I remember reading ‘1984’ back in school and shuddering to think that could ever be a reality. It was comforting to think that I live in a “free” country that felt like such a thing would be impossible to happen unless we lost ‘Red Dawn’ style (this was during the cold war).
Then, somewhere around 1993-94 someone pointed out to me that technology miniaturization was leading to a revolution in sensor technologies and things from cameras to microphones, to radios were becoming so tiny, they could all be hidden in plain sight. Cameras that could see through a pinhole in a wall etc. Commercial Wifi was still just a twinkle in an engineers eye at the time and cell phones were large and clunky.
I found the possibilities of this both intriguing but also disturbing in implications when placed in light of a possible ‘1984’ society. Still I comforted myself that I still lived in a “free” society and it was unlikely that people would stand for a government using such technology against us.
Move forward to the early 2000s and suddenly, almost everyone was buying cell phones and they were getting smaller and smaller and each generation had more capabilities. The introduction of the first really successful “modern” smartphone in 2004 saw this expand with required data plans and always connected phones with user configurable software with built in GPS and magnetometers so that the phones could track your location and even your activity.
I comforted myself with the thought that the companies that brought us this technology were not run by the government, and seemed keen to be genuinely interested in improving our lives and even put out privacy statements to quell our fears that they would protect our data from misuse…
Then shortly following this was the rise of social media. Companies like facebook and Google would bring us amazingly powerful tools to connect and share information with our friends like never before and what’s more? These services were provided to the public “free” of charge!
Little did anyone seemed to think how these companies would be able to stay in business, seemingly giving away their services… collecting our data and selling it all to the highest bidder. Governments of course saw the potential and lined up to feed on our data too.
Then countries like China, who seemed to take ‘1984’ as an instruction guide rather than a warning, began to surveil its citizens on a level never before seen in history. Other countries began to take notes…
And now I have the benefit of hindsight. I once thought that people in a free society wouldn’t put up with a government forcing their spying on us. I was so very wrong. Instead, we will gladly buy the tools of our own surveillance and happily carry them on our bodies at all times and the truth of the extent of this surveillance is far worse than anything George Orwell could have ever imagined and it’s met with shrugs.
Like a glutton who gets his first taste of cake, our governments want ever more power, not only to see what we are doing but what we are thinking, they now want to control what we can read and what we can know and hopefully influence what we can think.
Article 13 is merely a way to ensure that this happens. Its a way to prevent a narrative from reaching the people that isn’t sanctioned. If you dare link to a news article with your own spin on the story you will be punished.
Porn ban is yet another test of encroachment. Another degree of turning up the heat in hopes the frog won’t jump before he’s cooked.
Encryption bans are inevitable and by extensions so will VPNs. China is already there, so too will the others follow. This is a must because its the only way to circumvent the surveillance and the control.