The Appalling Spy Machines

“Totalitarian?” It took me many years to really believe that we could ever get that bad here, but, just in case, I did vainly hop around the blogosphere scribbling, as I heard that this or that platform was worse or better (or promising to do better!) than the other.

Even Julian Assange, after all, held out some slim hope that Facebook and Twitter could reform, or that Congress was finally going to protect everyone. So it was back and forth as news reported this …or that. Even when I tried to cut the Hi-Tech Strings, time and again they just showed up on Apps or signings-on.

But now, as he languishes unjustly in prison, and as ominous subpoenas fly about with no end in sight, it all seems quite clear.

There appears to be no escape if one wants to confess the Faith.

Assange: “While the internet has in some ways an ability to let us know to an unprecedented level what government is doing, and to let us co-operate with each other to hold repressive governments and repressive corporations to account, it is also the greatest spying machine the world has ever seen,” he told students at Cambridge University. Hundreds queued for hours to attend.”

He continued: “It [the web] is not a technology that favours freedom of speech. It is not a technology that favours human rights. It is not a technology that favours civil life. Rather it is a technology that can be used to set up a totalitarian spying regime, the likes of which we have never seen. Or…,” and these words were spoken in 2011,

“… on the other hand, taken by us, taken by activists, and taken by all those who want a different trajectory for the technological world, it can be something we all hope for.”

Are we still hoping, at all?

— How Twitter Tracks Everyone (2013)

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