04 July 2017

Total Information Awareness Revealed: A Bit at a Time

I guess this is news to some people, but we've long known the leading proliferator of malware in the world is the outfit headquartered in Langley.
I cannot say for sure of course but with the recent kerfuffle regarding what some consider to be a international (and possibly fake) ransomware attack... one either perpetrated by amateurs or state-actors who had no intention of cashing-in on Bitcoin... the first thing I thought of was Langley or one of their many proxies. The NSA is of course another possibility.


I know the usual culprit is supposed to be Russia but it seems unlikely they would attack Rosneft. And thus the media reverts to villain #2- Pyongyang.
It very well could be the North Koreans.
But then again, which government has been uncovered as seeking to hoover-up all the Earth's data? Which government is attempting to track every computer on this planet? Which government has the capability to manage such data?
These are things to consider.
Did not the Bush administration seek to implement Total Information Awareness (TIA) under the leadership of Admiral Poindexter? While the programme was officially shelved, just over a decade later we learned that it was implemented in full force. The Snowden leaks which already seem to have been almost forgotten told us that the government was actively engaged in malware, hijacking computers, appropriating data and creating backdoors.
The only people who would be shocked or upset by the Wired story are those that have been asleep for the past 4-5 years.
The laptop story is interesting but it points to something much bigger. Maybe apart from the Deep State reassertion of power that took place in 2001, perhaps the great story of the 21st century is that ostensibly free and liberal Western society in a relatively short time due to 'advances' in technology and the fear of terrorism has given up the bulk of not only its civil rights but its social norms and values. Things like privacy once treasured and respected are all but dead.*
The deep and profound changes that arrived with the advent of digital society left the Establishment scrambling. Unable to re-boot the Internet as some desired, they have effectively sought to re-write its narrative and re-wire its inner-workings.
The nature of society itself is changing and in many ways imploding. Is this just another chapter in the 'advancement' of technology? Maybe so. Maybe I (and others) am completely mistaken. But I wonder... I wonder what the next generation will bring. Only in early 'Middle Age' I already feel like a fish out of water. The society of today is not the one I grew up in. I know someone born in the 1920's could say the same about the 1970s. I guess the question is... while the social changes in the mid-twentieth century were dramatic, are the changes taking place today with regard to technology, privacy, the state, individuality, morality and host of other issues actually more profound? Have we taken a quantum leap so to speak?
In some ways we've forgotten or failed to understand just what was happening in the period from say 1955-75. It makes one's head spin and yet in my opinion a case could be made that say 1995-2015 may in the end have laid the foundations for an ever greater cultural transition and shift in values. Undoubtedly every generational transition wrestles with the changes but I think we're on the cusp of something. I think we'll look back and see the couple of decades after 2001 as being a watershed.
See also:
I don't agree with everything the author asserts but it provides a good summary, raises pertinent issues and is worthy of consideration.

* The term has become meaningless. During a recent interview former tennis star John McEnroe was all but dragged by an NPR reporter into making some controversial comments. Serena Williams was obviously offended and quipped that he was invading her privacy. This is coming from a pregnant woman who just appeared completely naked on the cover of a magazine, an immoral tart who has brazenly conceived out of wedlock, broadcast it and now exposes her shame with abandon?
Privacy? Is she insane?


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