The Govporation Complex

Governance of countries, throughout history, has always depended on monitoring and tracking its citizens. Common people in their effort to protect their privacy have tried to create a boundary to what could be monitored and snooped. This boundary has kept shifting; particularly advancements in technology have always made it possible to reach further in to the lives of common people and their personal details. Increase that another powerful entity, the corporations, who in their quest for holy profit have tried to read customer behavior to ensure their profit targets are met. History shows businesses and governing powers have often worked on common agenda. Increasingly bypassing laws intended to protect folks from unreasonable interference in their life.

The line between governments and corporations is fading away. This is not a prediction but a fact which is happening around the world. The govporation use and deploy whatever it can to keep the status quo regardless of the increasing gap between the common people and the few who own almost everything. Despite all the negativity we all see, hear and read, you can find always people within governments and corporations who usually do not agree with certain actions or policies. Hopefully that they can bring differ from the within by doing whatever they can to steer the ship to an improved destiny. One cannot point to a whole government or corporation and say everyone inside it is out to dictate life to the others to serve holy profit.

Now the world has developed into global digital community in which a large percentage of people and devices are connected to this entity called the Internet. One of the ways the Internet enriches our lives is that we can reach anyone with this net wherever they are. But then, do not forget that if you can reach anyone easily, others can reach you equally easily and dig into your daily life. When it started, it had been an instrument for collaboration between researchers and security issues weren’t on your brain map of developers. Any security mechanisms that we build today are retrofits trying to cover the gaps. The internet, or the net to be short, reaches into modern devices in a single way or another. It’s in your own home, office, outside “watching” you as well as on your body as a wearable. More worrisome is the rise of intelligent mobile technology that’s potentially high-risk whether you are in the home or outside jogging in the park.

Several social-political trends indicate why those in power and in the monitoring / tracking business will seek to seize additional power and access. Shop around you and see the proceedings while reading this to comprehend we have been not seeing a loss of threats to people everywhere but an increase. The additional capacity to monitor your lives in-depth will be justified through certain, man-made, events and technical developments. The threat isn’t just to privacy anymore but to life and limb. We will check out several current and upcoming developments which impact the non-public world of the “commoner”. The pressures to stop personal data will be immense and relentless. A significant defense for the people is awareness and make an effort to set the boundary which governments, corporate bodies or anyone else must respect by real laws. Suitable laws will have to be enacted, you will need to be aware of new developments and their consequences. As somebody once said; eternal vigil may be the price one has to pay to maintain freedom. You do not want to live in an Orwellian world where “big brother” watches your every move! Boundaries of your privacy must be guarded zealously.

Assuming by default that everyone is a threat and therefor justifying total surveillance and control of people is not the way to go. It opens a giant can of worms that is a guaranteed ticket to a society we usually do not want. One reason is human nature as demonstrated countless times by history, not discussing the nice kind. Another reason is that governments come and go similar to the world keeps changing. When, not if, we enter another dark period in history it will be an electronic disaster as all of the data gathered is now offered by the hands of evil. Innocent data will not exist, it is only a matter of the right time and the wrong hands to turn it into a weapon.

Automated Multi Source Profiling

Automated multi source profiling is now part of lifestyle whether you like it or not. Such profiling can be used to narrow down targets that require to be watched for any specific reason. The reason could be good or bad, the technique itself is flawed and will cause a lot of visitors to land in databases where they do not belong. The section of gathering data from as many sources as you possibly can and automatically utilize it to categorize people is asking for problems. Now that humongous amounts of data could be easily analyzed and computer technology provides the tools to manage this “big data” you will see increasing pressure to mix databases from many sources. Data gathered from government branches, commercial parties to non-profit organizations providing another little bit of the puzzle about your life. With the technologies available today, it will be easy to collect, merge and manage the info about an individual. That is collected without reason, innocent or not, for profit or simply because it is possible.

Biometric Data Sharing

The utilization of biometric data is to help determine the identity of people in an authentic manner, particularly when multiple sets of data are employed. For instance, the passport documents of many countries now routinely include the fingerprint information but iris scan data and face recognition data are making an introduction too. Today the Canadian government uses the united states biometric database as well as what they need to determine the desirability of a person to enter the united states. Sadly enough the application of biometric data is now also applied on the streets and by third party organizations for different uses. Think of identifying someone at specific places within the country and saving that information for later use. This does not target international travelers anymore, but everyone within borders can be remotely identified by face recognition camera’s without reason. Many experts have accused biometric data of raising a large percentage of false positives. You may get automatically identified as an unhealthy person grounding your travel plans or worse. Remember, countries, corporations among others are linking an increasing number of of their databases to create a giant worldwide database in which a lot of people have access. Some with not so good intentions.

