Maigret Jnr just sent this through, a great Nick Cave or Big Black Delta dark cover of Stand By Me. Love it, and the message…from OccupyGezi in Turkey to PRISM and the NSA, deep and dark(web) things are going down.
I’m not really sure where to start, I’ve talked a lot here about CCTV, Police State, the Olympics, piracy, online privacy over the nearly 9 years this blog has been going – all issues that feed into the status quo. Recent events make me feel vindicated but also speechless, because not only have I said this before, as with drones (2009!) I’ve been met with silence…so not only a large dose of ‘I told you so’ there’s also a big dash of ‘but do you really give a fuck?’. I mean Project Echelon goes back to the 90’s, the AT&T wiretapping to mid 00s, the whole storm about PGP and encryption the mid 90’s, random killing of civilians by airstrikes and flying robot killing machines from the early 00s. Oh and there was all that light and thunder about SOPA, but the Digital Economy Bill and others like it, ACTA-clones, passed while people were sleeping. Again, covered that here.
If you do indeed give a fuck, you can do a few things. One, break out of PRISM – alternatives are there, and I’m going to redouble my efforts to reduce Google, Facebook, and American hosted companies in my life (ironically this site is hosted and run in the U.S, not the domain but the data…if I’d known about PRISM before setting it up I would have chosen a European host, it was something I deliberated long and hard, but went with cheap-but-good. Thankfully switching should be quite easy). Sadly I can’t break out of certain OSes, OSX and Android are here to stay, although I could switch the latter to CM.
Secondly sign this petition about Edward Snowden (really you should check out his responses to the US smears– the man is intelligent and indeed brought the game to the U.S. rather than hiding somewhere – if the U.S. was smart they’d just forget about him, it’s a no-win game for them).
Thirdly keep the pressure on, from Occupy to Anonymous to ACLU, EFF (yay! my homeboys!) and the like, and with your representatives. For some reason they’ve bought the line that selling your privacy and digital future is somehow going to save the children, won’t anyone think of the children? which is complete hogwash. There is no reason to design a panopticon, a complete 360 degree information police state. Look at what happened to David Mery for wearing a long coat on a sunny day (I used to do that when younger, even in the hottest weather) – I remember the paranoia in London at that time, police at all stations, armed with itchy jumpy trigger fingers which sadly lead to the death of Charles de Menenez, I even travelled with a army rucksack shortly after to travel abroad – it was a scary, suspicious and mistrusting atmosphere in that carriage.
Sadly with Boston and now PRISM it seems some are happy to give all their rights away for some false idea of protection (absolute bullshit, 9/11, 7/7, Oklahoma and Boston would never have been spotted as they weren’t even looking at that intelligence, or had it and didn’t act. Having access to all the phone calls and emails would not have helped – and probably hindered in a deluge of data). They seem to think ‘I have nothing to hide’ without realising, everyone can be made to look bad now, everything can be spun to sound suspicious. The ‘you must have something to hide’ mantra betrays basic rights of a citizen, freedom of thought, freedom of association, and etches away at democracy in a way the terrorists never could.
Looking at what happened in Turkey in Taksim Square I’m hopeful that light of action is still alive, but it does seem that a lot of people just want their X-Factor and their funny cat pictures and to be left alone – the latter will never happen unless a mass of people fight for online and offline rights. And the watchers like Edward Snowden are standing alone, or standing down…don’t blame them for your apathy, seems always years late the cry goes up ‘HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?!??’ – because you looked the other way and traded in comfort for truth, that’s why. Look closer to home for those reasons, but it’s easier (and more comfortable) to blame the ‘unions’ or the ‘lefties’ or the ‘commies’ or the ‘teachers’ or the ‘activists’ for not doing their job – when the Standing Man (Duran Adam) is ALL of us, potentially. Divorced from the process of democracy and freedom so utterly, that you may as well stand still as a statue that you feel you are. And also, a simple symbolic Gandhi-like gesture that they can’t easily turn around as being ‘disruptive’ although the police have tried.