Governance of countries, throughout history, has always depended on monitoring and tracking its citizens. Common people within their effort to safeguard their privacy have tried to set a boundary to what could be monitored and snooped. This boundary has kept shifting; particularly advancements in technology have always made it possible to reach further into the lives of common people and their personal details. Increase that another powerful entity, the corporations, who in their pursuit of holy profit have tried to read customer behavior to make sure 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 not a prediction but a fact which is happening everywhere. The govporation will use and deploy whatever it could to help keep the status quo despite the increasing gap between your common people and the few who own almost everything. Despite all the negativity most of us see, hear and read, there are always people within governments and corporations who usually do not trust certain actions or policies. Hopefully that they can bring change from the within by doing whatever they can to steer the ship to a better destiny. One cannot point to a whole government or corporation and say everyone in it is 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 linked to this entity called the Internet. One of the ways the web enriches our lives is that we can reach anyone on this net wherever they are. But then, do not forget that if you can reach anyone easily, others can reach you equally easily and dig into your daily life. When it started, it was an instrument for collaboration between researchers and security issues were not on your brain map of developers. Any security mechanisms that people build today are retrofits trying 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 as well as on your body as a wearable. More worrisome may be the rise of intelligent mobile technology that is 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. Shop around you and see what is going on while reading this to comprehend 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 only to privacy anymore but alive and limb. We will take a look at several current and upcoming developments which impact the non-public world of the “commoner”. The pressures to stop personal data will be immense and relentless. A significant defense for individuals is awareness and try to set the boundary which governments, corporate bodies or anyone else must respect by real laws. Suitable laws should be enacted, you 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 reside in an Orwellian world where “big brother” watches your every move! Boundaries of your privacy must be guarded zealously.
Assuming by default that everyone is 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 human history it will be an electronic disaster as all of the data gathered is now available at the hands of evil. Innocent data does not exist, it is just a matter of the right time and the incorrect hands to turn it right into a weapon.
Automated Multi Source Profiling
Automated multi source profiling is currently part of daily life whether you like it or not. Such profiling can be used to narrow down targets that require to be watched for just about any specific reason. The reason may be good or bad, the technique itself is flawed and can cause a lot of people to land in databases where they don’t belong. The part of gathering data from as much sources as possible and automatically use it to categorize people is asking for problems. Now that humongous amounts of data could be easily analyzed and computer technology provides the tools to manage this “big data” you will have increasing pressure to combine databases from many sources. Data gathered from government branches, commercial parties to non-profit organizations providing another little bit of the puzzle about your life. With the technologies available today, it will be easy to collect, merge and manage the info about an individual. That all is collected without reason, innocent or not, for profit or simply because it is possible.
Biometric Data Sharing
The utilization of biometric data would be to help determine the identity of individuals in an authentic manner, particularly when multiple sets of data are used. For instance, the passport documents of several 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 in addition to what they need to determine the desirability of an individual to enter the united states. Sadly enough the utilization of biometric data is currently also applied on the streets and by alternative party organizations for different uses. Think of identifying somebody at specific places within the country 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 obtain automatically identified as an undesirable person grounding your travel plans or worse. Remember, countries, corporations and others are linking more and more of their databases to form a giant worldwide database in which a lot of people have access. Some with not so good intentions.