Everyone, Everywhere, Anytime

Consider the recent spate of news concerning the NSA snooping. Although for some people this was not just a surprise, for others who always called worried citizens tinfoil crazies, it really is embarrassing by all the revelations about the widespread mass surveillance. Not only have they been monitoring domestic citizens, they have been cited for snooping on people and political parties far away. No doubt, the extensive availability of internet technologies and the reach of the web have made these activities possible. That some well-known whistle-blowers could access the data acquired by NSA, is really a testimony that even intelligence agencies have difficulties protecting their operations and data against the human factor. It’s of-course not only the NSA, basically any similar agency far away does exactly the same. Where possible they cooperate with others or go at it alone. Lots of their operations are not reported to their own governments or only limited by a few people who are not allowed to state much. One of the reasons is that public figures will keep claiming there is nothing to be worried about and life continues on for the normal man. Also traditional intelligence gathering shifted to economic intelligence to help the own economy. In commercial terms it’s called business intelligence however when it comes to the level of secret agencies it goes beyond the known horizon. Many people are a target, just by reading this article you are probably already being monitored and categorized in some database. Sorry to break it for you.

Hardware Bigger Target

There is a trend which is slowly finding its solution to the general public to use encryption software to secure data instead of leaving it in the clear. This goes for exchanging data but additionally storing data on an area computer ranging from tablets, phones, desktops to servers. The awakening of everyone is now also forcing a lot of companies to start implementing some type of encryption and privacy rules. That is encouraging but not enough, especially the dominating corporations will always find a way to breach that trust while at exactly the same time enjoy protection from their friends in governments. Recent, leaked, information implies that hardware is the new priority target to intercept data. Not just criminals but additionally government agencies are, with or minus the understanding of manufacturers, rigging products to spy on the end-user. They gather plenty of information which has nothing in connection with a legitimate target they are after is ignored. Everything is stored for future use. Now with the web of Things, IoT, it is more important than ever before to implement proper security. Still it is not a guarantee as other events show how shady agencies influence companies to weaken their product security to permit them quick access. Open-source hardware and software is advancing because of the cooperation of worldwide communities of people and is an option to “blackboxes”. Coupled with more decentralizing of encrypted data flows mixed through Tor-like networks it’ll mean people can still get data from the through X to B. Even though such progress is unwanted it can’t be stopped without destroying the internet since it is and turning the planet into one big surveillance state. Crime in every its forms and shapes will be part of humanity to deal with, so using this as grounds to sacrifice freedom, progress and alternatives is really a no go. Perhaps it could benefit only the few who have a different agenda and have to spread fear to keep people in line serving them.

Increase of Cyber Strikes, Disinformation & Infiltration

It seems to be getting normal to attack first and investigate later as that’s “always” the very best defense against those pesky enemies of hawaii; pre-emptive cyber strikes against other countries are increasing while disinformation is being spread through “bought” news media outlets. Add to that infiltration of organizations and other entities and we have been another step nearer to perfect Orwellian societies. Cyber strikes aren’t as noticeable to the mass so they do not seem to be important enough to question or consider even if they get reported. Some media outlets spread disinformation on command, another example of the govporation complex. The question is what is accomplished beside creating a potential situation worse by pre-emptive strikes, corrupting press for hidden agendas and spreading distrust in society by more infiltrations? By knowing the why and who society can determine if this can be a world we want to reside in or do we need to make changes.

More Secret Courts

Here we take as an example the U.S secret courts but that is by no means the only country using such setups for specific operations. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or the FISA of 1978 allows a secret court to be setup. It really is regarded as almost a parallel supreme court today. Here the cases are completely one sided and are argued by the federal government only. You will find a review process to appeal decisions of the FISA court but these are few and far between. Not one case has gone in interest the Supreme court. This can be the court that issues warrants for (mass)surveillance including phone taps on individuals. The extent of these warrants reached 1800 in 2013 alone. The official story is to stop terrorism and protect people which in itself is logical. The main point is that there is forget about accountability for individuals in this process. These warrants are bound to increase and specific judges of FISA are likely to be amenable to issuing more of these authorizations. The authorizations often allow massive levels of data to be supplied to the NSA and other agencies by telecom operators. In its rulings the court often takes on questions about constitutional validity and delivers interpretations which never undergo any public scrutiny. This is happening especially in the countries which always boast about their democracy and indicate others which are not. Lots of the developed countries, particularly the ones growing in to the “developed” club, certainly have such secret courts. The troublesome part, beside legality, may be the usage of such data for more control and economic espionage on everyone. The old mission to safeguard and serve the people is apparently getting less important with each passing year.

