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 be monitored and snooped. This boundary has kept shifting; particularly advancements in technology have always managed to get possible to reach further into the lives of common people and their personal stats. Increase 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 done 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 an undeniable fact which is happening around the globe. The govporation use and deploy whatever it could to 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, there are always people within governments and corporations who usually do not trust certain actions or policies. Hopefully that they can bring differ from the within by doing whatever they are able to to steer the ship to a better destiny. One cannot point to a complete government or corporation and say everyone inside it has gone out to dictate life to the others to serve holy profit.

Now the world has developed into global digital community where a large percentage of people and devices are connected to this entity called the web. One of the ways the web enriches our lives is that people can reach anyone on this net wherever they are. But, do not forget that if 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 your brain map of developers. Any security mechanisms that people build today are retrofits attempting to cover the gaps. The internet, or the web to be short, reaches into modern devices in one way or another. It’s in your own home, office, outside “watching” you as well as on your own body as a wearable. More worrisome is the rise of intelligent mobile technology that is 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. Shop around you and see what is going on while reading this to comprehend we are not seeing a decrease of threats to people everywhere but an increase. The additional power 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 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 individuals is awareness and try to set the boundary which governments, corporate bodies or anyone else must respect by real laws. Suitable laws will have to be enacted, you will have to be aware of new developments and their consequences. As somebody once said; eternal vigil may be the price one has to pay to maintain freedom. You do not want to live in an Orwellian world where “your government” watches your every move! Boundaries of your privacy should 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 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 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 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 incorrect hands to turn it into a weapon.

Automated Multi Source Profiling

Automated multi source profiling is currently part of daily life whether you like it or not. Such profiling is used to narrow down targets that require to be watched for just about any specific reason. The reason could be good or bad, the method itself is flawed and can cause a lot of visitors to land in databases where they do not belong. The part of gathering data from as much sources as possible and automatically utilize 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 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 piece of the puzzle about your daily life. With the technologies available today, 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 simply because it is possible.

Biometric Data Sharing

The utilization of biometric data would be to help determine the identity of individuals in an authentic manner, particularly if multiple sets of data are employed. 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 united states biometric database in addition to what they need to determine the desirability of an individual to enter the country. Sadly enough the utilization of biometric data is currently 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 large percentage of false positives. You can obtain automatically identified as an unhealthy person grounding your travel plans or worse. Remember, countries, corporations and others are linking a lot more 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 some people 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 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 really 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. A great deal of their operations are not reported with their own governments or only limited to a few people who are not allowed to state much. One of the reasons is that public figures can keep claiming there is nothing to worry about and life continues 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 but when it comes to the amount of secret agencies it goes beyond the known horizon. Everyone is a target, just by scanning this article you’re probably already being monitored and categorized in some database. Sorry to break it to you.

Hardware Bigger Target

There is a trend which is slowly finding its way 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 an area computer which range from tablets, phones, desktops to servers. The awakening of everyone is now also forcing plenty of companies to start implementing some type of encryption and privacy rules. This is encouraging however, 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 demonstrates hardware is 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 a huge amount 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 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 allow them quick access. Open-source hardware and software is advancing because of the cooperation of worldwide communities of individuals and is an option to “blackboxes”. Combined 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 internet since it is and turning the world into one big surveillance state. Crime in all its forms and shapes will be part of humanity to deal 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’ve 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’s “always” the 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. 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 noticeable to the mass so they 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 exemplory case of the govporation complex. The question is what is accomplished beside making 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 it is 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 this 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 considered to be almost a parallel supreme court today. Here the cases are completely one sided and are argued by the federal government only. There is a review process to appeal decisions of the FISA court but these are few and far between. Not one case has gone in interest the Supreme court. It 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 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 increase 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 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 appears 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 dominate part of that job. As increasing numbers of people get “connected”, like online, their activities become visible to those who wish 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, there will be higher prospect of 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 as well as 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 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 may or may not become reality, but 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 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. These 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 into the future with the authority of a real 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 etc. A drone built with high-definition cameras and other light spectrum modes can easily identify targets in real-time linked to some mainframe. Several experts conclude there is a growing trend of militarizing police forces and extending their capability with drones. The day may not be far off when police drones can launch missiles and 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 accelerating certain unpopular agendas. Not saying 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 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 difficult for in the past just to get 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 find the root cause of why a conflict or event happened in the first place and learn from it instead of just fighting the outward symptoms as usual. If you still think in the end what has happened up to now and leaked to the public there is still no reason to hit 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 may be the most well-known of these while there were 275 crypto currencies around by 2014. One clear trend you can easily notice is their popularity is steadily increasing. The marketplace capitalization is an effective indicator of this though it is a bumpy ride with all the current speculators involved. Bitcoin Revolution Site happens to be 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 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 really 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 a growing amount of citizens run through their credit limits and begin to live to pay the rotating credit repayments. The bigger this burden, the lesser may be the freedom of the person to essentially follow his free will. The primary concern of the individual involved will be to adhere 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 way of control would be to have greater burdens on everybody’s shoulders. To keep that control it is vital for those in power to restrict ways of trading which cannot be easily monitored, taxed and controlled. God forbid people to actually skip the middleman and deal directly with one another 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 all over the world. At least 20 of these fit the category war. By 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 things happen, the story in it and not just an indicator out of the blue. The next is 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 seeking 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 own Republic states backed by Russia.

– Nigeria, where terror group Boko Haram within their attempt 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 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 piece of Iraq.

– Iraq, struggling with the war against IS, assisted by an international coalition consisting of the US, 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 the rebel Al-Shabaab group and the government forces. Part of it really is spilling over to surrounding countries.

– South Sudan, created as a new country this year 2010 2010. You can find 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 contrary to the central government blended with terror groups utilizing the country as their base of operations.

Although most of the above conflict areas have a long violent history it is expected to see new conflict in regions or countries where conflict is not 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 combination 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 may be thinking, yet another flavor and color.

Corporate Influence on the Internet & ICANN

You can find major developments in the digital world that indicate the increasing dominance of major corporations online. 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 it is important to understand what ICANN is, taken 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 perhaps a number. That address has 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 can be a not-for-profit partnership of people from everywhere 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 online. It cannot stop spam also it doesn’t deal with access to 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 far more corporate setting it is a lot 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 an improved solution is found. We have seen what happens when the so called “free market” gets control, often people will not benefit from this but again those that 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 and others plan to provide internet services to poor regions on the globe where there’s none or hard to get online. Of-course it isn’t just because it creates their heart warm but they wish to also decide what people pay, see, do and get on “their” version of the internet. 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 great pressure from the corporate lobby. So you may want to have a look at how that is arranged in your country if.

The Govporation Complex
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