Tech Box: Connectivity & Surveillance

The days of people being unfindable are gone.
Soon even the hearts of deserts and jungles will be covered by wireless connections, and
then, only the poles and sea. “People can disappear, if they throw away
their phones, and their identities.” Surveillance is easy now, it doesn’t need
people watching houses, it doesn’t need microphones inserted into plasterboard. “Surveillance is unstoppable, because it is
the tools that have become indispensable.” The intelligence forces have been able to
remotely switch on cell phones and use them as microphones for at least twenty years,
stringray can now locate people with any mobile device that produce radio frequency emissions. “Tracking is active, but the acquisition of
data is passive.” They can suck up data and analyse: phone numbers,
messages online searches, location history. “We can intercept all none-face-to-face communication,
we can alter written conversation without either party every knowing. We can use any
device as a surveillance camera, any device to track anyone and everyone.” Wi-fi is everywhere now, so too then are the
eyes and ears. So it’s over? Privacy is gone? “Not if you just turn it off.”

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