Governance of countries, throughout history, has always depended on monitoring and tracking its citizens. Bitcoin Revolution in their effort to safeguard their privacy have tried to create a boundary to what could possibly 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 stats. Add to that another powerful entity, the corporations, who within their pursuit of 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 an undeniable fact which is happening all over the world. The govporation use and deploy whatever it could to keep the status quo despite the increasing gap between your common people and the few who own almost anything. Despite all the negativity we all see, hear and read, you can find always people within governments and corporations who do not agree with certain actions or policies. We hope that they can bring differ from the inside by doing whatever they are able to to steer the ship to an improved destiny. One cannot point to a complete 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 individuals and devices are connected to this entity called the Internet. One of the ways the web enriches our lives is that we can reach anyone on 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 life. When it started, it had been an instrument for collaboration between researchers and security issues were not on the mind map of developers. Any security mechanisms that we build today are retrofits attempting to cover the gaps. The internet, or the web to be short, reaches into most modern devices in a single way or another. It’s in your house, office, outside “watching” you or even on your body as a wearable. More worrisome may be 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 understand we have been not seeing a loss 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 is not just to privacy anymore but to life and limb. We will check out several current and upcoming developments which impact the personal world of the “commoner”. The pressures to give up personal data will be immense and relentless. An important defense for the people is awareness and make an effort to set the boundary which governments, corporate bodies or other people must respect by real laws. Suitable laws should be enacted, you will have to be aware of 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 live in an Orwellian world where “your government” watches your every move! Boundaries of your privacy must be guarded zealously.

Assuming by default that many people are 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 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 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 the data gathered is now offered by the hands of evil. Innocent data does not exist, it is just 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 currently part of daily life whether you prefer it or not. Such profiling can be used to narrow down targets that require to be watched for just about any specific reason. The reason may be good or bad, the technique itself is flawed and can cause a lot of visitors to land in databases where they do not belong. The section of gathering data from as much sources as possible and automatically utilize it to categorize people is requesting problems. Now that humongous amounts of data could be easily analyzed and computer technology provides the tools to manage this “big data” there will be increasing pressure to combine databases from many sources. Data gathered from government branches, commercial parties to non-profit organizations providing another piece of the puzzle about your daily life. With the technologies on the market, it will be simple to collect, merge and manage the data about an individual. That all is collected without reason, innocent or not, for profit or just because it is possible.

Biometric Data Sharing

The use of biometric data would be to help determine the identity of individuals in an authentic manner, particularly when multiple sets of data are used. For example, the passport documents of many 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 in addition to what they have to determine the desirability of an individual to enter the united states. Sadly enough the use of biometric data is currently also applied on the streets and by alternative party organizations for different uses. Think of identifying somebody at specific places within the united states 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 lot of false positives. You can obtain automatically identified as an unhealthy person grounding your travel plans or worse. Remember, countries, corporations among others are linking more and 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 concerning 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 only have they been monitoring domestic citizens, they are cited for snooping on people and political parties in other countries. No doubt, the extensive availability 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 against the human factor. It’s of-course not only the NSA, basically any similar agency in other countries does the same. Where possible they cooperate with others or go at it alone. A great deal of their operations aren’t reported to their own governments or only limited by a few people who are not allowed to state much. Among the reasons is that public figures will keep claiming you’ll find nothing to worry about and life goes on for the normal man. Also traditional intelligence gathering shifted to economic intelligence to greatly 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 a few 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 applies to exchanging data but additionally storing data on a local computer ranging from tablets, phones, desktops to servers. The awakening of the general public is now also forcing lots of companies to start implementing some type of encryption and privacy rules. This is encouraging but 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 shows that 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. That 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 Internet of Things, IoT, it really is more important than ever before to implement proper security. Still it isn’t a guarantee as other events show how shady agencies influence companies to weaken their product security to allow 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 if such progress is unwanted it cannot be stopped without destroying the internet since it is and turning the world into one big surveillance state. Crime in every its forms and shapes will be part of humanity to cope with, so using this as grounds to sacrifice freedom, progress and alternatives is really a no go. Perhaps it would benefit only the few who have a different agenda and need to spread fear to keep people in line serving them.

Increase of Cyber Strikes, Disinformation & Infiltration

It appears to be getting normal to attack first and investigate later as that is “always” the very best defense against those pesky enemies of the state; pre-emptive cyber strikes against other countries are increasing while disinformation has been spread through “bought” press outlets. Increase that infiltration of organizations and 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 appear to be important enough to question or consider even though they get reported. Some media outlets spread disinformation on command, another exemplory case 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 is the world we want to live in or do we need to make changes.

