no particular order, of major ongoing conflicts which will keep growing:
– Democratic Republic of Congo, where in fact the army of the ruling government is fighting with the M23 rebel group and religious tensions are flaring up between Christians and Muslims.
– Mali, where Islamist rebels are actively seeking to take over the united states fighting against mostly French forces who intervened.
– The war between Ukraine, backed by the US/EU, against rebels in the east of Ukraine where they declared their own Republic states backed by Russia.
– Nigeria, where terror group Boko Haram in their try to introduce Sharia law, keeps attacking moderate Muslims and Christians.
– Sudan, where sets of mixed ethnic origin are fighting with government forces and each other.
– The long bloody conflict between Israel and Palestine with no real solution in sight.
– Afghanistan, remains a war zone of fighting between government forces, assisted by the united states mostly, and the Taliban.
– Unstable Pakistani border with Afghanistan and increasing drone strikes on extremist groups.
– Mexico, remains the hotbed of drug-wars, human trafficking, blackmail and smuggling by the drug cartels.
– Syria, the civil war continues to rage on with the terror group IS overtaking a considerable part including a bit of Iraq.
– Iraq, fighting the war against IS, assisted by a global coalition consisting of the US, Arab countries, Iran and the EU. Religious violence between Sunnis and Shiites can be increasing.
– The Philippines where Moro people continue their struggle for independence.
– Somalia continues to have problems arising out of fighting between the rebel Al-Shabaab group and the federal government forces. Part of it really is spilling over to surrounding countries.
– South Sudan, created as a fresh country this year 2010 2010. You can find two wars going on. Fight between your ex-vice president’s and the president’s forces is among the conflicts. While the presidential force can be engaged in supporting autonomy struggles of two provinces in neighboring Sudan.
– North Korea and South Korea, occasional skirmishes and technically still in war.
– Yemen, rebel groups fighting against the central government blended with terror groups using the country as their base of operations.
Although the majority of the above conflict areas have an extended violent history it is expected to see new conflict in regions or countries where conflict isn’t directly expected. Economic disparities will always be reasons for flare-ups throughout history. Now that the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) break right into the “developed” countries club one must anticipate serious friction over market, influence, resources and territory. Internal conflicts, within countries, sometimes differ but often it involves a variety of one or more of the following causes: poor economy, corruption, police state, religious tensions, foreign influence, oppression, unpopular politics, extreme difference poor vs rich, racial inequality. The same old story for humanity as you might be thinking, just another flavor and color.
Corporate Influence on the web & ICANN
You can find major developments in the digital world that indicate the increasing dominance of major corporations on the internet. They are closely dealing with multiple governments on policies, shared projects and sharing data. Most willingly cooperate despite realizing that some of what they are doing is illegal or at the very least very unethical. But holy profit, power and status is something shared by both parties giving it the name “the govporation”. Before we continue you should understand what ICANN is, taken from the ICANN website a brief introduction:
” To reach another person online you need to type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address must be unique so computers know where to find one another. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn’t have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit partnership of individuals from around the world dedicated to keeping the web secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN doesn’t control content on the net. It cannot stop spam also it doesn’t deal with access to the web. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important effect on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. “
Now with the push for ICANN to eliminate itself from governmental oversight to a far more corporate setting it is even more worrying for the future of the internet since it exists now. Of-course it really is currently choosing between the lesser of evils until hopefully a better solution is found. We’ve seen what happens when the so called “free market” takes over, often people will not reap the benefits of this but again those who are able it in wealth and power will applaud it. It is too much because of this article to go over the limits of “free market” by those who control it but rest assured we will do so in a fresh article. Giant corporations like Facebook, Google, Amazon among others intend to provide internet services to poor regions on the globe where there’s none or hard to obtain online. Of-course it is not just because it creates their heart warm however they wish to also decide what people pay, see, do and obtain on “their” version of the web. Just like what the lobby of corporate groups wants online as it is now. This is also why some countries went ahead to repair net neutrality by law, even though some implemented a weak version of it under pressure from the corporate lobby. So you might want to take a look at how that is arranged in your country if at all.