This is a piece on technology, politics and the future. It is meant to be a wake up call. While it might sound obvious to some, I can see through my observation of the masses that, even if they do know, people are acting unaware. And this, dear readers, is a big mistake.
You may have picked up on my interest in technology—particularly as it pertains to the future of human evolution. As I ponder which problems humans might face in the future, again and again my mind returns to technology. Humans and technology are merging—beyond the apparent efficiency technology brings us. But as our hi-tech machinery becomes even more incorporated into our personal lives (outside of business), we run some real risks of losing things that we take for granted—like privacy, civil rights, autonomy and even species dominance (as strange as that may sound).
An interesting story, dubbed Celebgate, has plugged the media waves last week, of a massive hack job, where pictures stored on the cloud, of celebrities in the buff, were stolen and then leaked onto the internet via sites like Reditt and 4chan. Although both sites have just pulled the photos, despite their simultaneous statement on a commitment to free speech, the Reddit page containing the leaked photos got over 250 million views—the fastest growing Reddit page in history.
The backlash from the media and the public has been massive. Some have claimed that the breach is far more than simple theft—it is a sex crime, plain and simple. Proponents of this viewpoint point out that, once again, women have been violated, made into sexual objects for the pleasure of lascivious lechers of the male lot, and if the perpetrators are ever identified, they should be drawn and quartered, no questions asked.
Okay, all emotion aside, let’s look at the real issue here. There is no doubt that a theft has occurred, a massive violation of personal property and human dignity. Innocent victims have been hurt and humiliated, their bare assets put on display for anyone to see. I mean, 250 million views—that’s almost the entire U.S. population! And with all sincerity, I sympathize with the mostly women celebrities who had their nude pictures leaked, because who hasn’t done something like that, all the while cringing at the thought of somebody else seeing it, let alone millions of people. And the ugly verbal comments these young ladies have had to endure on social media sites like Twitter is simply appalling. When I read ilk of that sort my stomach turns at the despicability of some human beings. But, alas, that is today’s culture intoxicated on the anonymity of the internet.
So what’s the real issue here, if this base violation of peoples’ privacy isn’t it? It is not, as far as I’m concerned, that people should refrain from taking nude photos of themselves, as some have suggested, because we all know that sh** happens. Face it: People party. Hormones rage. Body parts get exposed. Cameras click. Having the expectation that people should abstain from taking nudie pics on their mobile devices is about as realistic as expecting them to not have sex. Sorry but I just do not see it happening. The real issue is the notion that it is wise to trust the safety of your information—personal or otherwise—on the cloud. Duh! Stop it. Stop believing that any information which is easily accessible to you is safe from others. This belief is a byproduct of a political ideology, one that has been perpetrated in one form or another by both U.S. political parties, under the assumption that the more centralized your personal information, the more benefit to YOU. Don’t you see the absurdity of this concept? It is now being pushed in every facet of our lives—medical records, central identification and, of course, digital data.
With every new idea, every new invention, every new convenience, there comes a downside. With regard to technology, it is, and will remain, the threat to our personal freedom. Central governing (including of data) is always sold as individual convenience, safety and the like, but the drawback is control, and loss of privacy and freedom. Don’t take this lightly. If you want to be controlled in a Huxley-esque Brave New World fashion, then keep putting your information out there for everybody to access. Please take this Celebgate eye-opener as your own personal ice bucket challenge and wake the f*** up!
The simplest solution, as I see it, is to reject the cloud as a means of backup. When I purchased my new HTC One phone, the salesman, working hard to make the sale, started pushing the HTC backup function. “Oh yes, and we can set your phone to automatically back up to the cloud…”
“Wait a second,” I said, “I don’t want to be on the cloud.” I had already investigated this issue when the federal government began pushing electronic health records (EHR) toward the end of the last decade. I saw the dangers back then and knew where it was all heading.
“Why not?” my pushy little dough-boy Sprint salesman wanted to know.
“Because I don’t need anybody seeing all my nudies,” was my exact answer. Prophetic.
He informed me that we could shut off the function, and that I could, “manually turn it on” anytime I wanted to. Yeah…fughdat!
So if you are smart, you’ll shut off your iCloud, or HTC cloud, or any other cloud backup the powers that be are trying to push. Yes, okay, it has its use, and no doubt cloud security will improve over time; but if you think taking that chance now with your most private information, which includes your fleshy parts, is wise, then well you will have to learn the hard way. You could just stop taking nudie photos…but you know that’s unlikely to happen. So do the next best thing—instructions here:
Once again, I bring forth this information to remind you that when it comes to technology, and its rapidly progressing sophistication, you had better educate yourself on every aspect of that machine, otherwise suffer the consequences. Our cell phones and tablets are now an extension of us, and will become even more so as time moves on. Trust that you will have to treat mobile safety like gun safety. Make tech news a part of your daily news browsing, otherwise you might just find your privates public, loosely hidden for all to see under the black cloud.