Big Brother, Police State

PRIVATE INDUSTRY MOVES INTO ‘BIG-BROTHER’ TERRITORY THAT COULD THREATEN BOTH PRIVACY AND MORAL FABRIC

There are times when it seems paranoiac and there are times when it seems “out there,” but the creeping infringement on privacy and the surge in snooping, tracking technology has us to the point where “paranoia” is morphing into rational anxiety.

We are constantly reading about drones — those mechanized flight machines (some the size of insects) that can travel to far places and spy on people (or, in the larger version, deliver bombs). It’s not a good trend and should have been halted at its incipience (now we doubt it ever will; the Defense Department always justifies new technology).

There are drones that can stay aloft for days, weeks, or even months, powered by solar or designed (this is really quite uncanny) to perch on power lines and draw forth electricity. Amazon wants to deliver books by drone! “Around the world,” says a report, “governments are rolling out massive biometric identification programs. Smartphone makers are acquiring all sorts of Minority Reportish technologies. And for scientists, the race is on to find new, workable biomarkers, which go way beyond the iris scans and fingerprints we have now. Think recognition by gait, electrocardiogram, palm vein — and, yes, eau de you and [body] shape, too.”]

Google is entering the field of track-tech in a big way. So are other global companies.

This is the same Google that famously has “Google Earth” to zoom down on everyone’s rooftop and even a “street-view” camera that has photographed the majority of American homes (use its GPS navigation system and at the end of your journey a photograph of your destination — private residence or business or whatever it is — often flashes up on the small screen).

These days one might be as worried or more so about private enterprises such as Google and Microsoft as any government.

Chilling is a YouTube video of a recent interview with a woman who once headed the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (developing the most exotic technology) and is now an executive for Google. Questioned about future “identifying technology,” she proudly rolled up her sleeve to show an imprinted symbol (on her arm) that is rather much like a barcode or credit-card swipe — or mark of the beast (she called it an electronic “tattoo”). Look at this!

IMGS7699-X2She also discusses swallowing an identifying pill each day. The pill turns the body into a transmitter (so we also venture into the territory of transhumanism).

When any company or agency has control over massive personal information, and controls transactions through it, liberty is in peril; when we are mechanized, meanwhile, our humanity is degraded.

“This pill has a small chip inside of it with a switch,” said Dugan. “It also has what amounts to an inside out potato battery. When you swallow it, the acids in your stomach serve as the electrolyte and that powers it up. And the switch goes on and off and creates an 18 bit ECG wide signal in your body and essentially your entire body becomes your authentication token.”

(Asks a commentator: “Would you swallow a Google microchip (‘vitamin authentication’) every day simply to access your cell phone? Privacy advocates will wince at the thought, especially given Dugan’s former role as head of DARPA, the Pentagon agency that many see as being at the top of the pyramid when it comes to the Big Brother technocracy.”)

Google has gone too far. Microsoft has gone too far (it can turn your computer on and off). Amazon is thrusting itself onto the same terrain (and by the way now sells a morning-after pill).

“We’re used to the idea that secret intelligence agencies spy on us, but over the last ten years the big intelligence gatherers have become airlines, banks, internet providers, and Tesco — all of which have more information about us than GCHQ and the NSA put together,” notes Richard Aldrich, an historian specializing in espionage. “These organizations are becoming cleverer and cleverer. Cleverer than the CIA; cleverer than the KGB.”

That’s not to say agencies have a diminished role. There is a proposed $4.3-billion headquarters for Homeland Security. There are the NSA scandals. “The federal government is piecing together a sweeping national ‘biosurveillance’ system that will give bureaucrats near real-time access to Americans’ private medical information in the name of national security, according to Twila Brase, a public health nurse and co-founder of the Citizens Council for Health Freedom,” is another recent news item.

Your e-mail, your health records, what you communicate about, and information on what and where you buy or sell, apparently are not your own business. Look at the specific ads that pop up for you. That’s tracking technology. Add to this the growing intolerance toward Christianity (the CEO of Mozilla was forced to resign for supporting a marriage amendment), and it becomes chilling.

It is time to rein all this in.

Will we?

They have given every American a cell phone, a computer, an iPad, a car, a six pack, and a TV full of sports (or Kardashians, plus a job, for now) — and that seems to be all it takes for indifference of the potentially enslaving kind.

[Resources: Brotherhood of Darkness]

[see also: Another plane narrowly misses drone]

[Note also: Michael Brown retreats: Philadelphia-New Jersey and Danbury, Connecticut]

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