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 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 read customer behavior to make sure 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 within their life.

The line between governments and corporations is fading away. This is not a prediction but a fact which is happening all over the world. The govporation will use and deploy whatever it can to help keep the status quo regardless of 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, you can find always people within governments and corporations who 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 in it has gone out to dictate life to the rest to serve holy profit.

Now the world has developed into global digital community where a large percentage of individuals and devices are linked to this entity called the Internet. One of the ways the Internet enriches our lives is that we 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 life. When it started, it had been a tool for collaboration between researchers and security issues were not on the mind map of developers. Any security mechanisms that we build today are retrofits trying to cover the gaps. The web, or the net to be short, reaches into modern devices in a single way or another. 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 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 capacity to monitor your lives in-depth will be justified through certain, man-made, events and technical developments. The threat is not only to privacy anymore but to life and limb. We will have 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. 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 should be enacted, you need to be familiar with new developments and their consequences. As somebody once said; eternal vigil may be 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 must 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 which is a guaranteed ticket to a society we do not want. One reason is human nature as demonstrated countless times by history, not talking about 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 proper time and the incorrect hands to turn it into a weapon.

Automated Multi Source Profiling

Automated multi source profiling is now part of daily life whether you like 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 technique itself is flawed and will 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 use it to categorize people is asking for problems. Now that humongous levels of data can be easily analyzed and computer technology provides the tools to control this “big data” you will see 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 info 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 employed. For instance, the passport documents of many countries now routinely include the fingerprint information but iris scan data and face recognition data are making an introduction too. Today the Canadian government uses the united states biometric database as well as what they need to determine the desirability of an individual to enter the country. Sadly enough the utilization of biometric data is now also applied on the streets and by alternative party organizations for different uses. Think of 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 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 will 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 where a lot of folks have access. Some with not so good intentions.

Everyone, Everywhere, Anytime

Consider the recent spate of news about the NSA snooping. Although for a lot of this was not just a surprise, for other people who always called worried citizens tinfoil crazies, it is embarrassing by all of the revelations concerning the widespread mass surveillance. Not only 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 Internet have made these activities possible. That some well-known whistle-blowers could access the data 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 in other countries does exactly the same. Where possible they cooperate with others or go at it alone. Many their operations aren’t reported to 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 goes on for the normal 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 scanning 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 way to the general public to utilize 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 many companies to start implementing some type of encryption and privacy rules. That is encouraging but not enough, especially the dominating corporations will always discover a way to breach that trust while at exactly the same time enjoy protection from their friends in governments. Recent, leaked, information demonstrates hardware may be the new priority target to intercept data. Not just criminals but also government agencies are, with or minus the understanding 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’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 is not 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 individuals and is an option to “blackboxes”. Coupled 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 as it is and turning the planet into one big surveillance state. Crime in all its forms and shapes will always 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 could benefit only the few who’ve a different agenda and have 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’s “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” press outlets. Increase that infiltration of organizations along with other entities and we have been another step nearer to perfect Orwellian societies. Cyber strikes aren’t as visible to the mass so they do not appear to be important enough to question or consider even if they get reported. Some media outlets spread disinformation on command, another exemplory case of the govporation complex. The question is what’s accomplished beside making 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 this is actually the world we want to live 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 really is regarded as almost a parallel supreme court today. Here the cases are completely one sided and are argued by the government only. You will find 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. This 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 alone is logical. The main point is that there is forget about accountability for the people in this technique. These warrants are bound to improve and specific judges of FISA will tend to be amenable to issuing more of the authorizations. The authorizations often allow massive amounts 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 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, may be the usage of such data for more control and economic espionage on everyone. The old mission to protect and serve the people seems 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 take over part of that job. As increasing numbers of people get “connected”, like on the Internet, their activities become noticeable to those who want to monitor and track them. How or on what basis any entity is dubbed a “potential threat” is usually 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 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 that a “threat” could be based on economic motivation or simply 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 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 different 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 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. They are not the type of heavily armed drones found in military operations but instead the compact type with more features fitting an urban setting. Perhaps a first step to robocops into the future with the authority of a real cop. Around 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 on. A drone equipped with high-definition cameras and other light spectrum modes can quickly identify targets in real-time connected to some mainframe. Several experts conclude there’s a growing trend of militarizing police forces and extending their capability with drones. The 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 quickly changing with each negative event speeding up certain unpopular agendas. Not to say that change is always bad, but we focus here on the result 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 exactly what we should not do; sacrifice liberties we fought so hard for in the past just to get a false sense of security. That type of flawed logic has helped increase the monitoring, tracking, limiting freedom of citizens and increasing the energy 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 rather than just fighting the symptoms as usual. In the event that you still think in the end what has happened so far and leaked to the public there’s still no reason going to the alarm button then nothing else will probably change your view until it really is too late. Perhaps it 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 these while there were 275 crypto currencies around as of 2014. One clear trend you can easily notice is their popularity is steadily increasing. The marketplace capitalization is a superb 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 reaches $774 million and Litecoin as a third at $96 million. With economic and political issues affecting various countries on earth, more people begin to hedge their bets on the national currencies and use 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 does not serve them anymore.

Cash Limits & Debt Increasing

Most developed countries, governments, float nowadays on credit while a growing amount of citizens tell you their credit limits and begin to live to cover the rotating credit repayments. The larger this burden, the lesser is the freedom of the person to really 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 ensure 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 necessary for those in power 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 finish of year 2013, The Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research (HIIK) reported the existence of some 400 conflicts around the world. At least 20 of these fit the category war. As of 2015 the rise of conflict areas in per year is worrying since components of such are starting to discover a way into the daily life of many people in stable communities. That in itself can be bad or good if it awakens people 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 really a limited list, in no particular order, of major ongoing conflicts which will keep 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 groups 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 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 bit of Iraq.

– Iraq, struggling with 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 is also 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 is spilling over to surrounding countries.

– South Sudan, created as a new country in 2010 2010 2010. There are 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 contrary to the central government mixed with terror groups using 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 known reasons for flare-ups throughout history. Given 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 following causes: poor economy, corruption, police state, religious tensions, foreign influence, oppression, unpopular politics, extreme difference poor vs rich, racial inequality. The same kind of story for humanity as you may be thinking, yet another flavor and color.

Corporate Influence on the net & ICANN

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

” To reach another person online you have to type an address into your computer – a name or perhaps a number. That address needs to be unique so computers know how to locate one another. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without Bitcoin Revolution Site wouldn’t have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit partnership of people from all over the world dedicated to keeping the web secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and 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 Internet. “

Now with the push for ICANN to eliminate 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 the lesser of evils until hopefully an improved solution is found. We’ve seen what happens once the so called “free market” gets control, often people will not reap the benefits of this but again those that can afford it in wealth and power will applaud it. It is too much because of this article to go over the limits of “free market” by those that control it but be confident we will achieve this in a new article. Giant corporations like Facebook, Google, Amazon and others intend to provide internet services to poor regions in the world where there is none or hard to get online. Of-course it is not just because it creates their heart warm however they wish to also decide what folks pay, see, do and obtain 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 fix net neutrality by law, although some implemented a weak version of it under pressure from the corporate lobby. So you may want to take a look at how that is arranged in your country if at all.