By: Dale E. Winther |
You’re Being Watched!
It wasn’t that long ago when I marveled that British citizens permitted the installation of closed circuit TV cameras in London. I thought to myself; “Americans would never except public spy cameras”. We value our privacy too much. So, time marched on and look at what we have now. Cameras on street corners, in stores, on cop cars, on cops and looking down on us from space!
Ah, but camera spying is but a minor intrusion into our personal lives. People love their wireless telecommunication devices. With the global spread of the internet, the universal adoption of Facebook and similar products, mankind now stands naked and helpless before those who wish to do us great harm. Never before has there been such a potential for unspeakable tyrannies!
The interconnection of diverse databases allows nearly god-like powers to be applied to individuals and organizations. Get a Gmail account and they want your picture. Sign-up for a social media account and, of course, they want your picture. Put a group photo on Facebook and, as a courtesy, the program uses facial recognition to identify everyone and annotate the picture with their names. Excuse me, but that should scare everyone! A database of all faces is under construction and people simply give them what they want. Really? Yet nobody seems to care!
That remarkable GPS receiver in your phone is very handy. It can find you but it can also track where you are. How safe do you feel now? Quite safe if you need an ambulance, but what if a government agency or a bad guy that hacked the system wants to find you?
A recent article in the Washington Post highlights the sophistication of automatic cross-database correlations of diverse, but relevant information. The Fresno, California police department has a new tool to instantly asses a suspect’s risk potential.
“The program scoured billions of data points, including arrest reports, property records, commercial databases, deep Web searches and the man’s social- media postings.” “Fresno has given local law enforcement officers unprecedented power to peer into the lives of citizens.”—The Washington Post, “The new way police are surveilling you: Calculating your threat ‘score’”, January 10, 2016.
Few people realize that computers now have abilities that go far beyond searching for “keywords”. Artificial intelligence software can actually read text and emails to “understand” what has been said! Who said it, what did he say and who did he say it to? Are his thoughts politically incorrect? Does he know about something that he shouldn’t?
Author George Orwell (1984) could not have foreseen the advent of computers and the astonishing power that they have over mankind. TV cameras everywhere but who looks at all of the monitor screens? Computers do! They interpret images, identify people, read their mail and do the bidding for those who want to know everything about you. If the man in charge wants to know if you’re a Christian, a Republican, a gun owner, a patriotic person, you dislike the president or you told someone that you cheated on your taxes—the answers are only a keystroke away!
I wish this was science fiction but its all science fact. Techno-tyranny against the individual is expanding at a dizzying rate. People supply information and images without concern for the abuses that will surely increase. Shutting down the Internet has consequences that are as drastic as a nation-wide failure of the electric grid. Modern civilization is utterly dependent on our digital systems. We cannot live without them—can’t get money, can’t get gas, can’t manage the distribution of food and supplies or even worse; can’t know what people are thinking about!
Like it or not, we now live in a police state. This truth is not a conspiracy theory, it is The Truth! Can things get worse? Can a woman be just a little bit pregnant? As this baby grows our personal freedoms are dissolving by the day. Living in denial changes nothing—the baby just keeps getting bigger. As global insanities progress and the world economies become hopelessly wrapped around the axle, a total collapse is a certainty. The cry will go out; “who can save us?”
A New World Order to the rescue! First things first. Everyone will be microchipped. You may not buy, sell, eat or travel without it. Countries and their borders will be eliminated. Humans will become one big happy global family! To be exceptional, talented, entrepreneurial or obsessed with telling the truth will get you noticed. You’ll be put on a list! Believing in God will be a criminal act.
We are but one step away from this reality. It’s not just that God is watching us and listening to all that we say and do. So is our government! You don’t have to believe in God, but you’d better believe in what men, armed with advanced technology and great power can do to you. Wake up and see the future while you can still change it!
Dale E. Winther has fifty years of computer design experience. He designed computer hardware and software for the Hubble Space Telescope, the Galileo mission to Jupiter and a multitude of major spacecraft and satellites while working for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His new novel, The Brotherhood of the Beast is a science fiction thriller that addresses the technical and cultural changes that have set us up for disaster. The book is available on his website: www.thebrotherhoodofthebeast.com and from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The author expands on the techno-tyranny theme in a radio interview at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sE0NvNUD4o