You have been watched...
“You are being watched. The government has a secret system, a machine that spies on you every hour of every day.”
That’s how the TV Series Person of Interest used to start in the past.
Since the last series was aired in 2016 past couple of interesting years. This TV fiction shows how abuse of power could lead to invigilation of the world citizens.
The problem starts when the fiction starts becoming reality, and we do not even know about it.
It is not something new that governments are gathering information about their citizens, most of the time without their knowledge, approval and with full violation of their right to privacy (especially that they are “irrelevant”).
This is why, in recent years, more and more companies are trying to put encryption and restriction in ways, how their users, citizens, people, can be spied on every day.
It was not a surprise when at the beginning of January 2022 The Guardian highlighted an article about Europol, who had been caught redhanded on the processing of data of innocent people violating international laws.
And what a pathetic explanation it was and what they said about it. You can easily call it like in Person of Interest, that they created “a machine”, an AI that spies on us every hour of every day.
“The confrontation pits the EU data protection watchdog against a powerful security agency being primed to become the centre of machine learning and AI in policing.”
This reminds me of one episode from Person of Interest, when, on purpose or not, the government machine has been exposed. This is where all involved people tried to wash their hands and cut the ties as much as possible so nobody can come after them. What worries me is that to avoid chasing them, they will probably subcontract the machine, and this unlawful activity will continue (if somebody will ask, they will say that they don’t know anything about it). It’s like in Person of Interest when a machine called Samaritain takes over the limited role of the first creation.
Let’s don’t think that this will not happen. All secret services rely on data about people. Social networks are just one of the multiple sources of free information used to target people and build profiles about them.
Not a surprise, that governments are starting to worry about encryption, lack of hardware back doors, and all this software in use that they cannot listen to.
Some companies like Barnardow (without undermining their activity to protect against child sexual abuse) put a campaign #NoPlaceToHide, that has been founded by the UK Government undermining the end-to-end encryption.
Looking at that, some people will start saying that end-to-end encryption is used only by criminals and child abusers!
The UK Government was thinking, we when we left the block, we became another North Korea. We don’t.
This government forgets that it is elected by people and that people will have a say about their future. At least until we still can.
Blaming encryption under the stance “you using it, so you probably have something to hide” is total nonsense, but that’s how they’re trying to play.
Privacy and encryption is protecting innocent people around the world against regimes and far-right governments. The far-right government that the UK-one is slowly starting to become. Where free speech is so important, there are powerful people with a lot of influence and money, the money that they can use how they like (lawfully or not). This is why they want to protect their interest pretending that they are trying to protect innocent people.
Pretending that they care about child victims, they will invigilate all people who think differently to them. They will go after all powerful people who cannot be bought, so they will have information on them, and use them when there will be time to do so.
Our surveillance happening all the time. The rich and powerful are raising their voices when somebody is trying to cut their abilities to spy on us. Like Google who is shouting against their common practice of “surveillance advertising” and people who are trying to put a stop to it. It’s all about money, big money. They don’t care about our privacy, our freedom of speech, they only care about their money!
End-to-end encryption has been with us for some time and still special services and police forces can find all these perpetrators. It is harder these days, as the technology is going forward, but they shall also work harder to achieved the result, to which they have been created in the first place. Not to make an innocent person a criminal.
Let’s stop pretending that every citizen is a potential criminal and everybody got something to hide. That’s right, everybody got something that wants to stay private. As long as it’s according to law, then you shall not be flagged each time you create a new profile on a new website on the Internet.
There are always two sides of the coin.
These powerful, on high places, forget that there is always bigger fish in the pond.
I would appreciate it, if they will look at themselves from time to time and see how they are breaking the law, before chasing others for doing that same. These other people may not have friends billionaires who can save their asses when needed.
The UK Government is so lamely doing a smokescreen by saying that they want to protect children that even UK data watchdog got enough.
Luckily there are still some people in high places that understand the value of privacy.
“ICO (…) said strongly encrypting communications strengthen online safety for children by reducing their exposure to threats (…)”
I am a father and I got kids that I want to protect, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to feel safe. I don’t want to worry that each time I will say something, something that can be not what other party likes, I will be listened to and somebody will try to “correct me”.
Undermining the value of people privacy is an attack on people.
Sadly, there is no law yet that will put a stop to this.