Governance of countries, throughout history, has always depended on monitoring and tracking its citizens. Common people in 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 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 in their quest for holy profit have tried to learn 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 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 everywhere. The govporation will use and deploy whatever it can to help keep the status quo despite the increasing gap between the common people and the few who own almost everything. Despite all the negativity we all see, hear and read, you can find 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 a better destiny. One cannot indicate 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 developed into global digital community in which a large percentage of people and devices are connected to this entity called the web. One of the ways the Internet enriches our lives is that people can reach anyone on this net wherever they are. But then, 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 an instrument for collaboration between researchers and security issues weren’t on your brain map of developers. Any security mechanisms that people build today are retrofits attempting to cover the gaps. The web, or the web to be short, reaches into most modern devices in one way or the other. It’s in your house, office, outside “watching” you as well as on your own body as a wearable. More worrisome may be the rise of intelligent mobile technology that’s potentially high-risk whether you’re 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 seize additional power and access. Look around you and see what is going on while reading this to comprehend we have been not seeing a decrease of threats to people everywhere but an increase. 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 only to privacy anymore but alive and limb. We will check out several current and upcoming developments which impact the personal world of the “commoner”. The pressures to stop personal data will undoubtedly be immense and relentless. A significant defense for individuals is awareness and try to set the boundary which governments, corporate bodies or other people must respect by real laws. Suitable laws should 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 pay to maintain freedom. You don’t want to reside in an Orwellian world where “big brother” watches your every move! Boundaries of one’s privacy should 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 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 history it will be a digital disaster as all of the data gathered is now offered by the hands of evil. Innocent data will not exist, it is only 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 currently part of daily life whether you prefer 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 technique 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 utilize it to categorize people is requesting problems. Now that humongous amounts of data could be easily analyzed and computer technology supplies the tools to manage this “big data” there will be increasing pressure to mix 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 easy 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

The utilization of biometric data is to help determine the identity of people in an authentic manner, particularly when multiple sets of data are used. For example, 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 as well as what they have to determine the desirability of a person to enter the country. Sadly enough the usage of biometric data is currently also applied on the streets and by third party organizations for different uses. Think about identifying somebody 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 large percentage of false positives. You can get automatically identified as an unhealthy person grounding your travel plans or worse. Remember, countries, corporations and others are linking an increasing number of of their databases to create 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 concerning the NSA snooping. Although for a lot of this was not a surprise, for other people who always called worried citizens tinfoil crazies, it really 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 availability of internet technologies and the reach of the web 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 against 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. A lot of their operations aren’t reported with their own governments or only limited to a few people that are not allowed to state much. Among the reasons is that public figures can keep claiming you’ll find nothing to worry about and life continues on for the common man. Also traditional intelligence gathering shifted to economic intelligence to help the own economy. In commercial terms it’s called business intelligence however when it comes to the amount 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 to you.

