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Self-Defense in the Information Age
Depending on how you feel about conspiracies, the government either takes advantage of the internet and technology to spy on people, or it actively guided the creation of the internet and high-tech surveillance devices in order to create the ultimate police state control grid. Sounds implausible? Here are a few points to think over:
If the internet is such a threat to The Powers That Be, why didn't they block it ages ago? The Chinese have a Great Firewall. Why don't the Americans and Europeans? Maybe, just maybe, collecting information and building up a dossier on everyone is more valuable than preventing a few people from accessing damning information. Hell, now they even know who the potential troublemakers are when they bring their iron curtain down.
The internet is a creation of the United States military. It was first conceived of as ARPANET, created by DARPA. It's hence no surprise that the internet wasn't built for privacy or anonymity.
DARPA is the same government agency that has guided research with seed money and venture capital since the inception of the internet.
Social networks operate on the same principles as data mining operations. There seems to be compelling evidence that Facebook is a CIA and DARPA creation.
Your government is the largest stalker and threat to your existence. The Information Awareness Office has a creepy all-seeing eye observing the earth as a logo.
The NSA has almost completed its Utah Data Center, which has the explicit purpose of capturing, "all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases..."
Internet and telecom companies have been more than willing to work with the NSA every step of the way. AT&T has even been enthusiastic about it.
Slavery is so much more efficient when the slaves willingly wear tracking anklets
Think about it. Conventional spying and police state technologies are very labor intensive. They require either a neurotic population that spies on its neighbors ("See something, say something"), following people around like a stalker, or sifting through someone's trash bin. Wouldn't it be so much more efficient if people saddled themselves with all manner of tracking devices, and freely told authority what they do, where they go, and even what they think? All the better if this system is essentially very useful and profitable, since rather than using government funds, industry will do all the work themselves, and businesses and consumers will adopt the technologies willingly. Now it's possible that governments have merely hijacked this technology for their nefarious purposes - but I think more might be at play here. Is it a coincidence that just as high-tech seems to be reaching new heights, the global economy collapses and governments around the world make doing business more and more difficult? What if corporate-driven markets were just the tools governments used to create and implement the technologies they needed, and now that they have them, they're more than happy to stifle business into oblivion? It's a scary thought - that we have a planned economy. But when the world's most wealthy and influential people meet behind closed doors on a regular basis, is it really so improbable? Any new upstarts that achieve success on their own are simply welcomed into the club - or destroyed by litigation and corporate monopolies. Perhaps millennia of failure to impose dictatorial control over people have made those afflicted with the will to control others realize that they needed a particular set of tools for the job. I haven't even gotten into Predictive Programming yet, but for now let's focus on ways you're being tracked, and what you can do to avoid it. Update: This post has grown so huge (over 4000 words long), that I've decided to split it up into two additional sections.
Tracking in the real world
Tracking in the online world
More to come
These articles above are by no means a complete or exhaustive list, and as I think of more, I will update them. Now please understand the purpose of this series. I am not advocating that people commit actual crimes. Nor do I think the people who commit crimes need my help. No, this article is written out of principle. If the government treats every single human being as a criminal in the first place, then I'm going to make their totalitarian police state job a little more difficult. Encrypt everything, even if it's something banal like, "Hey, let's meet for dinner at 2." And remember, laws are already on the books that make destroying free speech legal (NDAA, NDRP). Since governments around the world are intent on criminalizing non-crimes, then it sure helps for the current non-criminals to know how to survive when speaking your mind becomes a federal crime. It's happened so much throughout history, it's almost a trite observation. Think it can't happen in a Democracy? Think again.