Governance of countries, throughout history, has always depended on monitoring and tracking its citizens. Common people within 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 into the lives of common people and their personal stats. Increase that another powerful entity, the corporations, who in their quest for holy profit have tried to learn customer behavior to make sure their profit targets are met. History shows businesses and governing powers have often done common agenda. Increasingly bypassing laws designed to protect people from unreasonable interference in their life.

The line between governments and corporations is fading away. This is not a prediction but an undeniable fact which is happening all over the world. The govporation use and deploy whatever it could to help keep the status quo despite the increasing gap between your common people and the few who own almost anything. Despite all the negativity most of us see, hear and read, there are always people within governments and corporations who usually do not agree with certain actions or policies. We hope that they can bring change 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 turned into a global digital community in which a large percentage of individuals and devices are linked to this entity called the web. 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 were not on your brain map of developers. Any security mechanisms that we build today are retrofits attempting to cover the gaps. The internet, or the net to be short, reaches into most modern devices in one 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 is potentially high-risk whether you are at 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 grab additional power and access. Look around you and see what is going on while reading this to comprehend we are not seeing a loss of threats to people everywhere but an increase. The additional power to monitor your lives in-depth will be justified through certain, man-made, events and technical developments. The threat is not just to privacy anymore but to life and limb. We will take a look at several current and upcoming developments which impact the personal 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 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 one’s privacy ought to be guarded zealously.

Assuming by default that everyone is a threat and therefor justifying total surveillance and control of individuals is not the way to go. It opens a huge 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 talking about the nice kind. Another reason is that governments come and go just like the world keeps changing. When, not if, we enter another dark period in human history it will be an electronic disaster as all of the data gathered is now available at the hands of evil. Innocent data does not exist, it is just a matter of the proper 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 is used to narrow down targets that need to be watched for just about any specific reason. The reason could be good or bad, the method itself is flawed and can cause a lot of visitors to land in databases where they don’t belong. The section of gathering data from as much sources as you possibly can and automatically use it to categorize people is requesting problems. Now that humongous levels of data can be easily analyzed and computer technology supplies the tools to control this “big data” you will have increasing pressure to combine 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 on the market, it will be simple to collect, merge and manage the info about an individual. That is collected without reason, innocent or not, for profit or just because it is possible.

Biometric Data Sharing

Using biometric data is to help determine the identity of individuals in an authentic manner, particularly if multiple sets of data are used. For instance, the passport documents of several countries now routinely are the fingerprint information but iris scan data and face recognition data are making an introduction too. Today the Canadian government uses the US biometric database along with what they have to determine the desirability of an individual to enter the united states. Sadly enough the application of biometric data is currently also applied on the streets and by third party organizations for different uses. Think about identifying someone at specific places within the country and saving that information for later use. This will not target international travelers anymore, but everyone within borders could 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 will get automatically identified as an unhealthy person grounding your travel plans or worse. Remember, countries, corporations and others are linking increasingly more of their databases to form a giant worldwide database in which a lot of people have access. Some with not good intentions.

Everyone, Everywhere, Anytime

Consider the recent spate of news about the NSA snooping. Although for a lot of this was not a surprise, for others who always called worried citizens tinfoil crazies, it is embarrassing by all of the revelations concerning the widespread mass surveillance. Not merely have they been monitoring domestic citizens, they have been cited for snooping on people and political parties far away. No doubt, the extensive option of internet technologies and the reach of the Internet have made these activities possible. That some well-known whistle-blowers could access the info acquired by NSA, is really a testimony that even intelligence agencies have difficulties protecting their operations and data contrary to 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. Many their operations aren’t reported with their own governments or only limited by a few people that are not allowed to state much. Among the reasons is that public figures will keep claiming there is nothing to worry about and life goes on for the common man. Also traditional intelligence gathering shifted to economic intelligence to greatly help the own economy. In commercial terms it’s called business intelligence but when it comes to the level of secret agencies it goes beyond the known horizon. Everyone is a target, just by scanning this article you’re probably already being monitored and categorized in some database. Sorry to break it to you.