Hardware Bigger Target

There is a trend that is slowly finding its solution to the general public to use encryption software to secure data rather than leaving it in the clear. This applies to exchanging data but also storing data on a local computer ranging from tablets, phones, desktops to servers. The awakening of the general public is now also forcing plenty of companies to start implementing some type of encryption and privacy rules. That is encouraging but not enough, especially the dominating corporations will always find a way to breach that trust while at exactly the same time enjoy protection from their friends in governments. Recent, leaked, information implies that hardware is the new priority target to intercept data. Not just criminals but also government agencies are, with or minus 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 web of Things, IoT, it is more important than ever 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 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 the through X to B. Even if such progress is unwanted it can’t be stopped without destroying the web since it is and turning the world into one big surveillance state. Crime in every its forms and shapes will always 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 need to spread fear to help 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’s “always” the very best defense against those pesky enemies of the state; pre-emptive cyber strikes against other countries are increasing while disinformation is being 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 noticeable to the mass so they do not appear to be important enough to question or think about even though 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 press for hidden agendas and spreading distrust in society by more infiltrations? By knowing the why and who society can determine if it is the world we want to reside 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 really is considered to be 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 appeal to the Supreme court. It is the court that issues warrants for (mass)surveillance including phone taps on individuals. The extent of these warrants reached 1800 in 2013 alone. The state story is to stop terrorism and protect people which in itself is logical. The main point is that there is no more accountability for the people in this technique. These warrants are bound to improve and specific judges of FISA are likely to be amenable to issuing more of these authorizations. The authorizations often allow massive amounts 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 point to others which are not. Most of the developed countries, specially 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 is apparently 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 dominate section of that job. As more and more people get “connected”, like on the net, their activities become noticeable to those who wish to monitor and track them. How or on which basis any entity is dubbed a “potential threat” is usually a subjective thing. Unless these decision makers have strict checks and balances, you will have higher potential for getting dubbed a potentially disruptive influence by someone. Now with all the newest technologies you can easily get tagged as a threat but almost impossible 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 be branded as a potential threat. By now everyone who critically followed worldwide developments can predict a “threat” could be based on economic motivation or perhaps 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. Which could or may not become reality, nonetheless it clearly demonstrates that this 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. It is easy to 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 sort 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 of the future with the authority of a genuine cop. Around this writing there are several 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 remote 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 speeding up certain unpopular agendas. Not to say that change is definitely bad, but we focus here on the result it is wearing 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 exactly 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 because of its own agenda. What we should be doing is discover the root cause of why a conflict or event happened in the first place and learn from it rather than 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 to hit the alarm button then nothing else will probably change your view until it is too late. Perhaps it really is too late.

The Rise Of Crypto Currencies

Several crypto currencies have come into existence during the last few years. Bitcoin is the most well-known of the while there were 275 crypto currencies around as of 2014. One clear trend it is simple to notice is their popularity is steadily increasing. The market capitalization is a wonderful indicator of this although it is a bumpy ride with all the current 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 earth, more people start to hedge their bets on the national currencies and use these crypto currencies that aren’t controlled by any government or entity. It really is another exemplory case of how people push back by starting to develop and provide 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 begin to live to cover the rotating credit repayments. Bitcoin Era Site , the lesser may be the freedom of the person to essentially follow his free will. The principal concern of the person involved will be to stick 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 is to have greater burdens on everybody’s shoulders. To help keep that control it is vital for those in capacity to restrict means 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 end of year 2013, The Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research (HIIK) reported the existence of some 400 conflicts worldwide. At least 20 of these 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 in itself can be bad or good if it awakens visitors to reality and see why these things happen, the story behind them and not just a symptom out of the blue. The following 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 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 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 without 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 an international 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 government forces. Part of it is spilling over to surrounding countries.

– South Sudan, created as a fresh country this year 2010 2010. There are two wars going on. Fight between the ex-vice president’s and the president’s forces is among the conflicts. As 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 most 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 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 net & ICANN

You can find 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 realizing that some of what they’re doing is illegal or at least very unethical. But holy profit, power and status is something shared by both parties giving it the name “the govporation”. Before we continue you should understand what ICANN is, taken 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 should be unique so computers know where to find 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. This can be 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 usage of the Internet. 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 even more worrying for future years of the internet as it exists now. Of-course it is currently choosing between the lesser of evils until hopefully a better solution is found. We’ve seen what happens when the so called “free market” takes over, often people will not benefit from this but again those that are able it in wealth and power will applaud it. It really is too much because of this article to go over the limits of “free market” by those who control it but be confident we will do so in a new article. Giant corporations like Facebook, Google, Amazon among others plan to provide internet services to poor regions in the world where there is none or hard to obtain online. Of-course it is not just because it makes their heart warm but they wish to also decide what folks pay, see, do and get on “their” version of the web. Just 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 pressure from the corporate lobby. So you may want to have a look at how this is arranged in your country if at all.