Abundant White Light

CyberSecurity and Information Security. Better.

Big Brother

If you have been paying attention over the past two decades, you will have noticed a significant up-tick in the amount of surveillance of every aspect of our daily lives, be it in public, at work, while visiting businesses, institutions, government agencies.

All of our activity, on- or offline, everywhere we go, our movement, our travel, our behavior… everything is somehow subject to observation and monitoring, with and without our knowledge and/or approval (let alone consent).

The ironic thing about this is, is that we have been largely conditioned to accept this “for our own safety”.  Major world events, like the infamous “9/11” in New York City, was an absolute God-Send for the U.S. government (and others who later followed suit).  Under the guise of “protecting the public”, events like “9/11” have been ‘hijacked’ (pun intended!) to justify sweeping surveillance-&-control measures, preying on the general public’s fear.   During ‘normal’ stable times when we feel as though we live in relative safety and independence (yes, it’s an illusion!), we would never so willingly accept “Big Brother” into our lives.

Truth is, pretty much anywhere in the world, particularly the “First World”, there has never been so much information-gathering, analysis, archiving and storage (“just in case it’s needed some day”), as in our present time.

Government bodies at virtually all levels have devised clever ways to implement this massive data mining, deputizing others to do the dirty work, and even forcing non-government bodies (like private companies) into subservient compliance under the guise of mysterious “regulations” (again, all in the name of greater public safety).

I would challenge you to find an area of daily life that is now NOT subject to government monitoring, regulation, forced-compliance and sweeping authority.

Should you draw the government’s attention in any questionable way, your entire life and everything you do, everyone you know, everything you have ever had, said, written and done, everywhere you have ever been, can be scrutinized, examined, observed, recorded and analyzed… all without the traditional legal roadblocks of search warrants, due process, formal investigations, etc.   Just giving the government any “cause” to investigate you, is sufficient.

Making matters worse, for the majority of “Lemmings” in the general public, is the widespread acceptance to make everything electronic, link everything with everything else, “simplifying” our life by making all aspects of it “Smart-Tech”-enabled, online or internet-ready.  Given the choice of doing something “old school”, or engaging in some modern “techie” way, most of us will sooner or later choose the “techie” way.  (we are all victims to psychological marketing and convenience, and being told what’s “hot” and what’s “cool”).

Big Brother, meanwhile, is sitting there, mining unfathomable amounts of data in all forms and from all sort of media and platforms, enjoying our self-imposed inter-connectivity, when we link different areas of our lives together electronically.  Big Brother’s gobbling up our bread-crumb trails we disperse every single day, like PacMan.

With a few clicks of a mouse, Big Brother can significantly impair your life as you know it.  You think “Identity Theft” by a “Hacker” would be bad???? …..  How about Big Brother doing so to YOU?  Your identity, your freedom of movement/travel, your bank account and investment holdings, professional licenses, government records, etc. etc. can all be altered, tampered with or destroyed.

Bear with me for a second and Just imagine this:   You wake up one morning, your Driver License is listed in the DMV database as ‘suspended’ or your driving record is completely gone like it never existed. Your Passport has been revoked/cancelled, your bank accounts all show $0.00 balances, the law enforcement database shows you have outstanding arrest warrants, your water and electricity, internet and cellphone have been turned off because everyone is showing “serious account delinquency” (non-payment!), and when you later try to access any of your online accounts or profiles, your passwords no longer work. … Does this sound like a good day to you???

In recent years, so-called “Leakers” have been exposing government behaviors (and also those of NGO’s), and the outcry and backlash has been remarkable.  It seems that the unauthorized (yet, often morally mandated) disclosure is mainly frowned upon because it EXPOSED wrong-doing which the perpetrators of course would have preferred remain hidden from the public.  (like catching a kid with his hand in the cookie jar).  –> If you want to see an interesting film, search for a copy of “CitizenFour“.

We should all be examining our daily lives, and figure out what level of surveillance (by whomever) we are willing to accept and for what purpose.  The more people can come together and reach some level of consensus, the more likely the probability of evoking some positive changes.  Doing nothing is the same as consenting.

Think of ways that you can make little changes here and there. Be aware of what is happening, and determine for yourself what you are willing to accept, and where you can take action.

Always be VIGILANT whenever you hear of new regulations coming out, whether at the City or County level, or State level, or even higher, whenever something is being presented as being for the “public good” or “public safety” (or something along those lines).

Take a step back and think carefully WHO really benefits from this regulation. Who has the most to gain? Whom does this favor? Whom does the new rule empower?   Much effort and skill will be used to make the new rule an easier sell on those against whom it will be used. (they want you to buy into the idea, hook-line-and-sinker!)

Essentially, the ‘common people’ are nothing but Big Brother’s “lab rats”. Sweeping surveillance and monitoring serves nothing more than observation and study.  They watch what we do, when we do, how we do. They can change variables or exert stimuli and see how we respond. We’re nothing more than conditioned animals in a large-scale lab they have set up for us (which we just call “life”).

Want some real-life examples of “interconnectivity”? 
(the list is endless, but here are just a few common ones, to get you thinking…)

  • Debit-/Credit-cards tied to all sorts of online accounts  (incl. massive data-mining, activity monitoring, etc. by banks and financial institutions, incl. credit card companies, etc.)
  • Paying electronically (whether you use a computer or a handheld device, using things like Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc.)
  • Tying account information to things like commuter-cards, toll-readers, enabling movement-tracking
  • CC-TV cameras in public spaces, public roads, gov’t buildings, etc.
  • The pervasive, growing use and availability of R/C Drones (by civilians and by Government)
  • Fingerprinting at government offices, public venues (theme parks, sports venues, etc.), Fingerprints to unlock devices, etc.
  • Phone Apps which analyze your and other users’ data, patterns, etc. (based on permissions set or enabled)
  • Device microphones and cameras can be remotely controlled or accessed at will, given the know-how, even if user/owner is unaware
  • Significant data-mining and tracking by Providers of Mobile Phone service, Internet service, Cable/Sat-TV service
  • Mandatory registrations (account creations) anywhere online
  • Information obtained from you can be sold, bought, shared, stolen, etc. between any number of data collectors / providers
  • Digital “SMART”-meters on your house (from the power company) have far more capabilities than simply reading your usage data remotely.
  • Enabling paper-documents or other items (like keys) with RFID-Smartchips
  • People getting Microchipped (knowingly or unknowingly)
  • Any effort to solicit information from you in exchange for convenience.
  • Convenient Cloud-based data storage (questionable encryption?) for all your goodies
  • Cross-platform linking of online accounts
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