One might say after the Edward Snowden, NSA, GCHQ and related revelations to date, what on earth or to be more precise what in cyberspace or even “electrospace” is next? Perhaps that is the wrong question to ask. Maybe if you asked what has been going on for years you might be even more shocked.
It goes without saying that this is hardly news if it has been going on for years. Mind you, much of the contents of our first two news articles published in February 2012 wasn’t news at the time. The subjects covered did later become news though when in June 2013 Edward Snowden did a runner. Only then did people who could read behind and between the lines realise that cyberspace was like the lawless Wild West but with the warring factions being countries.
So this article is more a timely reminder to beware when communicating with any electronic device. Also, don’t forget that as a human being even your own communication network, your nervous system, is full of electric avenues too, but please don’t switch that off: it could be fatal!
You may not know it but ever since the computer became common place some thirty or forty years ago it has been possible to tap into someone’s computer at home or at work and watch what they are doing in real time. What’s more, depending on how those surveying you do it, you don’t necessarily have to be on line. In any event, your computer screen becomes an intruder’s camera lens.
Of course, this can apply to all sorts of devices nowadays including mobile phones. The basic technology is reasonably straightforward and preceded desk top computers as we know them today. It was used in what were called “infinity bugs” on landline telephones before mobile phones were common place (other than in the form of walkie-talkies).
All you had to do in the good old days was dial the phone number you wanted to listen into and it silently turned the phone at the other end into a microphone. Initially the first devices used for such activities were cumbersome but as time passed and technology improved infinity bugs started to become increasingly sophisticated so that you could join in ongoing calls without being heard or use extensions to the phone you had dialled as microphones.
Nowadays the equivalents to these bugs are much more sophisticated and rely on state of the art computers. Indeed real time audio and visual surveillance have never been easier for, say, someone supported by, for example, a government that likes storing lots of data.
The trouble is that even the European Union (EU) is so corrupt that as reported in the media this week it loses as much through corruption as its annual budget of only 120,000,000,000 Euros. If people are empowered to “watch over” you how do you know they are not corrupt?
With statistics like those of the purportedly civilised EU, in all probability those empowered in the EU and many other countries have been infiltrated by corrupt officials or the states themselves are as morally bankrupt as North Korea. Hence yet again we come full circle to those articles we released on 17th February 2012.
So next time you turn your computer on, even before you go on line, don’t feel paranoid just smile please.
This article was first published on 4th February 2014.