On a day when more test papers intended for junior aged children has been leaked on to the internet I thought it was appropriate to reproduce the following short story.
Big Brother has you by the short and curlies!
So you think you have your life under control! Really! I have a theory that is bordering on science fiction and may be too strong for you to take so if you are of a nervous disposition it may be time to leave. However, whatever you do don’t look up to admire the sky; don’t fool yourself into thinking that your government hasn’t got your DNA; and stop using the internet – if you can!
The above may be seemingly scary stuff but consider surveillance by camera and satellite. Did you know that when a rocket sets off into space to launch a large satellite or travels to the International Space Station it often takes large numbers of mini satellites? They cost around £200, consist of a 10cm cube and are packed with technology that can sample, tap into the internet and a myriad of other nefarious uses. Anyone can arrange for such a device to be circling this planet, or any company!
Consider the interactions you have on a daily basis and never fool yourself into thinking that the internet hasn’t any involvement. The most common way of obtaining DNA, for example, is by mouth swab. Who is it that spends time, on average twice each year, probing round your mouth and usually keeps records on the internet? As soon as that information is on the dentist’s computer it is available across the world.
Why do you think that the USA and UK were so quick to condemn the actions of Edward Snowden? The answer is simple – he was telling the truth. NSA, CIA, FBI, MI6, MI5 and many other security agencies around the world are probably tapping into our lives even as I write this. The real worry of course is that it’s already too late for Snowden and the rest of us. There are around seven million people in the UK that are not connected to the internet and are probably congratulating themselves that Big Brother can’t touch them because they’re not connected. However, where do they get these folk get income from? Who holds their health records? Do they shop with a card of some description? Even if you shop using cash and went into the bank to withdraw the cash over the counter your financial records are online. I know they are I worked in a bank!
There was a bit of a fuss recently over Google losing a court case because a man complained that they kept financial records showing that he’d had his home repossessed years ago and that information was still available just by typing his name into the search engine. He successfully forced them to remove that from their records but surely the question goes much deeper. Who published that information on the net in the first place? Did his mortgage lender flag up his default or perhaps it was the credit checking agency, or the estate agents? The fact is Google may remove any reference to his financial problems but all they do is pull together information linked to a name from the World Wide Web! It’s still out there buddy!
Every person in the UK, who has had a bank account, and the government forced even pensioners to have a bank account in which to have paid their state pensions, has a credit reference controlled by credit referencing agencies. They advertise that you can check your financial standing on the net for a small fee. Ipso facto everyone is on the net.
It may seem that I’m talking against the use of the internet but in fact what choices do any of us have? We are all in it, even if you don’t have a computer at home. The only solutions available would be to pull the plug on all electronic interchanging of information and return to pen and paper records secured in vaults, or to pull the world wide electric plug from the socket. Such an action would plunge us all into the dark ages, so we have to be smart online at home.
Don’t waste your time railing against the internet. We ordinary citizens need to adopt high security measures at home. I used to find changing my passwords at work monthly, an absolute pain. They tell you not to write them down but if you are working on three or four systems, each with different passwords, remembering them becomes impossible after a while. However, you must decide to deal with that issue, whether it be regular changing passwords or pulling the plug on the computer at home altogether the single indisputable fact is that
you are on the net.