“The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity, much less dissent.”—Gore Vidal (via elledark)
The reason why my relationship with Facebook will always be love-hate.. I hate the fact that they’re spying on us, trying to sell us crap all the time and forcing us to comply with their draconian policies.. But I love pretty much everything else I can think of. I love sharing knowledge! It’s important to share knowledge about the world, even if it’s just sharing thoughts, music, artwork and recipes.. In a way, social networking has restored a little bit of our sense of community and it’s helped people learn about other cultures. It brings people together and gives people a chance to hear many different sides, of many different subjects. It gives us the chance to meet learn new things and meet new people we’d never have met otherwise. We are getting to know people from all over the world without even having to leave our livingroom. Sit back and think about how amazing that is for a second.. Pretty much everyone before us, for thousands of years, had to go through a hell of a time to get a message from one side of the planet to the other. Even up until 25 years ago, conversing via the mail or the phone would be the only way to share a message with someone long distance. Now, it takes virtually no time at all for someone like you or me to share a thought, a song, a picture, a video, pretty much anything- with dozens, hundreds, thousands or even potentially millions of people. Just thinking about my ability to share this thought will all of you, makes me appreciate Facebook and other Social Networking sites regardless of their flaws.
Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet
A “free and open” Internet provides the only protection against the “transnational surveillance state, drone-riddled, the networked neo-feudalism of the transnational elite.” It’s an explosive theory, and Assange is pessimistic about the future: By giving up so much of their personal lives to governments and corporations, most people are already well down the road to serfdom. The fight to preserve the remaining freedoms, he believes, will fall to a “high-tech rebel elite” who have the knowledge and tools to fight back.
A prime candidate for inclusion of reading lists of the enemies of authoritarian institutions, corporations and governments heavily invested in the Internet and aiming to control it by secret collusion for their purposes — at the global public’s expense, loss of privacy and reduced democracy. It claims to be a “watchman’s warning” against the threat posed by the Internet and cellphone technology. The panel asserts: 1. The internet is a threat to human civilization because of its panoptic surveillance and profiling of users. 2. “Strategic surveillance” gathers all online and cellphone data as distinguished from tactical surveillance with is specifically targeted. 3. Internet and cellphones allow surveillance more efficiently and pervasively than in the physical world. 4. Individuals can be surveilled more easily if they remain mesmerized by computers, cellphones and social media. 5. Encryption prevents access to private secrets by official and commercial online surveillance and by cellphones. 6. Protestors in Arab Spring went to the streets when cellphone and online systems were disabled and thereby escaped digital surveillance. 7. General purpose computers avoid the built-in controls of special purpose computers and devices. 8. Free software avoids the control of restrictive governmental and commercial software. 9. Free encryption and anonymizing technologies can protect against authoritarian aggression embedded in the equipment and operating systems of computers, cellphones, networks, internet service providers, financial institutions and governments. 10. Younger generations will need to invent and distribute ideas, critiques, code and technology against the legacy controls of older generations indoctrinated in submissive acceptance of authority. 11. Diverse, heterogenic concepts and technology will be required to oppose centralizing, homogenizing intents of the government- and commerce-dominated Internet and cellphones. The greatest virtue of this book is its description of what comes after the lessons learned of Cypherpunks and WikiLeaks — from the diverse initiatives nobody yet knows about due to deliberate avoidance of preening, crippling publicity. Lesson one: Protect yourself by keeping quiet, offline and sans cell, avoiding vanguards.