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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What Keeps Us Safe

For John, BLUFThere are no security guarantees.

As we all know, PRISM is the NSA (No Such Agency) program for gathering and sorting METADATA about our cell phone calls, and all our other communications.

Connected to the previous post, about the EU challenging Mr Holder regarding US intelligence gathering from citizen communications, is this blog post from Kings of War blog.  The title is "Prism and the making of our idiocracy" and the author is Rob Dover.  The publication date is 10 June 2013.  Here is the lede:

This is not the time for clich√© or sound bite, but to paraphrase Tony Blair, I feel the hand of history (or the all-seeing electronic eye) just to the right of this keyboard.  And your keyboard actually.  And your webcam.  Oh, and your telephone.  Indeed, if your toaster has acquired the ability to engage in two-way communications, the all-seeing electronic eye probably knows how you like your toast.  And your crumpets.  It has probably told its all-seeing master (or mistress). And they have made a micro-judgment about the fact that your toast is underdone (an unsound choice unless matched with slightly underdone bacon) and that your crumpets are ever so slightly rubbery.
So, right now we are being surveilled to a faretheewell.  It will not guarantee us safety from terrorists or anarchists.  For example, the Boston Marathon Bombing.

So, is there a solution?  There is no utopia out there, but I believe Professor Dover wraps up with good advice.

Well, nothing will change.  So forget any notion that this seismic event will generate change. It will generate a lot of political hot air, and a lot of protests.  But no-one will dare challenge the myth of absolute security, and it is on that premise that the whole system sits.

Security is created by economic growth, and the access to the benefits of and means by which economies grow. There will always be those who want a fight. No matter how good life is.  We should pay these people negative attention.  But we won’t need to worry about the mass of population if we know that there is an absence of grievance.  And economic growth cures most grievances.  Just as in COIN, the aim should be to reduce the fighting core to the smallest number, not to label the largest number of people as combatants.  The best thing the politicians of the US, UK and the rest of Europe could do in response to this crisis is get their economies motoring again.

Leave the toasters to do their business in peace….

Let us not put our faith in an all seeing, all knowing domestic intelligence surveillance state.  In that direction is a loss of freedom.  Rather, let us spread prosperity across the fruited plain and around the world.  That will greatly reduce the number of disaffected men and women and create a vast net of people who wish to save what they have.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

John McDonough said...

Hello Cliff, I always thought the Federal and State governments look at what many feel is private data, the government owns the airways and most likely the internet in the USA. Since 911 they use 911 and now the marathon for the golden excuse to look up our private digital data.
We must demand excellence from our government to manage and assess this data in real time or shut them down. seems they find the icebergs after the ship has sunk.
John McDonough