What Went Wrong With… Surveillance & Technology?

An image of a cloud containing a camera for spying by What Went Wrong Or Right With...?

Not happy with simply logging your phone calls, your IP address, and tracking your purchases, the powers that be have slowly been collecting more and more information about its citizens for unknown uses. And don’t think it’s only with a court order and a police warrant that this information is viewable.

For years we have ignored all the cameras which spy on us in plain sight; CCTV is now a part of all of our urban landscapes,  licence plate and face recognition technologies mean they know exactly where you went, what time you went there, and what you did. Public spaces these days are almost devoid of blind spots. Where they cannot see you, they lure you to add your own surveillance under the guise of gaming, entertainment, communication, and security. Technology has become the easiest and objectively non-intrusive way of self-surveillance.

This technology is usually free, but not paying for something is the biggest trick in the book. We are glad to be getting something for nothing and in our daze and stupor, we blindly install everything without reading the terms and conditions. But remember if something is free it does one of two things; it acts as bait and makes you yourself the product and the information you now give away for free is the real reason the technology was made so cheap and enticing.

With all this alluring software and tech we are all encouraged to share everything. You log in to save your bookmarks and you post favourite sites you’ve viewed. You log in to approve comments and click the like or dislike buttons. What you are doing, when you are doing it is all posted online. People are happy logging every part of their lives on various social media, but logs of analytical data is not where this self-surveillance ends. We have slowly and blindly placed cameras in our lives; either recording our families and friends, or facing ourselves and recording every gesture, interaction, or communication we make. On our phones, computers, games consoles, and televisions, our faces are being tracked and cross referenced. Image programmes now ask you to name the faces in your library of photos. Avatars, profile pictures, and picture messages can then be cross referenced to check what you were doing and who you were doing it with. Short of reading your mind we now have hashtags, comment boxes, and approval buttons. It is now possible to track what you thought and what your opinion was at any given time.

The profile and associated data you have created for yourself is then encouraged to be uploaded under the guise of security and safekeeping. Please make backups, not physical ones but upload everything to the cloud – it’s all very secure – we promise. As long as the price is right we never check which country, which servers, and what securities are safeguarding our information. As long as it’s supposedly “safe”, we save and upload our data constantly. If you can’t afford a monthly data plan, don’t worry, unsecured free Wi-Fi hotspots are everywhere these days making your 24/7 self-surveillance easily up-loadable to the all knowing eye in the cloud. Just ignore that this self-surveillance is constantly building a trail of possible non-evidence for corruptible future use.

Remember over a decade ago when technologies that could intercept surveillance data and cross reference it were just conspiracy theories? Now they admit to programmes like Trapwire. Imagine what technology they are currently withholding from us. This technology coupled with a government who wants to be seen to be thwarting the next great crime is a recipe for an Orwellian disaster. Governments throughout the world have a history of hiding secrets, twisting or breaking laws, and illegally gathering information of whoever they think is their current threat. These governments are prone to change (good or bad), they are guilty of vote-rigging, they shift their political viewpoints and allegiances, they create and revoke laws to suit them… and these are the people we ultimately trust with all our information? We should think more carefully about what pieces of information we share. It can all potentially incriminate.

But hold on, the irony that you are reading this on an online blog should not be ignored. How do you know that this article is not a trap to gauge your opinion? Thinking of agreeing or disagreeing? Thinking of replying? First make sure you’re not logged into this device and are not facing any camera.

You are being watched. You have just been tracked.

6 replies »

  1. You’re a human being after my own heart! It was wonderfully refreshing to read almost every article that you’ve written since starting this blog in one sitting today after my google search of “Dr Dre sellout” (something I’ve known for a very long time, mind you…but I like to keep abreast with the current zeitgeist in order to gauge how awake people are slowly – albeit frustratingly – becoming.) returned your blog in the search results. I was enthralled and also pleased that someone see’s eye to eye on all of the various “supposedly disparate” areas of modern life that you have so slowly and carefully weaved a cogent and incisive argument against in your “joining of the dots”. (I read your ‘about section’ after getting through most of the aforementioned articles and it really put everything in a more clear perspective in regards to your overall objective).

    You’re doing your part in raising awareness; and for that I commend you. You’re articulate, intelligent and provocative. However, whilst being white myself I can’t help but notice the general axe you have to grind (justifiably so) against the white race. My only quip is to implore you to see past race…not all of us are white devils fucking up the world…and a significant proportion of us (which is growing daily) are very aware of the global whitewashing of the planet…much to alot of our collective derision. I consider myself a citizen of the world and don’t recognize socioeconomic/racial/etc etc blah blah blah classifications or many of the imaginary geopolitical lines drawn all over our beautiful world which only serve to divide and conquer us all.

    The current predicament that we find ourselves in is caused by a number of imbalanced individuals who just happen to have a little less melanin than the collective majority that they are exploiting. Yet I implore you to look past race and judge the individual based on the quality (or lack thereof) of their character. In the end the common denominator is an intrinsically human problem that transcends race and more likely points to something deeper.

    I’m very open to the belief of reincarnation (but not fully sold on it). But if it is “true” then it is highly probable that you yourself (in another earlier lifetime) were a white imperialist spreading your scourge across the world and I was a native person being exploited and disenfranchised by that very act. (It just so happened that many variables all seemed to “click into place” to lay the foundation for the wrongful white colonization of the planet. But if it wasn’t that particular sub-species of humanity to do it I guarantee you that some other sub-species that wasn’t white would have gotten around to it sooner or later…and for all we know in a parallel universe (if that indeed exists)…something to that effect is already playing out). All I’m saying is that there is something greater at play here and merely provoking some thought.

