The Govporation Complex
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 create 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 in to the lives of common people and their personal stats. Add to that another powerful entity, the corporations, who within their pursuit of holy profit have tried to learn 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 in their life.
The line between governments and corporations is fading away. This is simply not a prediction but an undeniable fact which is happening across the world. The govporation will use and deploy whatever it can to help keep the status quo regardless of the increasing gap between your common people and the few who own almost everything. Despite all the negativity we all see, hear and read, there are always people within governments and corporations who do not trust certain actions or policies. Hopefully that they can bring differ from the inside by doing whatever they can to steer the ship to an improved destiny. One cannot indicate a whole government or corporation and say everyone inside it is out to dictate life to the rest to serve holy profit.
Now the world has developed into global digital community in which a large percentage of people and devices are connected to this entity called the Internet. One of the ways the Internet enriches our lives is that people can reach anyone with 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 life. When it started, it had been an instrument for collaboration between researchers and security issues were not on your brain map of developers. Any security mechanisms that we build today are retrofits attempting to cover the gaps. The web, or the web to be short, reaches into modern devices in a single way or the other. It’s in your house, office, outside “watching” you or 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 seize additional power and access. Shop around you and see what is going on while reading this to comprehend we are not seeing a loss of threats to people everywhere but an increase. The additional capacity 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 alive and limb. We will check out several current and upcoming developments which impact the personal world of the “commoner”. The pressures to give up personal data will undoubtedly be immense and relentless. A significant defense for individuals is awareness and make an effort to set the boundary which governments, corporate bodies or anyone else must respect by real laws. Suitable laws should be enacted, you will need to be aware of new developments and their consequences. As somebody once said; eternal vigil may be the price one has to cover to maintain freedom. You don’t want to live in an Orwellian world where “your government” watches your every move! Boundaries of your privacy need to 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 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 similar to 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 offered by the hands of evil. Innocent data will not exist, it is only 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 now part of lifestyle whether you prefer it or not. Such profiling is 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 can cause a lot of people to land in databases where they don’t belong. The section of gathering data from as much sources as possible 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 control this “big data” you will have 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 life. With the technologies on the market, it will be easy to collect, merge and manage the data about an individual. That all is collected without reason, innocent or not, for profit or simply because it is possible.
Biometric Data Sharing
The application of biometric data would be to help determine the identity of individuals in an authentic manner, particularly if multiple sets of data are used. For instance, the passport documents of several countries now routinely include 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 application of biometric data is now also applied on the streets and by alternative party organizations for different uses. Think of 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 could be remotely identified by face recognition camera’s without reason. Many experts have accused biometric data of raising a large percentage of false positives. You can aquire automatically identified as an unhealthy person grounding your travel plans or worse. Remember, countries, corporations among others are linking an increasing number of of their databases to form a giant worldwide database in which a lot of people have access. Some with not good intentions.
Everyone, Everywhere, Anytime
Think about the recent spate of news about 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 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 a testimony that even intelligence agencies have difficulties protecting their operations and data contrary to the human factor. It’s of-course not only the NSA, basically any similar agency far away does exactly the same. Where possible they cooperate with others or go at it alone. A lot of their operations are not reported with their own governments or only limited by a few people who are not allowed to say much. One of the reasons is that public figures will keep claiming there is nothing to be worried 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 but when it comes to the amount of secret agencies it goes beyond the known horizon. Everyone is 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 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 goes for exchanging data but additionally storing data on an area computer which range from tablets, phones, desktops to servers. The awakening of everyone is now also forcing many companies to start implementing some kind of encryption and privacy rules. This is encouraging however, not enough, especially the dominating corporations will always find a way to breach that trust while at exactly the same time enjoy protection from their friends in governments. Recent, leaked, information shows that hardware may be the new priority target to intercept data. Not just criminals but additionally 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 to do 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 to implement proper security. Still it isn’t a guarantee as other events show how shady agencies influence companies to weaken their product security to permit them easy access. Open-source hardware and software is advancing because of the cooperation of worldwide communities of individuals and is an alternative to “blackboxes”. Combined 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 as it is and turning the world into one big surveillance state. Crime in all its forms and shapes will always 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 have a different agenda and have to spread fear to help 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 is “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” news media outlets. Add to that infiltration of organizations and other entities and we are another step closer to perfect Orwellian societies. Cyber strikes aren’t as noticeable to the mass so they usually do not seem to be important enough to question or consider even though they get reported. Some media outlets spread disinformation on command, another exemplory case of the govporation complex. The question is what is 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 it 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 government only. There is a review process to appeal decisions of the FISA court but they 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 official 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 individuals in this process. These warrants