The whole Edward Snowden escapade is not over yet I’m left with the question as to how he evaded any media while living in the Moscow airport for 2 months while being the topic of discussion on every major media outlet almost every night?
Snowden deserves respect for being a whistleblower of the ‘secret’ NSA program PRISM. But a global spy grid known as ECHELON has been in operation since the Cold War. The fact that the government is recording and data basing all citizen communications has long been taken for granted. That’s why I included the clip from Conspiracy Theory and a few clips from Enemy of the State in the youtube video Obama Got Your Terminal Tapped:
So more important than the idea that the Edward Snowden story seems like a Hollywood plot, or that the global spy-grid has long been in place, is the fact that this PRISM system does not work. If you take President Obama’s explanation that the NSA is only looking at metadata for phone numbers and the length of calls, not the name of the person or the content of the conversation, then it’s only logical to question how this system could be useful. If it can’t prevent crimes from happening or as they happen, then the only use is for building a case for later? This could be called post-crime.
The main character in The Net is Angela Bennett, a program systems analyst hacker (played by Sandra Bullock), who has her identity stolen and replaced with Ruth Marx. Cyberbob explains the Praetorians who did this have previously hacked LAX, Wall Street, and an Atlanta hospital. The movie is mostly action but the villains the Praetorians are notable for the trademarks of conspiracy. They include police, FBI, politicians, cyber security, and they act as a secret society represented by a π symbol. Any time you watch a Hollywood movie look out for symbolic references.
BACK TO REALITY
Recently I interviewed Mark Howitt an activist filmmaker on a March of Freedom across Eastern Canada who appeared at Conspiracy Culture in Toronto. He explained that after starting the march his facebook was hacked. “Who hacked my account? They tried to silence me and there was no reason for it. I didn’t do anything wrong I was just doing the March of Freedom and keeping people up to date”
The movie The Net is from 1995, the early days of the Internet before facebook existed. But according to one top-secret slide leaked allegedly by Snowden on the PRISM program, facebook (founded 2004) signed on June 3rd 2009 to provide data collection to intelligence agencies. Almost all social media is now going through PRISM and coincidentally vulnerable to identity theft and hacking. If I could find any coincidence theory in this story I’d say it’s that the Praetorians are implementing the cyber New World Order.
Privacy is an important topic and this post is not intended to belittle the issue. Below you’ll find some humorless notes from informational flyers and brochures I found on the Privacy Commission table at the AndroidTO event last year:
Identity theft and you (flyer) – credit cards, mail, phone, wallet, computer
– Canadians enjoy a basic right to privacy.
Booklet for App developers – ‘Seizing Opportunity’
– PIPEDA Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
What is considered personal information?
– Subject to Canada’s privacy laws. Personal info generally means information about an identifiable individual. – Photographs, IP address, contact lists (user’s social connections), Voice print biometrics (voice recognition apps), location info (activity patterns), – combining bits of information can lead to detailed profiles
– obtaining meaningful consent, you are accountable for your conduct and your code.
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Driver’s Licence contain name, address, picture, some physical descriptions, signature, and (depending on the province) year of birth and gender,
– But a drivers licence is not a universal identity card
– Appealing a valuable for identity thief’s ‘licence number’
– Rule No. 2 collect only what you absolutely need, even if the customer is prepared to offer more personal info
– The Banking Exception: Financial institutions are subject to the federal Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act, which require them to record ID numbers in certain circumstances. This obligation has been found to be reasonable and in compliance with privacy laws.
– For retailers, the Privacy Commission have concluded that writing down the driver’s licence number from the card, photocopying, “swiping” or otherwise reproducing the card itself, cannot be justified.
– recording the licencees name and perhaps address may be appropriate, however it is considered excessive to record the number or swipe, photocopy, etc.