By Dark Politricks
Most of us don’t even realise it but we are all sleep walking into a surveillance society by consent.
Here in the UK the previous governments plans to introduce identity cards were scrapped by the incoming Tory Liberal coalition and we were offered a watered down version of a very good Freedom Bill as an attempt to restore some lost liberties. However in the great scheme of things this has meant very little for the young generation who have grown up with the Internet.
The billions of users that make use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and communicate by Skype and iPhones when they are not on the Internet can forget the old conspiracy theory that many people subscribed to regarding the micro-chipping of the population like dogs as it is no longer required because we are already living in a state of total surveillance where are every move is monitored.
Can you imagine someone living in the 1960’s being told that in the future all the following would be true. What would they say. Would they call you a paranoid conspiracy freak or would they believe that we would have to be living in some of fascist government for all this to happen? Whatever they would say I doubt they would believe you if you told them that it would all be by choice and that the public has willingly traded privacy for the the sake of consumerism.
So what kind of world have we walked into?
- A world in which millions of CCTV cameras adorne public walls (over 4 million in the UK), indoor shops and streets capturing your every move hundreds of times a day. Not only has the technology progressed so that the cameras have inbuilt facial recognition and can identify criminals and others on the myriad of central databases as they enter specific areas they have now built cameras that can actually identify criminal activity by analysing the movements of the subjects being watched and identifying suspicious moves such as fights, objects being thrown and voices being raised.
- A world in which to get on a plane you have to be virtually strip searched by potentially dangerous X-Ray machines that can see your naked body through your clothes. Not only have these scanners been proved to be infective when it comes to identifying certain materials that can be used to create an explosive device on board a plane they have yet to catch a single terrorist in the act trying to board a plane and are instead used to demean and humiliate travellers who’s only wish is to go on holiday.
- A world in which there is no need to microchip everybody as the majority of people carry around mobile phones with them that constantly keep track of their location by GPS or GPRS. Modern smart phones log the users current geographical location wherever they are and the police have been caught out downloading this data without a warrant using handheld devices.
- A world in which all telephone and email conversations are routed through huge super computers run by western nations such as the USA, UK, Canada and Australia to look for suspicious content. The Echelon system has been running for decades now intercepting billions of communications between people and whilst it was originally set-up during the Cold War it has now progressed to general snooping on the population supposedly to aid the fight against terrorism but in reality it has been used for industrial espionage as well as other spurious and probably illegitimate reasons.
- A world in which all your banking transactions, credit card purchases and wire transfers are handed over without question to the USA. You would have thought that being a European country the USA wouldn’t have any legal right to such personal data but you would be wrong. At first they just took it and then once the EU found out about it they kicked up a fuss for a bit before bending over like they usually do and signing an agreement which allows the US to monitor all our banking transactions under the SWIFT agreement.
- A world in which millions of people have been slowly conditioned over time to consider privacy as an antiquated concept. Through the use of social media Internet sites such as Facebook and MySpace people post every conceivable kind of personal information from “checking in” to their current location, to tagging friends in photographs and posting details about their habits, hobbies and social activity. Whilst many people only see this as harmless fun the huge database that is generated is worth billions not only to advertisers who can then target specific adverts as well as government sources who have intimate links with companies such as Google, Mircorsoft and Facebook and see this data as a goldmine for recording networks of people and identifying possible malcontents for further investigation.
- A world in which all our Internet traffic is tracked and monitored by various government agencies and front companies that work for them. The US government has had close links with the big IT companies for a number of years and this is confirmed by the attendance of their CEO’s at yearly Bilderberg meetings.
- A world in which people have gotten so used to be spied on from the skies, through Google Earth, and monitored by CCTV and their computers that they can see nothing wrong with the full spectrum surveillance society they actively participating in.
This year the head of Google Eric Schmidt, the co-founder of Facebook Chris Hughes, and the head of Microsoft Bill Gates all attended the Bilderberg meeting and we can only guess what they discussed as the minutes of the meeting are always private.
However we know that these companies are very closely linked with the US Government and the CIA and not only has Microsoft build in backdoors into their PC’s so that the NSA can access computers but Google was helped to startup with CIA seed money and has helped American security agencies develop real time monitoring systems that trawl the net looking for data that can help identify persons of interest whether they be terrorists, dissidents or just people brave enough to still exercise their freedom of speech.
Our technological world which more and more people depend on for every day activities is slowly becoming part of the prison wall that surrounds us.
As new advances in computing come on the scene and get taken up by large numbers of users it isn’t long before one of the big government linked companies come along and buy it up. Google has bought up so many applications that it has been a common joke in the developing world that the only profitable business model on-line is to write an application and hope it gets bought up Google.
An example of a recent buy-out was the popular but loss making Skype Voice over IP service that allowed users to make long distance phone calls over the Internet which was bought out by Microsoft for £5.2 billion.
Some people might wonder why Microsoft would want to spend so much money on a loss making service but when you consider their close ties with the NSA it becomes quite clear. Instead of having to spend huge amounts of money building tools to tap into the major Internet connections to then decrypt and listen into the traffic they now have access to the front end application. Why build back doors when you have a front door key?
Because the common Internet user perceive tools like Google Earth and Facebook as beneficial to their own lives they pay little attention to the other users of such tools and bit by bit we are slowly succumbing to a modern high tech police state in which soon the only privacy that will be available will be virtual worlds such as a suped up Second Life.
All these points are signs that we are already living in a high tech surveillance society. You might brush all this off as inconsequential paranoia and see these intrusions as important tools in the never ending fight against terror and for most people it is most certainly a case of “if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about”.
However we only have to remember the years of communism in which hunts for dissidents and free thinkers were the primary job of the Stasi and KGB to realise that when such a huge spy apparatus exists the scope of it’s remit only grows and grows until the number of innocent people caught up in its web eventually outnumbers the guilty.
It for this reason that we should all be worried and if history teaches us anything it is that we never learn from it.
Our power hunger leaders are most certainly prone to repeating the worst excesses of previous surveillance states only this time round they will have super high tech tools with which to do the job.
For our own sake we need to keep a very close eye on the people that are supposedly meant to protect us as it might already be too late for logic and reason to reverse the tide of fear that currently consumes our government and their desire to monitor our every move.