More Threat Branding

It is no secret that many entities come beneath the scanner of government agencies and also companies trying to dominate part of that job. As more and more people get “connected”, like online, their activities become noticeable to those who want to monitor and track them. How or on which basis any entity is dubbed a “potential threat” is often a subjective thing. Unless these decision makers have strict checks and balances, you will see higher potential for getting dubbed a potentially disruptive influence by someone. Now with all the current newest technologies it is easy to get tagged as a threat but extremely difficult to fight against it or even know such entry exists in some database. The broader powers the govporation complex gets the more entities will be branded as a potential threat. By now everyone who critically followed worldwide developments can predict a “threat” could be predicated on economic motivation or perhaps asking the “wrong” questions, even while a journalist.

Weaponized Urban Drones

Amazon has announced that it will be delivering products bought by its customers through drones. Which could or may not become reality, but it clearly demonstrates that commercial behemoth thinks it is feasible. Drones that have capability to reach the desired addresses are feasible today. However, authorities in different countries have to finalize regulations governing flying drones in urban airspace before commercial projects could launch. It is easy to realize that the various governmental agencies are already increasing the urban use of flying drones for surveillance and monitoring purposes. Beside that it plays a part in mass-surveillance, a worrying development is arming drones with lethal and non-lethal weapons for use against civilians. These are not the type of heavily armed drones found in military operations but instead the compact type with more features fitting an urban setting. Perhaps a first step to robocops into the future with the authority of a genuine cop. As of Bitcoin Era Review there are various companies already offering armed drones for crowd control with pepper-spray, rubber bullets, blinding lasers, ear-piercing audio and so on. A drone equipped with high-definition cameras and other light spectrum modes can easily identify targets in real-time linked to some mainframe. Several experts conclude there’s an increasing trend of militarizing police forces and extending their capability with drones. Your day may not be far off when police drones can launch missiles and other projectiles on a crowd in its mission area, in your backyard rather than in a far away country.

World Events Impact Liberties

Today’s world is quickly changing with each negative event speeding up certain unpopular agendas. Not to say that change is always bad, but we focus here on the effect it is wearing liberties and how some powerful groups reap the benefits of it. After each major event like 9/11, wars in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, regional bloody revolutions with or without foreign influence, we do exactly what we have to not do; sacrifice liberties we fought so hard for in the past just to get yourself a false sense of security. That sort of flawed logic has helped increase the monitoring, tracking, limiting freedom of citizens and increasing the power of the govporation because of its own agenda. What we should be doing is discover the root cause of why a conflict or event happened to begin with and learn from it instead of just fighting the symptoms as usual. If you still think in the end what has happened up to now and leaked to the general public there is still no reason going to the alarm button then nothing else will probably change your view until it is too late. Perhaps it really is too late.

The Rise Of Crypto Currencies

Several crypto currencies have come into existence during the last few years. Bitcoin is the most well-known of the while there have been 275 crypto currencies in existence as of 2014. One clear trend you can easily notice is their popularity is steadily increasing. The marketplace capitalization is a superb indicator of this though it is a bumpy ride with all the speculators involved. The Bitcoin market cap is currently around $4.3 billion, Ripple as a second reaches $774 million and Litecoin as a third at $96 million. With economic and political issues affecting various countries in the world, more people start to hedge their bets on the national currencies and use these crypto currencies that are not controlled by any government or entity. It is another exemplory case of how people push back by starting to develop and provide alternatives to something which will not serve them anymore.

Cash Limits & Debt Increasing

Most developed countries, governments, float nowadays on credit while an increasing amount of citizens tell you their credit limits and begin to live to cover the rotating credit repayments. The bigger this burden, the lesser may be the freedom of the person to really follow his free will. The primary concern of the individual involved will be to stick to the existing job, not rock the boat at all and feel the daily grind to guarantee the debt repayments happen. One very effective method of control is to have greater burdens on everybody’s shoulders. To keep that control it is crucial for those in power to restrict ways of trading which cannot be easily monitored, taxed and controlled. God forbid visitors to actually miss the middleman and deal directly with each other and change the system from within.

