Posts Tagged 'Edward Snowden'

One year on since whistle blower Edward Snowden fired his digital distress flare across the bows of global government. It’s no surprise then that surveillance culture is gnawing at the collective consciences of the Sci-Fi minded. Personally, I find it delightful to be sat here in the eye of the storm, bathed in the assurance that the culture which bought you 1984, V for Vendetta and Brazil was integral in pillaging your virtual back waters, all thanks to the noble efforts of GCHQ.

In 2010, UK Tory MP Teresa May gave in to the electoral demands of pressure group No2id and scrapped the proposed chip card system for this country’s populace. A tactic that gained respect, if not votes, from the digital savvy among the left-wingers. How hollow that promise seems now in the wake of this latest observational scandal. Even before you get into the realms of online snooping, the UK still has one of the highest proliferations of CCTV systems in the world. Add online marketing data capture, bank transaction monitoring, e-passports and bio-metric lunch money for kids in school and… Any of this making you feel more secure? Less fearful?

Thankfully, while No2id might have served its purpose, others have taken up the torch of peaceful resistance – hence the Reset The Net video above. If you love your skiffy – regardless of your political leanings – then you’re perfectly at home with the wonderful mental exercise of extrapolation. So have a ponder, have a look at the Deus Ex and the Culture sides of the virtual fence we’re collectively sitting on and, if nothing else, do something. As Dame Stella Rimington – former head of MI5 – said back in 2009, the biggest risk in all of this is that we’re “sleep walking into a police state”. And if you’re in need of a bit of additional Sci-Fi related motivation, have a listen to Bruce Sterling’s closing speech at this year’s SXSW.

Until next time… Be pure, be vigilant, behave!

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