Governance of countries, throughout history, has always depended on monitoring and tracking its citizens. Common people in their effort to safeguard their privacy have tried to create 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. Add to that another powerful entity, the corporations, who within their quest for 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 designed to protect folks from unreasonable interference in their life.
The line between governments and corporations is fading away. This is not a prediction but a fact which is happening around the world. The govporation will use and deploy whatever it could to keep the status quo despite 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. Hopefully that they can bring change from the inside by doing whatever they are able to to steer the ship to a better destiny. One cannot point to a whole government or corporation and say everyone inside 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 people and devices are linked to this entity called the web. One of the ways the Internet enriches our lives is that people can reach anyone on 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 life. When it started, it had been a tool for collaboration between researchers and security issues were not on your brain map of developers. Any security mechanisms that people build today are retrofits attempting to cover the gaps. The web, or the net to be short, reaches into modern devices in a single way or another. It’s in your house, office, outside “watching” you or even on your own body as a wearable. More worrisome may be the rise of intelligent mobile technology that’s potentially high-risk whether you are at 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 seize additional power and access. Look around https://bitcointrade.kr 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 only to privacy anymore but to life and limb. We will check out several current and upcoming developments which impact the non-public world of the “commoner”. The pressures to give up personal data will undoubtedly be immense and relentless. A significant defense for the people is awareness and try 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 familiar with 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 “your government” watches your every move! Boundaries of one’s privacy have to 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 huge can of worms which is a guaranteed ticket to a society we do not want. One reason is human nature as demonstrated countless times by history, not talking about the good 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 of the data gathered is now available at the hands of evil. Innocent data will not exist, it is just a matter of the proper 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 people to land in databases where they do not belong. The section of gathering data from as much sources as you possibly can and automatically utilize it to categorize people is asking for problems. Now that humongous levels of data can be easily analyzed and computer technology provides the tools to control this “big data” you will see increasing pressure to mix 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 on the market, 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 use of biometric data is to help determine the identity of individuals in an authentic manner, particularly when multiple sets of data are used. For example, 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 along with what they need to determine the desirability of a person to enter the united states. Sadly enough the utilization of biometric data is now 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 may get automatically identified as an undesirable person grounding your travel plans or worse. Remember, countries, corporations among others are linking increasingly more of their databases to create a giant worldwide database where 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 a surprise, for other people who always called worried citizens tinfoil crazies, it really is embarrassing by all of the revelations about the widespread mass surveillance. Not merely have they been monitoring domestic citizens, they are cited for snooping on people and political parties in other countries. 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 really a testimony that even intelligence agencies have difficulties protecting their operations and data against 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. Plenty of their operations aren’t reported to their own governments or only limited by a few people who are not allowed to state much. One of the reasons is that public figures will keep claiming there is nothing to be worried about and life goes 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 but when it comes to the level of secret agencies it goes beyond the known horizon. Many people are a target, just by scanning this article you are probably already being monitored and categorized in some 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 instead of leaving it in the clear. This applies to exchanging data but also storing data on an area computer which range from tablets, phones, desktops to servers. The awakening of the general public 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 find a way to breach that trust while at the same time enjoy protection from their friends in governments. Recent, leaked, information shows that hardware is the new priority target to intercept data. Not just criminals but also government agencies are, with or minus the understanding of manufacturers, rigging products to spy on the end-user. That they gather a huge amount 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 Internet of Things, IoT, it really is more important than ever before to implement proper security. Still it is not a warranty as other events show how shady agencies influence companies to weaken their product security to allow them quick 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’ll mean people can still get data from A through X to B. Even though such progress is unwanted it can’t 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 be part of humanity to manage, so using this as grounds to sacrifice freedom, progress and alternatives is really a no go. Perhaps it would benefit only the few who have 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 very best defense against those pesky enemies of the state; pre-emptive cyber strikes against other countries are increasing while disinformation is being 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 are not as visible to the mass so they do not appear to be important enough to question or consider 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 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 is the world we want to live 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 is considered to be almost a parallel supreme court today. Here the cases are completely one sided and so are argued by the federal government only. You will find a review process to appeal decisions of the FISA court but they are few and far between. Not just one case has gone in interest the Supreme court. This can be the court that issues warrants for (mass)surveillance including phone taps on individuals. The extent of these warrants reached 1800 in 2013 alone. The official story would be to stop terrorism and protect people which in itself is logical. The point is that there is no more accountability for individuals in this technique. These warrants are bound to improve and specific judges of FISA are likely to be amenable to issuing more of these 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 assumes questions about constitutional validity and delivers interpretations which never undergo any public scrutiny. This 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, may be the usage of such data for more control and economic espionage on everyone. The old mission to safeguard and serve the people appears to be 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 take over part of that job. As more and more people get “connected”, like online, their activities become noticeable to those who wish 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 current newest technologies it is easy to get tagged as a threat but almost impossible to fight against it as well as know such entry exists in a few 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 perhaps asking the “wrong” questions, even as a journalist.
