a reply to: AlmostRosey
I think it is utterly beyond question, that certain elements of the way our technology has evolved, represent a negative effect on our level of
privacy. Whether that equates to enslavement
, which is a very specific circumstance to find oneself in, is however in question.
The monitoring situation, technology being taken out of our control, and put in the hands of companies and governments is something which really does
not need to be discussed too deeply, in order to find that there is something extremely nefarious underlying it all. The subject cannot be discussed
without reference to the activities of Edward Snowden, since they occupy the same space in terms of how they can be categorised as a function of
authoritarianism. These things are increasingly obviously, fact, rather than a part of some dystopian fiction.
The question is not whether they are going on, or whether they are damaging to the state of democracy, privacy, and essential freedoms, but what can
we possibly do about it, without disconnecting ourselves entirely from electronic communiations systems. Now, rather obviously, that would be deeply
impractical for many reasons. For a start, here we are communicating about these subjects using electronic communications formats to do so.
Furthermore, it is vital
that we continue to do so! Without discussions like those hosted here, the stories which come out in the news which
relate to these issues, are forgotten by the majority, they pass out of the frame of reference as readily as curls of smoke from a freshly
So we really are in a cleft stick in an awful lot of ways. Now, I personally am not connected to Facebook or Twitter, but just by owning a computer
which has a built in camera, and using an iPad, which has one front and back, I am exposed to all manner of remote access. Interestingly enough, the
computer through which I am communicating now, an HP G70, has an inbuilt camera which is probably easier
to access remotely, than it is to
access from the hardware itself! Sure, the thing works if I use it on Skype or something (again, exposure), but try to access it without using a
communication program! You will realise upon the attempt, that the scanners and cameras section of the computer does not register the existence of
The real issue is, that we ARE in difficult situation, because without the capacity to discuss these issues, they fall into the background...
I come here to discuss these things, because many people, a great majority of people refuse to even contemplate them. They have these mechanisms that
they use to ignore these matters, without really engaging in them at all, despite being most at risk of having their data accessed for nefarious
purpose by governments, companies, and criminal enterprises (the differences between which seem to grow smaller every day, as new information comes to
light). Discussing these matters in social settings therefore, is not really an option, because people are not willing to engage.
My best friend, despite knowing my preference not to be attached to a social network, recently suggested that I join Facebook for the purpose of
arranging my upcoming birthday celebrations, because all the people I was intending to invite locally, are on Facebook, and find it difficult to take
notice of things which happen outside of it. The network is addictive, pervasive, comfortable, and hence people become uncomfortable with forms of
communication which fall outside of it! They find it harder to retain data which comes in via email and text messages, than they do Facebook
communications, probably because walls and status updates mean that they do not necessarily have to actively remember as much personal data about
friends and family, events and invitations, as they would without these systems.
However, this pervasive and addictive element are all part and parcel of dressing these systems up as anything else than the back door intelligence
gathering tools that they really are. I fail to believe that the creators of these systems are intelligent enough to create them at all, but not
intelligent enough to understand the implications of doing so, hence my being disinclined to interact with them myself.
I would however say, that we are not slaves to these systems. We are either victims of an organised exercise in industrial voyeurism, or partially
outcast from society as far as the web goes, and of course that has ripples in wider society. I see these things as being very dangerous indeed, for
the long term security of every one of us, not just here in the circles in which this membership move, but for every human being on the planet. There
is no goodness which can come of any of this.
edit on 18-3-2015 by TrueBrit because: Spelling error removed