Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dark forces trying to use the new technology to increase their grip on society

 I was 14 years old when I left Romania in the spring of 1990, right after the collapse of Ceausescu's regime. I have vivid memories of my life under the tyranny. Some things that are part of your normal life were considered illegal or were forbidden, like owning a small business, criticizing the government or government officials, or even killing your own home-grown cow to feed your family. We lived in constant fear of being reported to the "securitate" for transgressing ridiculous norms, including openly questioning our own condition. The government was collecting information about the population through different technological means, recording phone conversations, opening letters, bugging workplaces and public places, and also by using a vast network of informants. I heard somewhere that in America the government had no right to spy on its own population. At the age of 14, not knowing what freedom means, I thought that this was an aberration. I simply could not comprehend it.

source of this cartoon
20 years later, established in Canada, I am witnessing a gradual transition towards the same situation and climate in North America. It is now out in the open that the US government is indiscriminately spying on its entire population. Data is gathered by monitoring all forms of electronic communication between individuals and from corporate databases. You cell phone is a bug that you carry with you, it can be remotely activated to listen to whatever happens in your soundings, without any obvious warning.

Recently, Citizen Concepts, a US government tool, launched the Patriot App.

"...the world's first iPhone application that empowers citizens to assist government agencies in creating safer, cleaner, and more efficient communities via social networking and mobile technology. This app was founded on the belief that citizens can provide the most sophisticated and broad network of eyes and ears necessary to prevent terrorism, crime, environmental negligence, or other malicious behavior.

Key Features:

  • Integrated into Federal Agencies points of contactsFBI
  • EPA
  • GAO
  • CDC
  • Custom integration with user employers
  • Fully integrated with Social Media (Facebook, Twitter)
  • Multiple menus and data fields
  • View FBI Most Wanted
  • Simple graphical user interface"    source

Here it is if you are so degenerate to participate is this massive snitching operation.

Here is their problem though. WE also have the same tools!
You see, the new technology flattens the play-field, it introduces symmetry in technological means and potential between governments and citizens. What stops us from building a mobile+web application and to incite the population (the TRUE patriots) to log every movement of government officials, financiers and corporate managers ? What stops us from recording and analyzing all their actions with input data from the entire population? In a sense this is what the Internet is doing in a more informal way... Well, let's do it in a more coherent and organized way then! 

And here's something else. What stops you from participating but only to increase the noise level in their data, by reporting FALSE, but credible information. Haha, this sounds like fun to me... They must have some mechanism to sort out credible and non-credible sources. So if you send photos of dirty toilets you will most probably be tagged as a non-credible source, and your effect on the system will be minimized. So keep it serious and credible, as much as possible.

Written by t!b!
By AllOfUs

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