Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Ultimate Spy Device

Andrew Atkin: 



Smartphones are the ultimate spy device. Even when you think they're off, they could nonetheless be recording everything you're saying, with time and location included, and converting it into a file to be uploaded later just as soon as you connect to the Internet. 

That file can then be processed on an outside server where your speech is converted to text, and your words are scanned for anything considered 'concerning'. It's easy and the technology supporting this exists today. It could happen in the background operations of your phone, so you won't even know it's happening.

Anything that you do online in general can be recorded and decoded, and with no matter what kind of an app you think you're using. All code can be decoded.

If you're worried about any kind of big brother snooping into your life, then worry no more. There's every chance this sort of thing is happening already, or will happen, so you might as well presume that it is.

But it's not all bad news. If it's not abused, spying can provide a excellent public service. In theory at least, it's never been harder for a terrorist group to successfully organise a violent attack. Only the silent lone-wolf terrorist should be a threat in our modern age, and even then only if he doesn't talk to himself.

Yet there is still a bad side, and a potentially devastating bad side. 

What happens when a less-than-benevolent government gets into power, takes the opposition parties out back for execution, and then shuts down future elections?

How do you organise opposition to a government gone so badly wrong, when the government can and will sniff-out organised dissent the moment it happens; along with who and where exactly the dissenters are?  Well you can't. 

Hence government becomes inherently dangerous as a social system, as it probably can't be redeemed for when and if the worst ever happens. You would probably have to wait for it to redeem itself in maybe the far distant future.

So should we throw away our smartphones? Unrealistic, of course. The best we can do is focus on laying down some strong defenses today.

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Some suggestions to keeping the government straight:

1. Decentralise government into small local units, so no all-powerful centralised government can develop in the first place. (Radical decentralisation has advantages on many levels. This is just one
).

2. Develop a constitution for all law enforcers on all levels to follow, that strictly controls for the potential abuse of power from central governments.

-A finalised constitution should only be modified through public referendum, which should be respected as the highest authority of the land. Law enforcers should be instructed that a government that tries to illegitimately over-rule the constitution is their enemy and should be treated as such.

3. Make all policy and operational systems of the secret service as transparent as possible.

4. Eliminate all hate speech laws that threaten to criminalise free speech.

-The problem with 'hate speech' is it's inherently subjective. The bottom line: With hate speech laws you are creating the legal infrastructure to shut down free speech. This is extremely dangerous in any circumstance. If people can be spied on and ultimately criminalised for their political speech alone, then needless to say you've got yourself a creeping tyranny.

5. Make tight reforms and protections, as required, while your nation still can. Fixing problems before they happen is obviously the way to go.

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