The Govporation Complex

Governance of countries, throughout history, has always depended on monitoring and tracking its citizens. Common people within 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 into the lives of common people and their personal stats. Add to 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 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 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 anything. Despite all the negativity we all see, hear and read, you can find always people within governments and corporations who usually do not trust certain actions or policies. Hopefully that they can bring change from the inside by doing whatever they can 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 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 web enriches our lives is that we can reach anyone with 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 was 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 trying to cover the gaps. The web, or the net to be short, reaches into most modern devices in one 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 may be 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 grab additional power and access. Look around you and see the proceedings while reading this to understand we have been not seeing a loss of threats to people everywhere but an increase. The additional power 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 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 the people is awareness and try to set the boundary which governments, corporate bodies or anyone else must respect by real laws. Suitable laws should be enacted, you will have 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 one’s privacy have to be guarded zealously.

Assuming by default that many people are a threat and therefor justifying total surveillance and control of individuals 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 talking about the nice kind. Another reason is that governments come and go similar to the world keeps changing. When, not if, we enter another dark period in human history it will be an electronic disaster as all of the data gathered is now available at 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 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 could be good or bad, the technique itself is flawed and will cause a lot of visitors to land in databases where they don’t 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 supplies the tools to control 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 little bit of the puzzle about your life. With the technologies available today, it will be easy 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 usage of biometric data is to help determine the identity of individuals in an authentic manner, particularly when multiple sets of data are employed. For example, the passport documents of several 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 have to determine the desirability of a person to enter the country. Sadly enough using biometric data is currently also applied on the streets and by third party organizations for different uses. Think of 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 can 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 aquire automatically identified as an undesirable person grounding your travel plans or worse. Remember, countries, corporations and others are linking increasingly more of their databases to create a giant worldwide database in which a lot of people have access. Some with not so 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 other people who always called worried citizens tinfoil crazies, it really is embarrassing by all the revelations about the widespread mass surveillance. Not merely have they been monitoring domestic citizens, they have been cited for snooping on people and political parties in other countries. No doubt, the extensive option of internet technologies and the reach of the web have made these activities possible. That some well-known whistle-blowers could access the data 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 far away does the same. Where possible they cooperate with others or go at it alone. Plenty of their operations are not reported to their own governments or only limited to a few people that are not allowed to say much. Among the reasons is that public figures can keep claiming there is nothing to be worried 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 to you.

Hardware Bigger Target

There is a trend that is slowly finding its solution to the general public to utilize encryption software to secure data instead of leaving it in the clear. This applies to exchanging data but also storing data on a local computer which range 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 implies that 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 to do with a legitimate target they are after is ignored. Everything is stored for future use. Now with the web of Things, IoT, it 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 permit them quick 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’ll mean people can still get data from A 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 world into one big surveillance state. Crime in every 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 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 seems to be getting normal to attack first and investigate later as that is “always” the 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 have been another step closer 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 think about even if they get reported. Some media outlets spread disinformation on command, another example of the govporation complex. The question is what is 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 can be a 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 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 so are argued by the federal government only. There exists a review process to appeal decisions of the FISA court but they are few and far between. Not just 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 the warrants reached 1800 in 2013 alone. The official story would be to stop terrorism and protect people which alone is logical. The point is that there is forget about 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 along with 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, 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 seems to be 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 take over part of that job. As more and more people get “connected”, like on the web, their activities become visible to those who want 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 have 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 almost impossible to fight against it or even know such entry exists in some database. The broader powers the govporation complex gets the more entities will be branded as a potential threat. Right 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 while a journalist.

Weaponized Urban Drones

Amazon has announced that it will be delivering products bought by its customers through drones. That may or might not become reality, nonetheless it clearly demonstrates that this commercial behemoth thinks it is feasible. Drones that have capacity to reach the desired addresses are feasible today. However, authorities in different countries need 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 use 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 sort 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 genuine cop. Around 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 on. A drone equipped with high-definition cameras along with other light spectrum modes can quickly identify targets in real-time connected to some mainframe. Several experts conclude there is 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 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 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 exactly what we have to not do; sacrifice liberties we fought so difficult for in the past merely 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. Might know about be doing is find 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 after all what has happened so far and leaked to the general public there’s 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 is too late.

The Rise Of Crypto Currencies

Several crypto currencies have come into existence during the last few years. Bitcoin may be the most well-known of the while there have been 275 crypto currencies around as of 2014. One clear trend you can actually notice is their popularity is steadily increasing. The market capitalization is an excellent indicator of this although it is a bumpy ride with 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 the planet, more people begin 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 offer alternatives to a system which will not serve them anymore.

Cash Limits & Debt Increasing

Most developed countries, governments, float nowadays on credit while a growing amount of citizens run through their credit limits and start to live to pay the rotating credit repayments. The bigger this burden, the lesser may be the freedom of the person to really follow his free will. The primary concern of the individual involved will be to stick to the current job, not rock the boat at all and feel 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 keep that control it is necessary for those in capacity to restrict means of trading which can’t be easily monitored, taxed and controlled. Bitcoin Revolution Site 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 all over the world. At least 20 of the 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 several people in stable communities. That alone can be bad or good if it awakens visitors to reality and see why these exact things happen, the story in it and not just a symptom 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 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 within 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 taking over a considerable part including a bit of Iraq.

– Iraq, fighting the war against IS, assisted by a global 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 to surrounding countries.

– South Sudan, created as a fresh country this year 2010 2010. There are two wars going on. Fight between your ex-vice president’s and the president’s forces is one of 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 mixed with terror groups utilizing the country as their base of operations.

Although the majority 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 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 dealing 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, extracted from the ICANN website a short introduction:

” To reach another person on the web you have to type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address needs to 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 is a not-for-profit partnership of people from across 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 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 a lot more worrying for future years of the internet as it exists now. Of-course it really is currently choosing between the lesser of evils until hopefully a better 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 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 who control it but rest assured we will achieve this in a new article. Giant corporations like Facebook, Google, Amazon among others plan to provide internet services to poor regions on earth where there’s none or hard to obtain online. Of-course it isn’t 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 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, although some implemented a weak version of it under great pressure from the corporate lobby. So you may want to take a look at how this is arranged in your country if.