Weaponized Urban Drones
Amazon has announced that it’ll be delivering products bought by its customers through drones. That could or might not become reality, nonetheless it clearly demonstrates that commercial behemoth thinks it really is feasible. Drones that have capability to reach the desired addresses are feasible today. However, authorities in different countries have 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. These are not the kind of heavily armed drones found in military operations but instead the compact type with an increase of features fitting an urban setting. Perhaps a first step to robocops into the future with the authority of a genuine cop. As of this writing there are several 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 easily identify targets in real-time connected to some mainframe. Several experts conclude there is an increasing trend of militarizing police forces and extending their capability with drones. Your 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 and not in a a long way away country.
World Events Impact Liberties
Today’s world is quickly changing with each negative event speeding up certain unpopular agendas. Not saying that change is always bad, but we focus here on the effect 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 exactly what we should not do; sacrifice liberties we fought so difficult for in the past merely to get a false sense of security. That type of flawed logic has helped increase the monitoring, tracking, limiting freedom of citizens and increasing the power of the govporation because of its own agenda. Might know about be doing is discover the root cause of why a conflict or event happened to begin with and learn from it instead of just fighting the outward symptoms as usual. In the event that 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 is going to change your view until it really 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 the while there have been 275 crypto currencies in existence by 2014. One clear trend it is simple to 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 speculators involved. The Bitcoin market cap happens to be 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 planet, more people start to hedge their bets on the national currencies and work with these crypto currencies that are not controlled by any government or entity. It is another exemplory case of how people rebel by starting to develop and provide alternatives to something which does not serve them anymore.
Cash Limits & Debt Increasing
Most developed countries, governments, float nowadays on credit while an increasing amount of citizens run through 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 really follow his free will. The primary concern of the person involved will be to adhere to the current job, not rock the boat at all and feel the daily grind to ensure the debt repayments happen. One very effective way of control would be to have greater burdens on everybody’s shoulders. To help keep that control it is important for those in capacity to restrict means of trading which can’t be easily monitored, taxed and controlled. God forbid visitors to actually miss the middleman and deal directly with each other and change the system 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 all over the world. At least 20 of these fit the category war. As of 2015 the rise of conflict areas in a year is worrying since elements of such are starting to find a way into the daily life of several people in stable communities. That in itself can be bad or good if it awakens people to reality and see why these exact things happen, the story behind them and not just an indicator out of the blue. The following is 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 country 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 attempt 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 without 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 taking over a considerable part including a piece of Iraq.
– Iraq, fighting the war against IS, assisted by an international coalition consisting of the united states, 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 federal government forces. Part of it is spilling to surrounding countries.
– South Sudan, created as a new 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 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 blended with terror groups using the country as their base of operations.
Although the majority of the above conflict areas have a long violent history it is likely to see new conflict in regions or countries where conflict is not directly expected. Economic disparities will always be known reasons for flare-ups throughout history. Given 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 combination 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 may 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 over the internet. They are closely working with multiple governments on policies, shared projects and sharing data. Most willingly cooperate despite realizing 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 it is important to understand what ICANN is, extracted from the ICANN website a short introduction:
” To reach another person online you must type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address should be unique so computers know where to find one another. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers around the world. Without that coordination we wouldn’t have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. This is a not-for-profit partnership of individuals from worldwide 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 also it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the web. ”
Now with the push for ICANN to remove itself from governmental oversight to a far more corporate setting it is a lot more worrying for the future of the internet since it exists now. Of-course it is currently choosing between your lesser of evils until hopefully a better solution is found. We have seen what happens once the so called “free market” gets control, often people will not benefit from this but again those that 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 who control it but rest assured we will do so 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’s none or hard to get online. Of-course it is not just because it creates their heart warm however they wish to also decide what folks pay, see, do and get on “their” version of the internet. Exactly like what the lobby of corporate groups wants online as it is now. This is also why some countries went ahead to fix 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 this is arranged in your country if at all.