Big Brother’s Small Siblings – The Surveillance Game

First a bit of background:

“The documents are among a trove related to the secret operations of Anomaly 6, a shadowy private spying firm founded by a pair of U.S. military intelligence veterans.

The company covertly embeds software development kits, or SDKs, in hundreds of popular apps, then slices through layers of “anonymized” data in order to uncover sensitive information about any individual it chooses anywhere on Earth, at any time. In all, Anomaly 6 can simultaneously monitor roughly three billion smartphone devices – equivalent to a fifth of the world’s total population – in real-time.”

“….Anomaly 6 turns every citizen on Earth into a potential “person of interest” to intelligence agencies, and thus a target for recruitment, surveillance, harassment, and much, much worse, the most intimate details of their private lives easily accessible by shady actors with a few clicks of a button, and without their knowledge or consent.”

Here is what the game is – by outsourcing certain otherwise prohibited intelligence gathering activities, the legal prohibitions are sidestepped with the relegation of the “iffy work” to private organizations who either conduct the tasks outside of the prevue of the legal oversight, or who are tacitly given a “pass” to allow the activities.

Is this really new? Maybe only on the scale of the undertakings, but history (and the accounts, including fictional accounts) include instances where for police functions a “private eye” or paid informant would be used perhaps to rough up someone or do a break in, as “the law” was prohibited to use the same techniques.

The logic that allowed these law enforcement “over the line” actions has been extended to allow the constitution to be set aside for surveillance, intrusion, collection, and other mischief activities.

In fairness the reality of situation itself stretches the constitution in unexpected ways.  And that nation-state opponents of a government along with their IT agents and other organizations are already undertaking these same activities on a global scale complicates any reach for what is “right.”

What does this mean for a ham radio person?

They should be always aware that they are watched.  Possibly by more than one watcher.

The methods that do parts of the watching range from eavesdropping by devices we don’t expect that sort of activity from, computer level; bulk collection, maybe some online monitoring, possibly a feed from your computer (easier if you are doing digital modes), and the same exposure at the receivers’ ends.

Some of this collection will be by contractors and opportunists.

The ham is not always going to find the whole extent of what had been installed on their devices or is piggybacking on our hardware or in our software.

Many years ago I attended a school where everything could be seen or heard by the faculty through microphones and cameras throughout the learning area.

A certain amount of what we were supposed to learn was through a bit of competition with the cadre, that same cadre who held the upper hand with their electronic surveillance.

We worked to figure out where their system was less efficient, as we faced more of a human element than it could be argued we all face now.  Much of what we face now has an AI aspect and runs without blinking or sleeping.

We were highly effective outfoxing the watchmen, but with todays surveillances being every watchful AI, 24/7 pervasive, and real-time multi-source correlated data – not to mention retro-surveillance using archived records – less latitude for outfoxing the system exists.

Interesting times.




One thought on “Big Brother’s Small Siblings – The Surveillance Game

  1. roman says:

    The smartphone is the first traitor. No smartphone – no problem. Also, you cannot use computers created after 2012 and operating systems after 2008. Modern computers and laptops have additional spyware on additional built-in ARM processors in the motherboard. Also, all household devices have a spy function. Recall the recent scandal with iRobot vacuum cleaners that photographed the intimate life of the owners and sent the photos to servers in Latin America. There are also references to smart (NOT semiconductors) chips in vaccines activated in the field of 5G towers upon request operators. The same 5G antennas are built into “night drones” flying across the US.They are clearly testing something. And that’s just part of the puzzle.

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