97% of the information on the planet is digitized. And most of this information is produced by us, through the Internet and wireless communication networks. When we communicate, we transform a good part of our lives into digital records. And therefore communicable and accessible through interconnection of network files. With an individual identification. A barcode The DNI. That connects with our credit cards, our health card, our bank account, our personal and professional history -including domicile-, our computers -each with their code number-, our email -required by banks and Internet companies- , our driving license, car registration, the trips we have made, our consumption habits -detected by card purchases or online-, our reading habits and music -sensitiveness of the websites we frequent-, our presence in social media -like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr or Twitter and many others-, our searches in Google or Yahoo and a long digital etcetera. And all this referred to a person; you, for example. However, it is assumed that the individual identities are legally protected and that the data of each one is private. Until they are not. And those exceptions, which in fact are the rule, refer to the relationship with the two central institutions in our society: the State and Capital.
In this digitized and connected world, the State watches over us and Capital sells us, that is, sells our lives transformed into data. They watch us for our good, to protect us from the bad. And they sell us with our agreement to accept cookies and to trust the banks that allow us to live on credit (and, therefore, they have the right to know to whom they give a card). The two processes, massive electronic surveillance and the sale of personal data as a business model, have expanded exponentially in the last decade due to the paranoia of security, the search for ways to make the Internet profitable and the technological development of the Internet. digital communication and data processing.
Massive espionage practices
Snowden’s revelations about the massive espionage practices of the entire world (with little judicial protection or simply illegal) have exposed a society in which no one can escape the surveillance of Big Brother, or Merkel. This has not always been the case because we were not digitized and there were not enough powerful technologies to obtain, relate and process this immense mass of information. The emergence of the so-called big data, gigantic databases in communicable and accessible formats (such as the huge NSA file in Bluffdale, Utah) has resulted from the strengthening of intelligence services after the barbaric attack on New York as well as the cooperation between large technology companies and governments, in particular with the US National Security Agency. (which is part of the Ministry of Defense, but enjoys wide autonomy).
The director of the NSA, Michael Hayden, said that to identify a needle in a haystack (the terrorist in world communication), he needed to control the whole haystack, and that is what he ended up achieving, according to his criteria, with a flexible legal coverage. . Although the United States is the center of the surveillance system, the Snowden documents show active cooperation with the specialized surveillance agencies of the United Kingdom, Germany, France and any country, with the partial exception of Russia and China, except in moments of convergence. In Spain, after the scandalous revelation that the NSA had intercepted 60 million calls, Snowden pointed out that the CNI had actually done so on behalf of the NSA. Following the Aznar policy that gave Bush unlimited permission to spy in Spain in exchange for advanced surveillance material. And they watched everyone who shared information. But it was the technology companies that developed cutting-edge technologies for the Pentagon. And it was telephone and internet companies that provided data of their customers. They only got angry when they learned that the NSA was spying on them without their permission. Facebook, Google and Apple protested and encrypted part of their internal communications. Because in reality that is a possible defense of privacy: encrypted communication provided to users. However, it is not disseminated because it contradicts the business model of internet companies: the collection and sale of data for targeted advertising (which constitutes 91% of Google’s profits).
How to avoid being watched or sold? Cryptanarchists rely on technology. Vano pawn for normal people. The lawyers, in justice. Arduous and slow battle. Politicians, happy to know everything, except theirs. And the individual? Maybe change on your own: do not use credit cards, communicate in cybercafes, call from public telephones, go to the movies and concerts instead of downloading movies or music. And if this is too heavy, sell your data, as proposed by small companies that now proliferate in Silicon Valley.