The Govporation Complex

Governance of countries, throughout history, has always depended on monitoring and tracking its citizens. Common people in their effort to safeguard their privacy have tried to set a boundary to what could possibly be monitored and snooped. This boundary has kept shifting; particularly advancements in technology have always managed to get possible to reach further in to the lives of common people and their personal details. Increase that another powerful entity, the corporations, who within their pursuit of 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 folks from unreasonable interference within 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 will use and deploy whatever it can to keep the status quo despite the increasing gap between the common people and the few who own almost anything. Despite all the negativity we all see, hear and read, there are always people within governments and corporations who usually do not agree with certain actions or policies. Hopefully that they can bring change from the inside by doing whatever they are able to to steer the ship to a better destiny. One cannot point to a whole government or corporation and say everyone inside it is out to dictate life to the rest to serve holy profit.

Now the world has turned into a global digital community in which a large percentage of people and devices are linked to this entity called the web. One of the ways the Internet enriches our lives is that people can reach anyone with this net wherever they are. But, do not forget that when you can reach anyone easily, others can reach you equally easily and dig into your daily life. When it started, it had been a tool for collaboration between researchers and security issues weren’t on the mind map of developers. Any security mechanisms that people build today are retrofits attempting to cover the gaps. The web, or the net to be short, reaches into most modern devices in a single way or the other. It’s in your own home, office, outside “watching” you and even on your own body as a wearable. More worrisome is the rise of intelligent mobile technology that’s potentially high-risk whether you’re 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 are not seeing a decrease of threats to people everywhere but a rise. The additional capacity to monitor your lives in-depth will undoubtedly 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 take a look at several current and upcoming developments which impact the non-public world of the “commoner”. The pressures to give up personal data will undoubtedly be immense and relentless. An important defense for individuals is awareness and make an effort to set the boundary which governments, corporate bodies or other people must respect by real laws. Suitable laws will have to be enacted, you need to be familiar with new developments and their consequences. As somebody once said; eternal vigil is the price one has to cover to maintain freedom. You do not want to reside in an Orwellian world where “your government” watches your every move! Boundaries of your privacy ought to be guarded zealously.

Assuming by default that many people are a threat and therefor justifying total surveillance and control of people is not the ideal solution. It opens a giant can of worms which 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 good 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 a digital disaster as all the data gathered is now offered by the hands of evil. Innocent data does not exist, it is only a matter of the right time and the wrong hands to turn it right into a weapon.

Automated Multi Source Profiling

Automated multi source profiling is now part of lifestyle whether you prefer it or not. Such profiling is used to narrow down targets that need to be watched for any specific reason. The reason may be good or bad, the method itself is flawed and can cause a lot of people to land in databases where they do not belong. The part of gathering data from as many sources as you possibly can and automatically use it to categorize people is asking for 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 mix databases from many sources. Data gathered from government branches, commercial parties to non-profit organizations providing another piece of the puzzle about your life. With the technologies on the market, it will be simple to collect, merge and manage the data about an individual. That is collected without reason, innocent or not, for profit or just because it is possible.

Biometric Data Sharing

The application of 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 besides what they need to determine the desirability of an individual to enter the country. Sadly enough the application of biometric data is currently also applied on the streets and by alternative party organizations for different uses. Think about 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 could be remotely identified by face recognition camera’s without reason. Many experts have accused biometric data of raising a lot of false positives. You can obtain automatically identified as an undesirable person grounding your travel plans or worse. Remember, countries, corporations among others are linking progressively more of their databases to form a giant worldwide database in which a lot of folks have access. Some with not good intentions.

Everyone, Everywhere, Anytime

Consider the recent spate of news about the NSA snooping. Although for some people this was not a surprise, for others who always called worried citizens tinfoil crazies, it is embarrassing by all the revelations about the widespread mass surveillance. Not merely have they been monitoring domestic citizens, they are cited for snooping on people and political parties in other countries. 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 a testimony that even intelligence agencies have difficulties protecting their operations and data contrary to the human factor. It’s of-course not merely the NSA, basically any similar agency in other countries does the same. Where possible they cooperate with others or go at it alone. A lot of their operations are not 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 you’ll find nothing to be worried about and life continues 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. Many people are a target, just by scanning this article you’re probably already being monitored and categorized in a few database. Sorry to break it for you.

Hardware Bigger Target

There is a trend which is slowly finding its way to the general public to use encryption software to secure data instead of leaving it in the clear. This goes for exchanging data but also storing data on an area computer which range from tablets, phones, desktops to servers. The awakening of everyone is now also forcing plenty of companies to start implementing some type of encryption and privacy rules. That is encouraging however, not enough, especially the dominating corporations will always discover 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 just criminals but additionally government agencies are, with or minus the knowledge of manufacturers, rigging products to spy on the end-user. That they gather plenty of information which has nothing to do with a legitimate target they are 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 easy access. Open-source hardware and software is advancing thanks to 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 A 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 world into one big surveillance state. Crime in all its forms and shapes will be part of humanity to deal with, so using this as a reason to sacrifice freedom, progress and alternatives is really a no go. Perhaps it would 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 has been spread through “bought” news media outlets. Add to that infiltration of organizations and other entities and we are another step nearer to perfect Orwellian societies. Cyber strikes are not as visible to the mass so they do not seem to be important enough to question or think about even if they get reported. Some media outlets spread disinformation on command, another exemplory case of the govporation complex. The question is what is 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 live in or do we need to make changes.