Hardware Bigger Target

There is a trend which is slowly finding its solution to the general public to utilize encryption software to secure data rather than leaving it in the clear. This goes for exchanging data but also storing data on a local computer which range from tablets, phones, desktops to servers. The awakening of everyone is now also forcing many companies to start implementing some kind of encryption and privacy rules. This is encouraging however, not enough, especially the dominating corporations will always find a way to breach that trust while at the same time enjoy protection from their friends in governments. Recent, leaked, information demonstrates hardware is the new priority target to intercept data. Not only criminals but additionally government agencies are, with or without the knowledge of manufacturers, rigging products to spy on the end-user. They gather a huge amount of information which has nothing in connection with a legitimate target they’re after is ignored. Everything is stored for future use. Now with the Internet of Things, IoT, it is more important than ever to implement proper security. Still it isn’t a warranty 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 thanks to the cooperation of worldwide communities of individuals and is an alternative to “blackboxes”. Combined with more decentralizing of encrypted data flows mixed through Tor-like networks it will mean people can still get data from A through X to B. Even though such progress is unwanted it cannot be stopped without destroying the web 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 handle, so using this as a reason to sacrifice freedom, progress and alternatives is a no go. Perhaps it could benefit only the few who have a different agenda and have to spread fear to help 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 is “always” the best defense against those pesky enemies of hawaii; pre-emptive cyber strikes against other countries are increasing while disinformation is being spread through “bought” press outlets. Increase that infiltration of organizations along with other entities and we are another step nearer to perfect Orwellian societies. Cyber strikes are not as noticeable to the mass so they usually do not seem to be important enough to question or consider even though they get reported. Some media outlets spread disinformation on command, another example of the govporation complex. The question is what’s accomplished beside creating a potential situation worse by pre-emptive strikes, corrupting news media 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 have to make changes.

More Secret Courts

Here we take including the U.S secret courts but that is by no means the only real 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 is considered to be almost a parallel supreme court today. Here the cases are completely one sided and are argued by the government only. There is a review process to appeal decisions of the FISA court but they are few and far between. Not just one case has gone in interest the Supreme court. This is actually the court that issues warrants for (mass)surveillance including phone taps on individuals. The extent of the warrants reached 1800 in 2013 alone. The state story is to stop terrorism and protect people which alone is logical. The point is that there is no more accountability for individuals in this technique. These warrants are bound to improve and specific judges of FISA will tend 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 assumes 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. A lot of the developed countries, specially the ones growing in to the “developed” club, certainly have such secret courts. The troublesome part, beside legality, is the use of such data for more control and economic espionage on everyone. The old mission to protect and serve the people appears to be getting less important with each passing year.

More Threat Branding

It is no secret that lots of entities come under the scanner of government agencies and even companies trying to take over part of that job. As more and more people get “connected”, like online, their activities become visible to those who would like to monitor and track them. How or on what 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 prospect of getting dubbed a potentially disruptive influence by someone. Now with all the newest technologies it is easy to get tagged as a threat but extremely difficult to fight against it as well as know such entry exists in some database. The broader powers the govporation complex gets the more entities will undoubtedly be branded as a potential threat. Bitcoin Era Site who critically followed worldwide developments can predict that a “threat” could be based on economic motivation or simply asking the “wrong” questions, even while a journalist.

Weaponized Urban Drones

Amazon has announced that it’ll be delivering products bought by its customers through drones. That could or might 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 various countries have to finalize regulations governing flying drones in urban airspace before commercial projects could launch. You can easily realize that the many governmental agencies already are 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. They are not the type of heavily armed drones used in military operations but rather 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 this writing there are many companies already offering armed drones for crowd control with pepper-spray, rubber bullets, blinding lasers, ear-piercing audio etc. A drone equipped with high-definition cameras along with other light spectrum modes can quickly identify targets in real-time connected to some mainframe. Several experts conclude there is 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 along with other projectiles on a crowd in its mission area, in your backyard and not in a a long way away country.

