Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by. Now that I have your attention, RANT INCOMING! Consider yourself warned.
AHEM. *clears throat*
Encryption is literally the only defense the average citizen has left to have any sort of hope at privacy short of just unplugging and not using technology at all. We already know nearing 100 percent certainty that the NSA pretty much sees EVERY digital communication, encrypted or not, originating from just about anywhere in the world. We pretty much know there are backdoors physically built into an awful lot of hardware. I’m almost certain that they have secret quantum computers powerful enough to brute force most conventional encryption but they won’t admit to it publicly because they can’t or don’t want to disclose the classified technology that is capable of doing such a thing. Knowing all that, why the hell is the FBI asking for a backdoor in the first place? Oh wait, that’s right, the various pieces of our overgrown, ridiculously inefficient, archaic bureaucracy are incapable of communicating with one another in a way that makes any of the data that they’re collecting worth a damn. By the way, a lot of these spying programs have been around in one form or another since the ’90s or earlier. Think about that for a minute. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to what that actually means. (Hint: Government programs that violate privacy aren’t meant to keep us safe because they can’t actually do that. They’re for control, plain and simple.)
I’ve posted the link elsewhere in this post, but please read this wikipedia article, and as many of the related articles as you can stomach. It scratches the surface of what we know the government is doing to intercept and monitor communications, and if you understand the implications of what is actually happening it will be readily apparent to you as to why encryption is so important if you care even a little bit about privacy.
So what can you do about any of this stuff? Well, stop voting for assholes that support any of these programs for starters, and beyond that you can write your congressman and let them know how you feel about encryption and why they should learn more about it. If you don’t want to be spied on while using the internet you can use Tor. (Using something like Tor probably flags you in some sort of NSA database for further scrutiny but whatever.)
Honestly the most important thing any one of us can do is to not buy into the “culture of fear” that the government and the mass media have been trying their damnedest to condition us with over the last several decades. There’s always going to be some sort of boogeyman that they use when trying to take away our rights and liberties. Terrorists and pedophiles are usually really good boogeymen. Who doesn’t hate pedos and terrorists? Of course we should use any means necessary to stop them, right? We’ve all heard the classic arguments- “What if it were your child?” “If it saves one life then it’s worth it” blah blah blah. Stop right there. That’s how they get you. I find it funny how they use the same arguments for gun control that they use to justify spying on us. Don’t fall for that shit. I have a much better idea. Stop being scared of everything and get pissed off instead. Then educate yourself and try to spread your new found knowledge like a virus. You know, with blogs and social media and all the other miraculous communication tools we have at our disposal. Then, go out and vote, but for fuck’s sake, vote with your brain after you’ve fed it a big bucket of knowledge. Don’t vote for anyone trying to scare you or anyone else. Vote for the person you feel will actually act in your interest. I say this all the time, but we live in the future. Can we at least try to make it more like something Gene Roddenberry wrote rather than the Philip K. Dick/George Orwell/Aldous Huxley nightmare the powers that be seem to want?
Phew. That went on a bit longer than I planned. It’s safe now, rant over. As you were. Be excellent to each other.
Oh, before I forget- come play some Rocket League with me sometime. My steam name is Jeffavickery. Until next time…