Sunday, April 22, 2012

Privacy and the Internet

This is sort of a joke title in a way because there IS NO privacy on the Internet! But I was thinking tonight about all this and felt I needed to say something, especially after reading, quoting and commenting on U.S. Confronts rising Cyberthreat

So, for example, companies like Facebook and Google likely will Not be brought to task for the Invasion of Privacy of literally "Almost everyone on earth" along with so many other companies that sell your personal information for profit.

Let us start in the 1950s when I was born. If someone stole your social security number and sold it to someone else and you knew about it that person might just disappear because that was how things were done in the 1950s both in cities and around the country in the U.S. However, now most people have been to college more now and they are more sophisticated than that. But, the problem is still the same, people who shouldn't have your social security number and your credit card numbers likely do all around the world. Will they use this information against you? This is an unknown because we don't know whether these people are governments, corporations or criminals and we don't know what their motivations are. For example, if some of the people who have everyone's social security numbers and credit card numbers are enemy governments they might just use those to bring down U.S. or European Banks. If they are corporations here or abroad then they might just sell this information in bulk to the highest bidder worldwide. If some of these "customers" also happen to be criminals who are interested in just making money likely it will just be banks who have to carry insurance like Credit Default Swaps or other kinds of insurance for this kind of thing. However, if they are small time crooks worldwide they will try to use your information if you aren't worth too much money. Because if you are worth a whole lot of money you might hire someone and make them disappear. This is how small time crooks operate worldwide.

So, do you and I have privacy on the Internet? No one does. And that is a fact. However, most individuals want to stay alive so you are most of the time safe. Because if the people who have your information use it they might die from Governments, dirty tricks departments of worldwide corporations and larger criminal operations who are their competitors or wealthy people that they have burned who are rich enough to track them down and make them disappear. So, do you have privacy? Sort of. Not really. But sort of enough to make it seem like everything is okay.

So, is the Internet safe, is E-Filing of Taxes Safe, is buying stuff on the Internet Safe, is banking on the Internet Safe etc. etc. etc. ? No. But sometimes it appears like it is.

Later: I realized that the problem is actually much worse than I stated above. I realized that the death of the middle class in the free world is directly related to the misuse of the facts and secrets regarding everyone on earth. The blackmail and extortion by nations, corporations, criminal groups, and individuals has destroyed the middle class of the Free world during the last 15 years.

It would be easy to blame individuals like Osama Bin Laden but I don't believe he is the single worst culprit in this area. And the fact that it is hitting the U.S. and Europe the hardest is not an accident either. So, at least at the present time Europe is the biggest victim of what I would like to call Internet Terrorism which is the misuse of the facts and secrets of everyone. I submit to you that this has been a literal war that is not over and has been waged by the 1% to 5% of the world that is either criminally inclined or just extremely angry for one reason or another.  As  result millions and millions of lives have been temporarily or permanently destroyed through the misuse of their personal information. And as a result millions have been destroyed past any chance of recovering their lives.

So, should the Internet be done away with? It should either be done away with or people en masse need to recognize that it is not really what it appears to be. What it actually is is a destroyer of people's lives especially if they are middle class worldwide. If people are rich they are protected by their wealth and if they are poor they have nothing to lose. However, through the Internet by Governments, Corporations, Criminal Groups and individuals the middle class is dying through the misuse of their personal information throughout the free world and especially now in Europe.

So, what we are entering into now is becoming more everyday a Cyberwar. But this war is more of a free for all war regarding money. Though it is true that nation states like China are very aggressive in this war with millions of people actively engaged in it with the governments direct or indirect blessing. And then, you have countries like the U.S. trying to defend themselves from the Internet that they and their people originally invented that is now used against them.

The Internet came about originally from DARPA 

DARPA - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 as a way to create redundancy in case of a nuclear war by spreading information to 20 to 100 locations across the U.S. so no information would be lost if there were multiple nuclear strikes here in the U.S.  But now, the Internet is being used against the U.S. by Governments and criminals throughout the world. And even though the U.S. is beginning to recover from the onslaught of everything since 9-11, the real terrorist threat is not a physical battle but a virtual one for everyone's personal information on earth but especially from the free world where information is more easy to obtain within free societies.

So, if there is a name for this ongoing war now I would call it the "World Information War" because it is a world war and more like the "Cold War" than anything since the fall of the old Soviet Union in the late 80s and early 90s. Who would have thought that the Third World War would be a virtual one? (At least at first?)

If you want round numbers I have at least one for you. I have both read and quoted that the actual figure of loss to governments and Criminals around the world from Cyberterrorism is at least 1 trillion dollars a year! And that is just the losses in the U.S. alone. How many trillions of dollars have been lost worldwide in this war? And how long are all the countries in the world going to put up with this loss? That likely is the most important question to ask. And how can you prevent being harmed in this war?

Though it might sound crazy to you, likely not filing your taxes over the Internet would be a start. Second, realizing that purchasing things over the Internet isn't as secure as you believe it is. And third, try to get your kids not to be so open on Facebook about every aspect of their lives. What are they saying about you and your location and your family? And what could criminals or terrorists or enemy governments be able to do with that information from Social Media sites all over the world? If we are at war (Cyberwar) then the winners of this war will need to be careful (Loose lips sink ships). Remember the adage of previous wars.  And where does this all end? Your guess is a good as mine. I have simply defined the problem. Hopefully, you are a part of the final solution and not just another victim of this ongoing World Cyberwar.

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