World Events Impact Liberties

Today’s world is fast changing with each negative event accelerating certain unpopular agendas. Not saying that change is definitely bad, but we focus here on the result it has on 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 just what we should not do; sacrifice liberties we fought so difficult 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 for its own agenda. Might know about 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 after all what has happened so far and leaked to the general public there’s still no reason to hit the alarm button then nothing else will change your view until it is too late. Perhaps it really is too late.

The Rise Of Crypto Currencies

Several crypto currencies attended into existence over the last few years. Bitcoin is the most well-known of these while there were 275 crypto currencies in existence by 2014. One clear trend you can easily notice is their popularity is steadily increasing. The marketplace capitalization is an effective indicator of this though it is a bumpy ride with the speculators involved. The Bitcoin market cap is currently around $4.3 billion, Ripple as a second is at $774 million and Litecoin as a third at $96 million. With economic and political issues affecting various countries on the planet, more people begin to hedge their bets on the national currencies and work with these crypto currencies that aren’t controlled by any government or entity. It is another example of how people rebel by starting to develop and offer alternatives to a system which does not serve them anymore.

Cash Limits & Debt Increasing

Most developed countries, governments, float nowadays on credit while an increasing amount of citizens run through their credit limits and start to live to pay the rotating credit repayments. The larger this burden, the lesser may be the freedom of the person to really follow his free will. The primary concern of the person involved will be to adhere to the current job, not rock the boat at all and feel the daily grind to guarantee the debt repayments happen. One very effective way of control would be to have greater burdens on everybody’s shoulders. To keep that control it is vital for those in power to restrict ways of trading which cannot be easily monitored, taxed and controlled. God forbid people to actually miss the middleman and deal directly with one another and change the machine 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 everywhere. At least 20 of the fit the category war. As of 2015 the rise of conflict areas in a year is worrying since elements of such are starting to find a way into the daily life of many people in stable communities. That alone can be bad or good if it awakens visitors to reality and see why these exact things happen, the story in it and not just a symptom out of the blue. The next is a limited list, in no particular order, of major ongoing conflicts which keeps growing:

– Democratic Republic of Congo, where 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 seeking 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 own Republic states backed by Russia.

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

– Sudan, where sets of mixed ethnic origin are fighting with government forces and one another.

– The long bloody conflict between Israel and Palestine with no 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 bit 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 can be 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 to surrounding countries.

– South Sudan, created as a new country in 2010 2010 2010. You can find two wars going on. Fight between the ex-vice president’s and the president’s forces is one of the conflicts. While 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 against the central government mixed with terror groups utilizing the country as their base of operations.

Although almost all of the above conflict areas have an extended violent history it is likely to see new conflict in regions or countries where conflict isn’t directly expected. Economic disparities have always been reasons for flare-ups throughout history. Now that the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) break right 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 old story for humanity as you might be thinking, yet another flavor and color.

Corporate Influence online & ICANN

There are major developments in the digital world that indicate the increasing dominance of major corporations on the internet. They are closely working with multiple governments on policies, shared projects and sharing data. Most willingly cooperate despite understanding that some of what they’re 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, extracted from the ICANN website a short introduction:

” To reach another person on the net you have to type an address into your computer – a name or perhaps a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers around the world. Without that coordination we wouldn’t have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is just a not-for-profit partnership of individuals from across the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN doesn’t control content on the web. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it can have an important effect 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 a lot more worrying for future years of the internet as it exists now. Of-course it is currently choosing between your lesser of evils until hopefully an improved solution is found. We have seen what happens once the so called “free market” gets control, often people will not reap the benefits of this but again those who can afford it in wealth and power will applaud it. It is too much for this article to go over the limits of “free market” by those that control it but be confident we will achieve this in a fresh article. Giant corporations like Facebook, Google, Amazon and others plan to provide internet services to poor regions on earth where there’s none or hard to obtain online. Of-course it is not just because it makes their heart warm however they wish to also decide what people pay, see, do and obtain on “their” version of the web. Exactly like what the lobby of corporate groups wants online as it is now. That 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 have a look at how this is arranged in your country if.

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