Everyone, Everywhere, Anytime
Consider the recent spate of news concerning the NSA snooping. Although for a lot of this was not just a surprise, for others who always called worried citizens tinfoil crazies, it really is embarrassing by all of the revelations concerning 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 web have made these activities possible. That some well-known whistle-blowers could access the data acquired by NSA, is a testimony that even intelligence agencies have difficulties protecting their operations and data contrary to the human factor. It’s of-course not merely the NSA, basically any similar agency in other countries does the same. Where possible they cooperate with others or go at it alone. Many their operations aren’t reported with their own governments or only limited by a few people that are not allowed to state much. One of the reasons is that public figures can keep claiming there is nothing to be worried about and life goes on for the normal man. Also traditional intelligence gathering shifted to economic intelligence to greatly help the own economy. In commercial terms it’s called business intelligence but when it comes to the level of secret agencies it goes beyond the known horizon. Many people are a target, just by reading 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 that is slowly finding its solution to the general public to utilize encryption software to secure data rather than leaving it in the clear. This applies to exchanging data but also storing data on an area computer ranging from tablets, phones, desktops to servers. The awakening of everyone is now also forcing a lot of companies to start implementing some type of encryption and privacy rules. This is encouraging but not enough, especially the dominating corporations will always find a way to breach that trust while at the same time enjoy protection from their friends in governments. Recent, leaked, information implies that hardware may be the new priority target to intercept data. Not just criminals but also government agencies are, with or without the understanding of manufacturers, rigging products to spy on the end-user. That they gather plenty of information which has nothing in connection with a legitimate target they’re after is ignored. Everything is stored for future use. Now with the web of Things, IoT, it is more important than ever to implement proper security. Still it is not a guarantee as other events show how shady agencies influence companies to weaken their product security to permit them quick access. Open-source hardware and software is advancing because of the cooperation of worldwide communities of individuals and is an option to “blackboxes”. Coupled with more decentralizing of encrypted data flows mixed through Tor-like networks it’ll mean people can still get data from A through X to B. Even though such progress is unwanted it cannot be stopped without destroying the web as it is and turning the planet into one big surveillance state. Crime in every its forms and shapes will always be part of humanity to cope with, so using this as grounds to sacrifice freedom, progress and alternatives is really a no go. Perhaps it could benefit only the few who’ve a different agenda and have to spread fear to help keep people in line serving them.
Increase of Cyber Strikes, Disinformation & Infiltration
It seems to be getting normal to attack first and investigate later as that’s “always” the very best defense against those pesky enemies of the state; 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 closer to perfect Orwellian societies. Cyber strikes are not as visible to the mass so they usually do not seem to be important enough to question or think about even though they get reported. Some media outlets spread disinformation on command, another example of the govporation complex. The question is what’s accomplished beside creating a potential situation worse by pre-emptive strikes, corrupting press 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 reside in or do we need to make changes.
More Secret Courts
Here we take including the U.S secret courts but this is by no means the only real 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 really is regarded as almost a parallel supreme court today. Here the cases are completely one sided and are argued by the government only. There is a review process to appeal decisions of the FISA court but these are few and far between. Not just 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 these warrants reached 1800 in 2013 alone. The state story is to stop terrorism and protect people which in itself is logical. The main point is that there is forget about accountability for individuals in this process. These warrants are bound to increase and specific judges of FISA will tend to be amenable to issuing more of these authorizations. The authorizations often allow massive amounts of data to be supplied to the NSA along with 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 point to 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 usage of such data for more control and economic espionage on everyone. Bitcoin Era Review 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 under the scanner of government agencies and also companies trying to dominate part of that job. As more and more people get “connected”, like online, their activities become visible to those who wish to monitor and track them. How or on what basis any entity is dubbed a “potential threat” is often a subjective thing. Unless these decision makers have strict checks and balances, there will be higher potential for 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 a few database. The broader powers the govporation complex gets the more entities will be branded as a potential threat. By now everyone who critically followed worldwide developments can predict that a “threat” could be based on economic motivation or perhaps asking the “wrong” questions, even while a journalist.
Weaponized Urban Drones
Amazon has announced that it’ll be delivering products bought by its customers through drones. Which could or may not become reality, nonetheless it clearly demonstrates that this commercial behemoth thinks it really is feasible. Drones that have capacity 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 already are 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. These are not the type 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 into the future with the authority of a real cop. As of this writing there are many companies already offering armed drones for crowd control with pepper-spray, rubber bullets, blinding lasers, ear-piercing audio etc. A drone equipped with high-definition cameras along with other light spectrum modes can quickly identify targets in real-time connected to some mainframe. Several experts conclude there’s a growing trend of militarizing police forces and extending their capability with drones. The day may not be remote when police drones can launch missiles and other projectiles on a crowd in its mission area, in your backyard and not 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 to say that change is always bad, but we focus here on the result it has on liberties and how some powerful groups benefit from it. After each major event like 9/11, wars in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, regional bloody revolutions with or without foreign influence, we do exactly what we should not do; sacrifice liberties we fought so difficult for in the past merely to get yourself a false sense of security. That type of flawed logic has helped increase the monitoring, tracking, limiting freedom of citizens and increasing the energy of the govporation for its own agenda. Might know about be doing is discover the real cause of why a conflict or event happened in the first place and learn from it rather than just fighting the symptoms as usual. In the event that you still think after all what has happened up to now 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 is too late. Perhaps it is too late.
