Julian Assange writes in an op-ed in the NYT that we are living in a surveillance society where totalitarian surveillance is embodied in our governments and embedded in our economy, in our mundane uses of technology and in our everyday interactions. Companies like Google and Facebook are in the same business as the U.S. government’s National Security Agency says Assange and their business model is the industrial destruction of privacy. This destruction of privacy widens the existing power imbalance between the ruling factions and everyone else, leaving “the outlook for subject peoples and oppressed classes,” as Orwell wrote, “still more hopeless.”
According to Assange, the very concept of the Internet — a single, global, homogenous network that enmeshes the world — is the essence of a surveillance state. "The Internet was built in a surveillance-friendly way because governments and serious players in the commercial Internet wanted it that way. There were alternatives at every step of the way. They were ignored." But if there is a “democratic weapon,” that “gives claws to the weak” in George Orwell's words, it is cryptography. "It is cheap to produce: cryptographic software can be written on a home computer. It is even cheaper to spread: software can be copied in a way that physical objects cannot. But it is also insuperable — the mathematics at the heart of modern cryptography are sound, and can withstand the might of a superpower." It is too early to say whether the “democratizing” or the “tyrannical” side of the Internet will eventually win out says Assange. "But acknowledging them — and perceiving them as the field of struggle — is the first step toward acting effectively."
(Score: 5, Insightful) by sigma on Friday December 05 2014, @07:02AM
This is a direct outcome of the rampant and toxic corporatisation of society in America. The rest of the world needs to ostracise the USA until they bring their government and corporations back under control.
(Score: 3, Interesting) by Gravis on Friday December 05 2014, @07:44AM
The rest of the world needs to ostracise the USA until they bring their government and corporations back under control.
that won't work because the USA is deeply incorporated into societies on a global scale. US Banks managed hurt the global economy greatly all on their own, do you think cutting out the USA completely will be better? one thing is for sure, China will not do anything that does not benefit them directly. also, there are also a good bit of nations (leaders, not the people) that find the level of surveillance we have as something to aspire to rather than something to avoid.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @12:12PM
Are you saying that corporatization of society only happens in the US?
(Score: 4, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Friday December 05 2014, @01:07PM
Right problem, but wrong solution. The rest of the world turning against America would only accelerate the slide into fascism, because the fears of the people are so easily exploited. In Serbia in 1999, president and war criminal Slobodan Milosovec [wikipedia.org] was unpopular and barely clinging to power, until NATO started bombing. The Serbia rallied behind him. An external enemy only reinforces a tyrant's position, which is why the US government blathers about "terrorism" every ten seconds.
A better solution would be internal reform through the democratic process. Some may scoff at that possibility but it has worked before: women's suffrage, the civil rights movement, the Freedom of Information Act. I'm coming to the belief that dropping out of the political process because it's too corrupt is *exactly* what the corrupt officials and their corporate patrons want you to do. To quit, to give up, and to naysay any grassroots political movement to discourage it before it can start. Cynicism serves the oppressor.
[Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
(Score: 3, Insightful) by cykros on Friday December 05 2014, @02:32PM
I'd have to agree about dropping out of the process being somewhat counterproductive. In my experience, the push to do so seems to come as a response to the rallyers urging people to get out and vote, slap some stickers on your car, and then go back to your day to day, and frankly, that's not really much better either.
Get out, campaign for change, vote for change, and after election day, continue to serve as an agent of change. Either one of the extremes on its own simply serves the status quo. Oh, right, and for the love of god, vote for what you want, not against what you fear.
(Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Friday December 05 2014, @05:14PM
Do realize that stepping outside your allotted role makes you are a terrorist in the eyes of the government, and once you are branded as such, you can be tortured, black bagged, and/or disappeared.
(Score: 2) by rts008 on Friday December 05 2014, @04:01PM
The only real solution is getting money out of politics, not making it easier to buy congresscritters as is currently in fashion.
I've been throwing my support behind http://www.wolf-pac.com/ [wolf-pac.com], and they are actually starting to show positive results.(not because of my support:)
(Score: 2) by buswolley on Friday December 05 2014, @04:25PM
Or by putting more money into politics but from differen people. Note my proposal in the list of SoylentNews submissions
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @06:03PM
When does Europe plan on fixing the toxic governmentization of their society?