Big Brother Works Both Ways

Big Brother Works Both Ways
5 comments, 17/09/2008, by , in Reality Check
The minute we’re born, the doctor slaps our little bottoms and the nurse enters our information into a computer database. This is something that we have to accept in this digital world. Let’s call it the Matrix. Yes, I like that, too. At any point in time, our entire lives can be opened like a book or a computer folder. Everything that we were, are, and will become exists in this folder and its subfolders on computers around the world. All it takes is for someone to compile this information to get a detailed view of who and what we are.This is the “Big Brother” that we’ve all talked about – someone is always watching and always listening. This is the very purpose of Bush’s unwarranted wiretapping on American citizens. Every step we take is tracked – cellphone, email, computer, internet, credit cards, etc etc etc. Every letter I type in this very blog post is dynamically screened to weed out for specific words – bomb, kill, anthrax, suicide, allah, islam, bush, and so on. In fact, I may have just set off some red flags in Dick Cheney’s basement.

But, today, I read something that gives me some comfort.

Sarah Palin had her email accounts hacked. Politically, this didn’t reveal much so far. It seems these were just personal email accounts that she may have used for government business. Of course, this leads to other potential implications of wrongdoing. Pastebin, Wikileaks and Gawker all have something related to Sarah Palin’s email being hacked which you can see for yourself – screenshots, pictures, emails. But, that’s not what this post is about although it’s a strong example.

See, a group, or pseudo-group, of hackers known as Anonymous did the dirty work of breaking into Sarah Palin’s email. It gives me comfort because it lets me realize that there is someone out there, a group of someones, with the ability to fight fire with fire. It’s similar to the slaughter of the Native Americans as they tried to fight gunpowder and spheres made of metal with bows and arrows made from wood.

We live in a true Matrix and we’ve got to be able to fight back digitally. We, the people, need hackers as the government has hackers and as corporations have hackers that can be, will be, and have been used against us. This hacking lets me know that not even government officials are safe from the system they’ve developed. There is always someone out there watching and listening. And, those kinds of individuals exist on both teams.

However, I do fear, as an ordinary individual, that this loose group of digitally savvy individuals has no set conscience, rules, ethics, or laws. But, that is the nature of those that live in secrecy. We have to trust that there is some good and hope that there is more good than bad.

Update: Please be sure to check out the comments to this post by “Anonymous”. The name doesn’t imply that it is a representative of the group Anonymous. The name only shows up because the person didn’t identify themselves. But, it’s important to get a better understanding of the positive value of hackers from a true hacker’s perspective.

About anthonytaurus

  • Thanks Anon. That all makes perfect sense to me. I hope others who read it will understand as well.

  • Anonymous

    Build a better mouse trap and they’ll build a better mouse. Never before in the history of man kind has that phrase been more accurate only this time it’s the mice designing the traps for other mice.
    The world absolutely needs people with these skills on both sides of the fence. Hackers built the web and the technologies that fuel it.

    The general public and, to a greater extent the medial like to demonize things they are incapable of understanding. They see Hackers as people running around wielding super powers with no checks and balances to control them. And they will never trust the hacker community to police themselves and no, we don’t blame them for thinking that way it is perfectly understandable.
    The problem is that the general public turns on the TV and turns off their mind, letting the news do the thinking for them. They mention hackers and know immediately that their audience will tune right in to listen to the latest tale of evil digital ninja’s trying to destroy the world without given thought too the fact that those security holes exist because people they trust with their private information, their finances and indeed everything they own, screwed up and potentially put them at risk and it was hackers that ultimately drive the fix.

    What’s worse is that it’s those people, those that don’t fully understand what’s at stake that cause the most problems of all. A student notices a bug in a colleges system that allows full disclosure of anyone’s social security number, birth date, phone number and address. So that student presents his findings too the college and is immediately actioned as ‘hacking’ and thrown out of school and the security flaw is never fixed because thinking of the system as flawed is just beyond the average persons understanding.
    The average person is not able to draw the line between security flaw and hacking and thinks that hacking makes the flaw and not the other way around.

    The public may not want hackers to have the power they do but in the end they need it and their data is only kept safe because hackers make it so.
    Hackers are people too and we don’t want our information out there for everyone to see either.