More Secret Courts

Here we take including 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 is regarded as almost a parallel supreme court today. Here the cases are completely one sided and so are argued by the government only. There exists a review process to appeal decisions of the FISA court but these 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 official story is to stop terrorism and protect people which alone is logical. The point is that there is no more accountability for the people 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 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. That is happening especially in the countries which always boast about their democracy and indicate others which are not. Lots 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 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 under the scanner of government agencies and also companies trying to dominate part of that job. As increasing numbers of people get “connected”, like on the Internet, 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 current newest technologies it is easy to get tagged as a threat but extremely difficult to fight against it and even know such entry exists in a few database. The broader powers the govporation complex gets the more entities will undoubtedly be branded as a potential threat. Right 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 could or may not become reality, nonetheless it clearly demonstrates that commercial behemoth thinks it really is feasible. Drones that have capability to reach the required addresses are feasible today. However, authorities in different countries need 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 usage of flying drones for surveillance and monitoring purposes. Beside that it contributes to mass-surveillance, a worrying development is arming drones with lethal and non-lethal weapons for use against civilians. These are not the kind of heavily armed drones found 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 many 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 easily identify targets in real-time connected to some mainframe. Several experts conclude there’s an increasing trend of militarizing police forces and extending their capability with drones. The day may not be remote 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 fast changing with each negative event speeding up certain unpopular agendas. Not saying that change is definitely bad, but we focus here on the effect it has on liberties and how some powerful groups benefit from 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 difficult for in the past merely to get yourself a false sense of security. That type of flawed logic has helped raise 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 public there is still no reason going to the alarm button then nothing else is going to change your view until it really is too late. Perhaps it really is too late.

The Rise Of Crypto Currencies

Several crypto currencies attended into existence during the last few years. Bitcoin is the most well-known of the while there have been 275 crypto currencies in existence by 2014. One clear trend it is simple to notice is their popularity is steadily increasing. The marketplace capitalization is a great 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 reaches $774 million and Litecoin as a third at $96 million. With economic and political issues affecting various countries on the planet, 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 is another exemplory case of how people push back by starting to develop and provide alternatives to a system 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 pay the rotating credit repayments. The larger this burden, the lesser is the freedom of the person to essentially follow his free will. The principal concern of the individual involved will be to stick 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 method of control is to have greater burdens on everybody’s shoulders. To keep that control it is vital for those in capacity to restrict ways of trading which can’t be easily monitored, taxed and controlled. God forbid visitors to actually miss the middleman and deal directly with each other and change the machine from within.

Worldwide Increase of Conflicts

By the finish of year 2013, The Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research (HIIK) reported the existence of some 400 conflicts across the world. At least 20 of the fit the category war. By 2015 the rise of conflict areas in per year is worrying since components of such are starting to find a way into the daily life of many people in stable communities. That alone could be bad or good if it awakens people to reality and see why these exact things happen, the story behind them and not just a symptom out of the blue. The next is a limited list, in no particular order, of major ongoing conflicts which will keep 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 wanting to take over the united states 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 each other.

– 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 US, 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 the rebel Al-Shabaab group and the government forces. Part of it is spilling to surrounding countries.

– South Sudan, created as a fresh country this year 2010 2010. You can find two wars going on. Fight between your ex-vice president’s and the president’s forces is probably 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 contrary to the central government blended with terror groups using the country as their base of operations.

Although the majority 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 have always been reasons for flare-ups throughout history. Now 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 variety 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 on the web & ICANN

You can find major developments in the digital world that indicate the increasing dominance of major corporations online. 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, extracted from the ICANN website a short introduction:

” To reach another person online you will need to type an address into your personal computer – a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know how to locate 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 just a not-for-profit partnership of individuals from worldwide 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 online. It cannot stop spam also 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 effect on the expansion and evolution of the web. “

Now with the push for ICANN to remove itself from governmental oversight to a far 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 your lesser of evils until hopefully a better solution is found. We have seen what happens when the so called “free market” takes over, often people will not benefit from this but again those who can afford it in wealth and power will applaud it. It is too much for this article to discuss the limits of “free market” by those that control it but rest assured we will achieve this in a new article. Giant corporations like Facebook, Google, Amazon among others intend to provide internet services to poor regions on earth where there’s none or hard to get online. Of-course it isn’t just because it makes their heart warm however they wish to also decide what folks pay, see, do and obtain on “their” version of the internet. Just 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 great pressure from the corporate lobby. So you may want to take a look at how that is arranged in your country if at all.