    Of course if you feel that my comments are unfounded and delusional then you are obviously free to tell me to get the fuck off of your blog/site (which I see you have had no problem in doing after reading all of the subsequent comments to your articles). You are also free to point out that yes, I do have a slight bias in my commenting based on my current incarnation as a white individual. You are also free to tell me that I may have missed your point and that, yes, you are more enlightened…generally speaking…and that I may have drawn the wrong conclusion.

    In the end though…just know that everything I say is intended to support and provide some food for thought.

    Peace, love and respect 🙂

    • It is quite funny, that people read my articles and assume quite a bit about who I am, where I’m from, and what I represent. Since I’ve never said which race, sex, creed, religion, or sexual preference I am; you cannot say that the metaphorical axe I’m grinding is targeted toward anybody of a specific race. After all, I might be a white middle-aged heterosexual male?

      It is, at the end of the day, quite irrelevant what I am; I am just generally dismayed and disillusioned about humanity and the construct of our lives. We live a pointless life, awaiting a pointless death. Most of our life is focussed on consumption. We learn just to find work, we work just to make money, we make money just to live, and we live just to die. If that isn’t bad enough, then in the middle of this mediocre life-cycle we ram unqualified hierarchy and grovelling bootlickers into the mix; which is enough to make any philanthropist a misanthrope. And for what? Just to further the lifespan of a species who question nothing and have the answers to nothing?

      For that reason, concepts like reincarnation, parallel universes, conspiracy theories, and any form of existentialism seem quite interesting and tantalising. They after all bring a new element to the doldrums of our existence. But at the same time, apart from an instinct or belief; we have no proof of these things, so I can only complain about things which affect my current form. So in this version of this universe at this juncture of our species’ timeline; Western Male Caucasians are without question; to blame for the overall construct we live in…

      Since white western male heterosexuals control most of the world; from government, commerce, law, entertainment, rule etc. they usually form the basis of many of my arguments. But to see my articles and arguments against sell-outs, fakes, and all-round arseholes as solely to do with race; is missing the point. I write articles about people who are destroying the only escape from life we currently have; and that is the arts. If these people happen to be white then that is telling more of who is in charge, not of who I am individually writing about, and in my opinion adds more weight to the overall issue of world domination.

      It was quite funny to me from reading your reply; that since reincarnation is not a white concept, for you to use it to defend the white race is quite comical. My past lives have no bearing on the arguments I have in this reality, Dr. Dre may have been an Alien God in another life; but it doesn’t stop him from being a prick in this life; and that applies to everybody I have written about.

      Hey, for all you know I’m a white imperialist in this lifetime, and this blog is used to fish for Caucasian traitors?

    • Awesome, thankyou for taking the time to so incisively deconstruct my argument. It’s great to hear abit more of your logic in regards to everything in more of a direct fashion. I must have wrongfully picked up on your frame of reference. I do acknowledge that I may have been playing somewhat of a defensive role, but it was more to gauge alittle more about your standpoint. That coupled with the fact that I was substantially inebriated upon writing it…which never makes a clear argument. Although, as I said, whilst being white in this incarnation I don’t exclusively identify with being white and all of the baggage that goes along with that…so it’s only natural that I would believe (or be open to believing) a concept such as reincarnation that is not a white construct (amongst a litany of other held beliefs that originate from humanity in general…as aposed to coming from one particular race). Intuition seems to tell me otherwise about you being a white imperialist using the blog to fish for Caucasian traitors…although I’m quite open to being wrong on that front too. I agree with your sentiments…thought further provoked…well done mate 🙂

  2. What is it about Theresa May and taking people’s rights? First she plans to make the military exempt from the European Convention on Human Rights, now she has passed the Snooper’s Charter or the Investigatory Powers Act. This allows various services to have access to your internet history in the last 12 months. This is blatant invasion of privacy! We have the right to a private life! What on earth is Theresa May thinking? I once commented that she is a heartless woman who doesn’t care about people’s human rights. Now I believe she is the devil. The fact the Snooper’s Charter was passed with very little opposition and almost silence from our media shows that the media is corrupt and the Labour Party is a bunch of fake liberal sellouts. I guess 1984 is coming to life.

    • There’s a petition that was set up against the act…

      …and since it’s received more than 100,000 signatures the government will have to “respond” although I doubt that they’ll repeal it.

      If you go to the Act’s Wikipedia page, it outlines the “List of authorities allowed to access Internet connection records without a warrant” some of which should be cause for alarm…

      I’m not surprised that Labour didn’t argue against this bill, especially since it was Blairites who started this culture of surveillance. The whole left/right political divide is fake anyway, and this pretty much proves it.

      I’m now pretty sure that most if not all technology marketed from the 90s onward has only been put in place so that the public can be spied upon more easily; from search engines, social media, e-commerce, forums, job searching, electronic voting, electronic medical records, gaming networks, mapping, smartphones with cameras, fingerprint, facial recognition, triangulation, and gps tracking. When companies like Facebook and Google insist or urge people to create genuine profiles (real names, photos etc.) and then encourage you to name the people and location in your photos, it’s only to make cross-referencing easier for a surveillance-mad establishment. If they start something like Google Glass again there’ll be millions of video cameras constantly watching everybody from every angle, and yet when there’s a genuine act of terror we have “problems” with the CCTV. Amazing that all this technology never seems to thwart anything, in fact terrorism has increased since all this tech has come out. It isn’t making us safer as some idiots say, it’s actually oppressing us.

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