More Secret Courts

Here we take as an example the U.S secret courts but this 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 regarded as almost a parallel supreme court today. Here the cases are completely one sided and are argued by the federal government only. There is a review process to appeal decisions of the FISA court but they are few and far between. Not one case has gone in appeal to the Supreme court. It is the court that issues warrants for (mass)surveillance including phone taps on individuals. The extent of the warrants reached 1800 in 2013 alone. The official story is to stop terrorism and protect people which in itself is logical. The point is that there is no more accountability for individuals in this process. These warrants are bound to improve and specific judges of FISA are likely to be amenable to issuing more of the authorizations. The authorizations often allow massive levels of data to be supplied to the NSA along with 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 into 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 safeguard and serve the people appears to be 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 even companies trying to dominate part of that job. As increasing numbers of people get “connected”, like on the net, their activities become visible to those who wish 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 you can easily 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 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 as a journalist.

Weaponized Urban Drones

Amazon has announced that it will be delivering products bought by its customers through drones. That may or may not become reality, but it clearly demonstrates that commercial behemoth thinks it is feasible. Drones that have capacity to reach the required 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 various governmental agencies are already increasing the urban usage 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 kind of heavily armed drones used in military operations but instead the compact type with an increase of features fitting an urban setting. Perhaps an initial step to robocops of the future with the authority of a genuine cop. As of this writing there are various companies already offering armed drones for crowd control with pepper-spray, rubber bullets, blinding lasers, ear-piercing audio and so forth. A drone built with high-definition cameras along with other light spectrum modes can quickly identify targets in real-time linked to some mainframe. Several experts conclude there’s a growing 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 always bad, but we focus here on the effect it is wearing liberties and how some powerful groups reap the benefits of it. After every major event like 9/11, wars in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, regional bloody revolutions with or without foreign influence, we do just what we ought to not do; sacrifice liberties we fought so hard for in the past just to get 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 in the first place 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 public there’s still no reason to hit the alarm button then nothing else is going to change your view until it really is too late. Perhaps it is too late.

The Rise Of Crypto Currencies

Several crypto currencies have come into existence over the last few years. Bitcoin may be the most well-known of these while there were 275 crypto currencies around by 2014. One clear trend it is simple to notice is their popularity is steadily increasing. The marketplace capitalization is a wonderful indicator of this although it is a bumpy ride with all the speculators involved. The Bitcoin market cap is currently around $4.3 billion, Ripple as another is at $774 million and Litecoin as a third at $96 million. With economic and political issues affecting various countries on earth, more people start to hedge their bets on the national currencies and work with these crypto currencies that aren’t controlled by any government or entity. It really is another example of how people rebel by starting to develop and provide alternatives to something which does 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 pay the rotating credit repayments. The larger this burden, the lesser is 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 go through 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 help keep that control it is crucial for those in capacity to restrict ways of trading which can’t be easily monitored, taxed and controlled. God forbid people to actually miss the middleman and deal directly with each other 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 worldwide. At least 20 of the fit the category war. By 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 several people in stable communities. That alone can be bad or good if it awakens people to reality and see why these things happen, the story behind them and not just an indicator out of the blue. The following is really a limited list, in no particular order, of major ongoing conflicts which keeps 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 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 US 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 taking over a considerable part including a piece of Iraq.

– Iraq, struggling with the war against IS, assisted by a global coalition consisting of the US, Arab countries, Iran and the EU. meilleur plateforme trading 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 the rebel Al-Shabaab group and the federal government forces. Part of it is spilling over to surrounding countries.

– South Sudan, created as a new 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. While the presidential force is also 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 blended 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 expected to see new conflict in regions or countries where conflict isn’t directly expected. Economic disparities will always be known 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 variety of one or more of the next 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 may be thinking, yet another flavor and color.

Corporate Influence online & ICANN

You can find major developments in the digital world that indicate the increasing dominance of major corporations over the internet. They are closely working with multiple governments on policies, shared projects and sharing data. Most willingly cooperate despite realizing 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, taken from the ICANN website a brief introduction:

” To reach another person on the Internet you must type an address into your personal computer – a name or perhaps a number. That address should be unique so computers know where to find one another. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers around the world. Without that coordination we wouldn’t have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. This is a not-for-profit partnership of people from around 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 also it doesn’t deal with access to 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 eliminate itself from governmental oversight to a more corporate setting it is a lot 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 have seen what happens when the so called “free market” gets control, often people will not reap the benefits of this but again those that are able it in wealth and power will applaud it. It really is too much for this article to go over the limits of “free market” by those that control it but be confident we will do so in a new article. Giant corporations like Facebook, Google, Amazon among others intend to provide internet services to poor regions on the globe where there’s none or hard to get online. Of-course it isn’t just because it creates 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 for the internet as it is now. That is also why some countries went ahead to repair net neutrality by law, although some implemented a weak version of it under great pressure from the corporate lobby. So you might want to take a look at how this is arranged in your country if.