07 June 2013
In response to “revelations” that the National Security Agency is collecting vast amounts of information from Verizon customers, Obama told the press that “Nobody is listening to your phone calls.”
Whew. We can all take a deep breath of relief now. Obama says no one is watching. Or are they?
The fact is, a much wider system of surveillance is being built. It goes well beyond monitoring phone calls and e-mails. The computer on which you are reading this, your washing machine, coffee maker, and other devices will be “wired” in the near future. They will be transmitting data to the “internet of things.” According to CIA chief David Petraeus these technologies will have a monumental impact on “clandestine tradecraft.”
Consumer appliances are now becoming activated and “smart.” RFID chips and wireless internet connections enable devices like televisions, refrigerators, printers, and computers to communicate with each other and generally make life easier for us. This comes at a price, however. Your privacy is eliminated.
With this surveillance grid in place, David Petraeus says that,
Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation Internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing…
South Korea has served as a testing ground for this type of technology. The city of New Songdo was used because, according to those involved, “There is an historical expectation of less privacy.” If you want to unplug from this grid, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense says that eventually, “Even amongst those who make an explicit life-style choice to remain detached, choosing to be disconnected may be considered suspicious behaviour.”
image: an example of the U.S. Military's full spectrum surveillance capabilities