Sunday, April 5, 2015

An Threatened Internet

As the network, free communication of promise and without intermediaries, can become the opposite: social control mechanism in mass and reduction of citizens to goods.  Castells: "US is the center of surveillance, but Snowden documents show cooperation with UK agencies, Germany, France and any country, with partial exception of Russia and China" Ninety-seven percent of the planet's information is scanned. And most of this information is that we produce, through the Internet and wireless communication networks. When communicating, transform much of our lives in digital recording. And therefore communicable and accessible via interconnection networks files. With a single ID that connects with our credit cards, our health card, our bank account, our personal and professional history (including home), our computers (each with its code number), our email (required by banks and Internet companies), our driving license, car registration number, the trips we do, our consumption habits (detected by card purchases or the Internet), our habits of music and reading, our presence in social networks (such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr or Twitter and many others), our searches on Google or Yahoo and a large digital etcetera. And all this said to a person: you, for example. It is assumed without question that individual identities are legally protected and that the data of each are private. Until no longer. And these exceptions, which are actually the rule, refer to the relationship with the two central institutions in our society: the State and the Capital.

An Threatened Internet

In this digitized and connected world, watch us and the State Capital sells us, ie sell our life transformed data. Watch us for our good, to protect us from evil. And sell them with our own agreement, when we accept cookies and trust in banks that allow us to live credit (and therefore judge the right to know who provide card). The two processes, the massive electronic surveillance and the sale of personal data such as business model, have expanded exponentially in the last decade, the effect of security paranoia, finding ways to make profitable internet and technological development of digital communication and data processing.

The revelations of Edward Snowden on permanent espionage practices worldwide (with little legal or simply illegal protection) exposed a society in which nothing can escape the surveillance of Big Brother, or Angela Merkel. It was not always so, because we were not scanned and there were no sufficiently powerful technologies for, relate and process this huge mass of information. The emergence of the so called big data, gigantic databases on communicable and accessible formats (such as the immense archive of the US National Security Agency - NSA - in Bluffdale, Utah) resulted in the strengthening of the security services after the barbaric attack on New York as well as cooperation between large technology companies and governments, in particular with the NSA (which is part of the Ministry of Defense, but enjoys broad autonomy).

The director of the NSA, Michael Hayden, has stated that to identify a needle in a haystack (the terrorist in world communication) is necessary to control the entire haystack - and that's what turned out to achieve, according to their criteria, with a flexible legal coverage. Although the United States is the center of the monitoring system, the Snowden documents show active cooperation with the specialized agencies of the United Kingdom surveillance, Germany, France and in any country, with partial exception of Russia and China, except in convergence times. In Spain, after the scandalous revelation that the NSA had anticipated 600 million telephone calls, Snowden pointed out that in reality the CNI had done so because of the NSA. Followed the policy of former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, who gave the US President George W. Bush unlimited permission to spy in Spain in exchange for advanced material surveillance. And watched any person who was to share information.

But it was the technology companies that have developed cutting-edge technologies for the Pentagon. And were telephone and internet companies that delivered the data of its customers. Only angry when they learned that the NSA spied the without your permission. Facebook, Google and Apple protested encriptaram part of their internal communications. Because in reality this is a possible defense of privacy: facilitate encrypted communication to users. Undoubtedly, it is not widespread because it contradicts the business model of Internet companies: the collection and sale data for targeted advertising (which constitute 91% of Google gains).

Although the surveillance without state control is a threat to democracy, the erosion of privacy derives mainly from the practice of media companies to get their customer data, aggregate them and sell them. Sell ​​their users - ourselves - in the form of data. No legal problem. Read the privacy policy published by Google: the researcher the right grant up to register the name of the client, email, phone number, credit card, search habits, search requests, identifying computers and phones, duration calls, location, use and data applications. Other than that, respect to privacy. So Google has almost a million servers for data processing. How to avoid being watched or sold? The criptoanarquistas rely on technology. Vain hope, for normal people. Lawyers, justice. Arduous and slow battle. Politicians are delighted to know everything, except your data. And the individual? Maybe change for yourself: do not use credit cards, communicate in Internet cafes, call public phones, go to the movies and shows instead of downloading movies or music. And if that is too heavy, sell your data instead of donating them - as proposed small businesses that now proliferate in Silicon Valley ...

Article by Manuel Castells

Artikel Terkait