Worldwide Increase of Conflicts

By the end of year 2013, The Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research (HIIK) reported the existence of some 400 conflicts around the world. At least 20 of the fit the category war. As of 2015 the rise of conflict areas in per year is worrying since elements of such are starting to discover a way into the daily life of many people in stable communities. That in itself can be bad or good if it awakens people to reality and see why these things happen, the story in it and not just a symptom out of the blue. The following is really a limited list, in no particular order, of major ongoing conflicts which will keep growing:

– Democratic Republic of Congo, where in fact the army of the ruling government is fighting with the M23 rebel group and religious tensions are flaring up between Christians and Muslims.

– Mali, where Islamist rebels are actively wanting to take over the country fighting against mostly French forces who intervened.

– The war between Ukraine, backed by the US/EU, against rebels in the east of Ukraine where they declared their very own Republic states backed by Russia.

– Nigeria, where terror group Boko Haram in their attempt to introduce Sharia law, keeps attacking moderate Muslims and Christians.

– Sudan, where groups of mixed ethnic origin are fighting with government forces and each other.

– The long bloody conflict between Israel and Palestine without real solution in sight.

– Afghanistan, remains a war zone of fighting between government forces, assisted by the united states mostly, and the Taliban.

– Unstable Pakistani border with Afghanistan and increasing drone strikes on extremist groups.

– Mexico, remains the hotbed of drug-wars, human trafficking, blackmail and smuggling by the drug cartels.

– Syria, the civil war continues to rage on with the terror group IS overtaking a considerable part including a piece of Iraq.

– Iraq, fighting the war against IS, assisted by a global coalition consisting of the united states, Arab countries, Iran and the EU. Religious violence between Sunnis and Shiites is also increasing.

– The Philippines where Moro people continue their struggle for independence.

– Somalia continues to possess problems arising out of fighting between your rebel Al-Shabaab group and the federal government forces. Part of it really is spilling over to surrounding countries.

– South Sudan, created as a fresh country this year 2010 2010. There are two wars going on. Fight between your ex-vice president’s and the president’s forces is among the conflicts. As the presidential force can be engaged in supporting autonomy struggles of two provinces in neighboring Sudan.

– North Korea and South Korea, occasional skirmishes and technically still in war.

– Yemen, rebel groups fighting contrary to the central government blended with terror groups utilizing the country as their base of operations.

Although almost all of the above conflict areas have a long violent history it is expected to see new conflict in regions or countries where conflict is not directly expected. Economic disparities will always be reasons for flare-ups throughout history. Given that the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) break into the “developed” countries club one must anticipate serious friction over market, influence, resources and territory. Internal conflicts, within countries, sometimes differ but often it involves a combination of one or more of the following causes: poor economy, corruption, police state, religious tensions, foreign influence, oppression, unpopular politics, extreme difference poor vs rich, racial inequality. The same kind of story for humanity as you may be thinking, just another flavor and color.

Corporate Influence on the web & ICANN

There are major developments in the digital world that indicate the increasing dominance of major corporations online. They are closely dealing with multiple governments on policies, shared projects and sharing data. Most willingly cooperate despite realizing that some of what they are doing is illegal or at the very least very unethical. But holy profit, power and status is something shared by both parties giving it the name “the govporation”. Before we continue it is very important understand what ICANN is, taken from the ICANN website a short introduction:

” To reach another person on the net you should type an address into your personal computer – a name or perhaps a number. That address needs to be unique so computers know where to find one another. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn’t have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit partnership of people from all over the world dedicated to keeping the web secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN doesn’t control content on the net. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with usage of the web. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it can have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the web. “

Now with the push for ICANN to remove itself from governmental oversight to a more corporate setting it is even more worrying for the future of the internet as it exists now. Of-course it really is currently choosing between the lesser of evils until hopefully an improved solution is found. We’ve seen what happens when the so called “free market” takes over, often people will not benefit from this but again those who are able it in wealth and power will applaud it. It really is too much for this article to discuss the limits of “free market” by those who control it but rest assured we will achieve this in a fresh article. Giant corporations like Facebook, Google, Amazon among others plan to provide internet services to poor regions on earth where there’s none or hard to obtain online. Of-course it isn’t just because it makes their heart warm but they wish to also decide what people pay, see, do and get on “their” version of the web. Exactly like what the lobby of corporate groups wants for the internet as it is now. This is also why some countries went ahead to fix net neutrality by law, even though some implemented a weak version of it under pressure from the corporate lobby. So you might want to take a look at how this is arranged in your country if at all.