Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Smart Phones give governments new opressive powers

Remember the Chechen war? One of the stories of how the Russians were so successful in beating the Chechen rebels was that they queried the phone records of known rebels, and knowing that some of them had GPS-capable phones, used the GPS coordinates given through the phones, to direct air-strikes, and kill key Chechen commanders minutes after making phone calls to them.

This is a chilling precursor to what the Saudi government recently did to a dissident journalist who insulted Saudi Society and Islam (well, according to the Saudis).

Hamza Kashgari simply tweeted a few sentences on his smartphone, and within an hour, there was an angry mob of thousands of Saudis calling for his execution. Kashgari was living in exile in Maylasia. Within hours of his tweets, the Saudi government contacted the Maylasian government, and Maylasian security forces began looking for him. Kashgari knew that something was afoot, so he hopped onto a plane and was about to take off for Australia, when Maylasian security forces, using the GPS features of his smart-phone, pinpointed his location, and stopped the plane from taking off. They grabbed him, and sent him to Saudi Arabia, where he now awaits a potential death sentence for simply speaking his mind.

This is the true misuse of technology -- Governments tracking dissidents down so they can extradite them and kill them, using the allegedly liberating technology of the smart-phone. Rupert Murdoch's reporters used the same technology to spy on celebrites, crime victims, and politicians. Private conversations were hacked into, and News Corporation reporters made these people's private conversations public.

Imagine if Richard Nixon had the technology back in 1974. He could have tracked Bob Woodward within feet of his location, using the GPS coordinates of his phone, and used it to direct assasins, or simply direct a car driver to run him over while he crossed the street. He could have tapped into not just the conversations of democratic rivals, but college campus protest organizers. In the hands of the wrong people, all of this cool technology can be used to spy on, imprison, enslave, kidnap, and kill people with precision. Political operatives looking to smear a rival could use the smart phone and several commercially available spy apps, to spy on, or set up those rivals, often without any legal reprocussions, because many of the things are not yet illegal.

We even saw U.S. police departments use smartphone data to crack down on protestors during the Occupy Wall Street movement. Groups were known to be using Twitter to organize various protests around the country, so the FBI and police groups in various states monitored twitter, and used the information on where protestors were telling their people to assemble to move police units in.

It isn't just evil governments, either -- individuals can take bullying to a whole new level by using smartphone technology to make their victims' lives miserable by posting victims' coordinates for others to use to tease the victim. The possibilities for misuse of technology has never been so personal, or so potentially dangerous. There are apps for everything for smartphones, mostly games and diversions, but there are serious apps that are designed to help you be a better voyeur, stalk someone, and harrass with ease.

The devices which are supposed to give you more freedom and enhance your ability to mass-market your ideas clearly have a flip side. In publishing your thoughts and ideas to the world, instantly, wherever you are, you can potentially be heard by millions of people. But if you have anything to say of a political nature that some of those people don't like, they can track you down, stalk you, and do harm to you, thanks to the GPS technology that lets you use the internet from any location -- and you're the sucker paying the $80 a month to get the internet on your smartphone.

Thank RIM, Apple, Samsung, LG, Motorola, and all the other smartphone makers for making it that much easier for ill-intentioned people to screw you over. Tyrrany through technology -- what a concept!

2 comments:

Dr. Kold_Kadavr_flatliner, M.D. said...

How can I prove to you God exists? I cannot. It takes a special kind of strength and a mo-than-two-bawls in cranium I'm afraid; however, all of U.S. shall find-out soon enough God DOES exist in the Warning from Heaven. Sad how people only 'look-up' when there's something to be seen. C'est la guerre --- The time has come, dude, when we ALL must choose which side we stand on: neutrality isn’t an option, looking good and following the masses like lemmings isn’t an option, either. Choose Right, choose the Light, and win thy fight. the Warning shall come from Heaven sooner-than-you-think. I hope you’re prepared. Meet me in Heaven. God bless you.

Samuel Yessian said...

it is not going to be a long wait for terrorists to target missiles directly to the gps user.

All technologies will be misused.

When Antichrist comes, he will track how the way he want and deal with iron rod.
the end is nigh.
Sam