Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few months you’ve no doubt noticed the vile and repulsive grab for your privacy and freedom that is occurring globally, led seemingly by the NSA, but condoned by pretty much every government on the planet.Opinions on the merit and justification for this “grab” are many. Some say I’ve Got Nothing to Hide, and therefore nothing to fear. History has proven this thesis to be without merit.
I was at lunch yesterday with a group of friends. All are very successful, very regular guys who probably don’t have much to hide. They were commenting on how they don’t mind using Gmail, loading all their documents into Dropbox and otherwise being an open book for whoever wants to see their life in all its digital glory.
Of course I felt compelled to remind them that what they think is OK now, may not be viewed as OK in the future. This is something we keep harping on herein, and it’s worth thinking about.
The rules of the game are constantly changing. Your church, your government, your friends…all of these “groups” can decide at will to change their views of what they believe is right or wrong at the drop of a hat.
We’ve all seen this played out. How often has the Catholic church changed it’s doctrine over the centuries? How often have governments gone back and retroactively changed their policies? How often have your own friends practised one set of “rules” for their behaviour yet expected differently of you?
The books you are reading, the websites you are downloading information from, the TV shows you are watching and the organizations you are supporting might be viewed as acceptable today, but there is NO guarantee they will be thought of that way in the future.
Yet in the digital world most people still do not correlate the collection of seemingly innocuous information with the risk to their privacy, and ultimately their freedom.
Unless you have never had a bank account, never used a credit card, never had an email, never owned a phone, haven’t bought anything on line or otherwise have figured out how to stay completely off the radar, a profile has been constructed about you. It lives in some NSA data warehouse, and it contains more information than you should be comfortable sharing…with anyone!
If you’re OK with that and see no problem with your information being analysed and processed by multiple “authorities”, then we truly wish you the best. It’s likely that you also believe in the tooth fairy, rainbows with pots of gold and other such nonsense. Stop reading now so that your fantasies can live on for at least a little while longer.
The Banality of Systemic Evil
That’s the title of an article by Northwestern professor Peter Ludlow that recently appeared in the New York Times.
Ludlow points out that there appears to be a significant generational moral divide appearing between those aged 18-34, and the old guard that still make up the majority of what we’d consider “the establishment” media.
Younger people are overwhelmingly in support of the whistle-blowers and hacktivists that are exposing the corruption, illegal activities and cover ups that are rocking our perceptions of “good” and “evil” within our society, and this has the mainstream press completely confounded.
Ludlow asks, “…has the younger generation lost its moral compass?”
He says no, and I would agree. In contrast, it seems that the younger generation is following its moral compass!
Young people are realizing, perhaps finally, that privacy is paramount to freedom, and both are under attack.
If freedom is important to you, then privacy must be important. You cannot maintain your freedom if you cannot maintain your personal privacy. If privacy is important, then a comprehensive strategy to protect yourself is a necessity. The history of mankind is one replete with the abuses of power. Today, the arm of abuse resides in the unrestricted growth of the Surveillance State, whose reach is global.
Because of the fast-moving nature of technology itself, it is important to stay abreast of new developments on an ongoing basis. To that end we recently asked our security guru “John” to put together a special report that would help our readers understand the risks they face online, and how to alleviate them, at least to some degree.
If you have not done so already you can still register to receive this complimentary report by clicking here. We’ll be releasing Part 1 later today, with Part 2 to follow on Thursday.
This report is written for the person that intuitively understands why we have doors on our homes, curtains on our windows, envelopes on our letters, and unlisted telephone numbers, but may not understand how our innate privacy needs, risks, and strategies translate into the digital world.
More than a highlight of currently available technologies, it’s designed to be a starting point for your journey to changing the way you think about the world and the relationship of your personal privacy and security to it.
You must understand the battle that is going on behind the scenes, and accept that protecting your privacy is going to take some work. There are political and economic advantages for companies and governments to want to invade your privacy. On the other hand, the number of people and organizations working hard to protect it are small and underfunded.
Strong government-corporate ties with major technology providers like AT&T, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and others allow massive financial and political gain by wilfully shredding your privacy and splitting the spoils. You need to support the groups and individuals that are fighting the battle for your freedom and privacy, and to the most realistic extent possible, de-fund those entities that seek to violate your freedom and privacy.
A portion of this guide will serve to provide you with strategies to defend yourself and weaken your opponents.
Register to download your copy by clicking here
Be hopeful and remember that peaceful resistance, failing to be complicit with immoral laws and activities and a conscientious objection to the surveillance state can help us all to avoid an Orwellian future…maybe.
“There can be no expectation that the system will act morally of its own accord. Systems are optimized for their own survival and preventing the system from doing evil may well require breaking with organizational niceties, protocols or laws.” – Peter Ludlow, Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University