are bound to improve and specific judges of FISA are likely 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 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 indicate others which are not. Most of the developed countries, particularly the ones growing in to the “developed” club, certainly have such secret courts. The troublesome part, beside legality, may be the use of such data for more control and economic espionage on everyone. The old mission to safeguard 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 even companies trying to dominate part of that job. As more and more people get “connected”, like on the web, their activities become noticeable to those who want to monitor and track them. How or on which basis any entity is dubbed a “potential threat” is often 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 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 undoubtedly be branded as a potential threat. By now everyone who critically followed worldwide developments can predict a “threat” could be predicated 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. That may or may not become reality, nonetheless it clearly demonstrates that this commercial behemoth thinks it is feasible. Drones that have capacity 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. It is easy to 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 kind of heavily armed drones used in military operations but rather the compact type with more features fitting an urban setting. Perhaps an initial step to robocops into the future with the authority of a real cop. Around 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 on. A drone equipped with high-definition cameras along with other light spectrum modes can easily identify targets in real-time linked to some mainframe. Several experts conclude there is a growing trend of militarizing police forces and extending their capability with drones. Your day may not be far off when police drones can launch missiles along with 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 definitely bad, but we focus here on the effect it has on liberties and how some powerful groups reap the benefits of it. After each major event like 9/11, wars in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, regional bloody revolutions with or without foreign influence, we do just what we ought to not do; sacrifice liberties we fought so hard for in the past just to get yourself a false sense of security. That sort of flawed logic has helped increase the monitoring, tracking, limiting freedom of citizens and increasing the energy of the govporation for its own agenda. What we should be doing is find the root cause of why a conflict or event happened to begin with 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 really is too late. Perhaps it is too late.
The Rise Of Crypto Currencies
Several crypto currencies have come into existence during the last few years. Bitcoin may be the most well-known of the while there were 275 crypto currencies around as of 2014. One clear trend you can actually notice is their popularity is steadily increasing. The market capitalization is an effective indicator of this although it is a bumpy ride with all the speculators involved. The Bitcoin market cap is currently around $4.3 billion, Ripple as another reaches $774 million and Litecoin as a third at $96 million. With economic and political issues affecting various countries on earth, more people begin to hedge their bets on the national currencies and work with these crypto currencies that aren’t controlled by any government or entity. Bitcoin Era Review is another example of how people rebel by starting to develop and provide alternatives to a system 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 pay the rotating credit repayments. The larger this burden, the lesser is the freedom of the person to really follow his free will. The principal concern of the person involved will be to stick to the current job, not rock the boat at all and go through the daily grind to ensure the debt repayments happen. One very effective way of control is to have greater burdens on everybody’s shoulders. To help keep that control it is necessary for those in capacity to restrict means of trading which cannot be easily monitored, taxed and controlled. God forbid people to actually miss 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 across the world. At least 20 of the fit the category war. By 2015 the rise of conflict areas in per year is worrying since elements of such are starting to discover a way into the daily life of many 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 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 will keep 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 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 one another.
– 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, struggling with the war against IS, assisted by an international 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 your rebel Al-Shabaab group and the government forces. Part of it is spilling over to surrounding countries.
– South Sudan, created as a fresh country in 2010 2010 2010. There are two wars going on. Fight between the ex-vice president’s and the president’s forces is probably 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 against the central government mixed with terror groups using the country as their base of operations.
Although a lot of the above conflict areas have a long violent history it is likely to see new conflict in regions or countries where conflict isn’t directly expected. Economic disparities will always be known reasons for flare-ups throughout history. Now 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 old story for humanity as you might be thinking, yet 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 over the internet. They are closely working with multiple governments on policies, shared projects and sharing data. Most willingly cooperate despite knowing 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 short introduction:
” To reach another person on the web you must type an address into your personal computer – a name or perhaps a number. That address should be unique so computers know how to locate each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers around the world. Without that coordination we wouldn’t have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. This can be a not-for-profit partnership of individuals 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 web. It cannot stop spam also it doesn’t deal with usage of 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 web. “
Now with the push for ICANN to eliminate itself from governmental oversight to a far more corporate setting it is a lot more worrying for future years of the internet as it exists now. Of-course it is currently choosing between your lesser of evils until hopefully an improved solution is found. We’ve seen what happens when the so called “free market” gets control, often people will not reap the benefits of 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 be confident we will do so in a new article. Giant corporations like Facebook, Google, Amazon among others intend to provide internet services to poor regions on the planet where there’s none or hard to obtain online. Of-course it isn’t just because it creates their heart warm however they wish to also decide what folks pay, see, do and obtain on “their” version of the internet. Exactly like what the lobby of corporate groups wants for the internet as it is now. That is also why some countries went ahead to repair net neutrality by law, even though some implemented a weak version of it under great pressure from the corporate lobby. So you might want to take a look at how this is arranged in your country if.