Death Metal legends Death once wrote a song called “1,00 Eyes”, in which mention is made of the ongoing war on privacy we’ve been witnessing over the decades-a war in which truth, the first casualty, was blindfolded, beaten, electrocuted, garroted, stripped naked and buried alive under a marker bearing lies and excuses. Today, unfortunately, it has been announced that this story’s villains, the intelligence community, has dealt a critical blow to those of us who once enjoyed the comfort of absolute anonymity on the internet: the American NSA and British GCHQ have bypassed a good chunk of online encryption protocols and codes and now have near-total access to your financial transactions, medical records, and pretty much everything under the sun once thought to be immune.
The aforementioned intelligence agencies have been reported to have spent roughly $250 million dollars on this sinister endeavor, as well as a wide array of methods to combat the equally diverse encryption methods available, according to world-renowned whistle blower Edward Snowden. The reason for this? The oh-so noble causes of “counter-terrorism” and spying on other governments for their own betterment. The goals they hope to accomplish include ‘obtaining access to “data flowing through a hub for a major communications provider” and to a “major internet peer-to-peer voice and text communications system”‘, leaving nothing sacred and no stone un-turned. It has also been speculated that the NSA was deliberately introducing vulnerabilities into online security systems, making their task easier.
This begs the question: “Do you think they even stopped to think about the concerns of the common-folk on this matter?” Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, who knows? But it goes without saying that governments never care for a second opinion from below on matters such as (“)national security(“), nor do they bat an eyelash when promises of security are privacy are broken, and the most intimate details of ordinary folk are laid bare. Whether or not these claims hold true, only time will tell, but this author believes that the agencies and their host entities are acting either out of pure paranoia or, worse yet, pure lust for power akin to that of The Party. In any case, we are now under near-constant surveillance and can no longer fall back on our once-trusted ISPs and whatever else we relied on to keep us in the shadows.
There still remains one hope: the adaptive and creative nature of “hacktivists”, software experts, lawmakers, and anyone else that will find ways to combat the intrusions being made on our affairs, whether in cyberspace or outside in the real world. As for how long these will take to come into being, only time will tell.
Y’all take care now.