The Rise Of Crypto Currencies
Several crypto currencies have come into existence over the last few years. Bitcoin may be the most well-known of these while there have been 275 crypto currencies in existence by 2014. One clear trend you can actually notice is their popularity is steadily increasing. The market capitalization is a great indicator of this though it is a bumpy ride with all the current speculators involved. The Bitcoin market cap is currently around $4.3 billion, Ripple as a second is at $774 million and Litecoin as a third at $96 million. With economic and political issues affecting various countries on earth, more people start 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 rebel by starting to develop and offer 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 tell you their credit limits and start to live to cover the rotating credit repayments. The bigger this burden, the lesser may be the freedom of the person to essentially 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 go through the daily grind to guarantee the debt repayments happen. One very effective method of control is to have greater burdens on everybody’s shoulders. To keep that control it is important for those in capacity to restrict ways of trading which can’t be easily monitored, taxed and controlled. God forbid visitors to actually skip the middleman and deal directly with each other and change the machine from within.
Worldwide Increase of Conflicts
By the end of year 2013, The Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research (HIIK) reported the existence of some 400 conflicts around the world. At least 20 of the fit the category war. As of 2015 the rise of conflict areas in a year is worrying since components of such are starting to discover a way into the daily life of many people in stable communities. That alone can be bad or good if it awakens visitors to reality and see why these things happen, the story in it and not just an indicator out of the blue. The next is a limited list, in no particular order, of major ongoing conflicts which keeps growing:
– Democratic Republic of Congo, where 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 wanting 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 very own Republic states backed by Russia.
– Nigeria, where terror group Boko Haram in their attempt to introduce Sharia law, keeps attacking moderate Muslims and Christians.
– Sudan, where groups 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 US 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 possess problems arising out of fighting between the rebel Al-Shabaab group and the government forces. Part of it is spilling to surrounding countries.
– South Sudan, created as a fresh country this year 2010 2010. You can find two wars going on. Fight between the ex-vice president’s and the president’s forces is probably the conflicts. As the presidential force is also 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 contrary to the central government mixed with terror groups utilizing the country as their base of operations.
Although most of the above conflict areas have a long violent history it is expected to see new conflict in regions or countries where conflict is not directly expected. Economic disparities have always been known reasons for flare-ups throughout history. Given that the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) break 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 next causes: poor economy, corruption, police state, religious tensions, foreign influence, oppression, unpopular politics, extreme difference poor vs rich, racial inequality. The same kind of story for humanity as you might be thinking, just another flavor and color.
Corporate Influence online & ICANN
There are major developments in the digital world that indicate the increasing dominance of major corporations online. They are closely working with multiple governments on policies, shared projects and sharing data. Most willingly cooperate despite knowing that some of what they’re doing is illegal or at 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 on the Internet you should type an address into your personal computer – a name or a number. That address should be unique so computers know how to locate each other. 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 people from everywhere dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the web. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it can have an important effect on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. “
Now with the push for ICANN to remove itself from governmental oversight to a far more corporate setting it is even more worrying for future years of the internet as it exists now. Of-course it really is currently choosing between your lesser of evils until hopefully an improved solution is found. We have 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 for this article to discuss the limits of “free market” by those that control it but rest assured we will achieve this in a fresh article. Giant corporations like Facebook, Google, Amazon and others intend to provide internet services to poor regions on the globe where there is none or hard to obtain online. Of-course it isn’t just because it makes their heart warm but they wish to also decide what people pay, see, do and get on “their” version of the internet. Just like what the lobby of corporate groups wants for the internet as it is now. That is also why some countries went ahead to fix net neutrality by law, although some implemented a weak version of it under great pressure from the corporate lobby. So you might want to take a look at how that is arranged in your country if.