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Egypt's cyber-crackdown aided by US company

WARNING: Egypt's cyber-crackdown aided by US company: Information used to send mercenaries to attack and disrupt anti-government people
 http://t.co/9LQXtIL

Link describes American company providing technology for monitoring all social media activity and cell phone usage, including geolocation. This technology, while illegal to use in the US, has been sold by this company to a variety of countries in addition to Egypt.

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so what? 06.Feb.2011 08:07

Shaker

We've asked for things like this with our reliance upon these appliances that 'enhance our lives'. I understand that there is some value in this kind of connectedness, but we haven't been wary, and the price will be paid. I rather doubt, though, that the mass of humanity demanding change in Egypt are all subscribers to YouTube, or FaceBook. They've done something that we can only envy: get out in the streets. These appliances have taken so many to the point, with little proportionate exceptions, of being vicarious, yet increasingly poor observers of ourselves. There are things that these machines cannot give to humanity, and one of those things is trust and knowledge that you can own without consulting google.

There's a simple rule: assume that you're being watched, whether it's 'legal' in the US or not. Legality is only something that might protect or enrich those who remain after you're gone and is ignored at the highest levels as 'circumstantial justification'. In this era of secrecy, where even a damned food processor doesn't have to list all ingredients because they're 'proprietary information', it takes a great leap of faith to think that we are really 'connected' and knowledgable about most situations. Despite discrete sets of events that may have been enhanced with the use of the machines, some aspects of their use are disturbingly poor models of open and free society. In this current model, it's open and free because it's paid for, not because it's inherently so.

Just remember, you don't own the networks, you don't own the operating systems, or the software; you don't own any hardware that makes this happen with the exception of a little piece of enginneering that you bought to 'plug in'. 'Plug in' they do and will do once invited, whether you like it or not.