Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Drone Wars

Drones are everywhere in the media. Personal drones fitted with cameras are getting cheaper, meaning more people will use them to take pictures or even maybe spy on other people,  and this leads in turn to . . . anti-drone drones.   . . . . which will undoubtably be followed by defence drones, and then . . . . and then I'll be waiting nearby to pick up some expensive technotrash I can turn into something more fun.  As if there weren't enough stupid surveillance going on already.
Go here to see Ed Snowden saying "Spying is necessary  - but it needs oversight and should not be conducted against all of us" (paraphrased) - nice idea Ed, but I can't see that happenning soon.
"Snowden pointed out that mass surveillance is “one of the few places in the global political debate where we have a choice.” If you don’t want a dystopian hellhole where governments around the world can see everything you say or do, there’s something you can do about it: use end-to-end encryption."
Uh . . . . can anyone else see the fault in this? Assuming that end-to-end encryption works, We need to ask what exactly we are going to be encrypting, and ask what the hell is the point of it.

Recently I had a mysterious contact who only ever talked to me via email disappear.  I never for a moment thought that this contact was anything other than a scammer trying to get information but I didn't care, mainly because I didn't give the person any useful information as far as I know: in fact, over the time I spent in contact with Mr. "S" I accumulated details that suggested to me who that person was simply because a person's language and knowledge can't help but leak. (Everything leaks, see elsewhere).
For me, that really  the point: Why should I care if some corporate computer knows my favourite flavour or my long-dead pet's name? It won't give anyone even the slightest hint as to passwords or where I keep some valuable item.  Only on a collective, "blah-blah percent of people in South Park like to eat Brand X Chocolate Icecream" type basis will collecting that information have any value.  Yes, I am concerned about huge multinational corporations bullying nations for thie own gain, but the honest truth is I can't think of anything I do online that would require me to encrypt my messages or other data because I just don't do much of that - the only exception to that is money transfers and guess what? that is already protected and encrypted.

If you are dumb enough to give Farcebook or any other online "service" all of your personal data such as your email password, where you went to school, who all of your friends are etc. etc. you will just have to live with the results.  There is no escape, Big Data already has you, running and hiding won't help you any - you still need to live.
Yes, a big pile of S**t may be coming down the turnpike but that is nothing new. We live under the threat of nuclear war right now, climate change is already here and those Big Players want us to ignore it because that might damage their profits. 
When I was a boy, I noticed that outside the classroom boys formed into gangs around the biggest mouths and the biggest fists.  I learned to hang out in the library at lunchtime and that helped both my health and education - but I imagined that when those kids grew up things would be different: how wrong I was. The same tribalism, thuggery and blatant stupidity I saw on the playground just transferred to the business world . . . . .
Sorry folks, enlightenment has been postponed. Come back in another century, maybe things will be better then.

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