The airport was bustling with activity, people scurrying in every direction, announcements overhead with flight news and advertisements — a city within the structure, having its own laws and rules. Also an easy enough place to either blend into or disappear from, with all the mad movements of everyone’s schedules and deadlines colliding into arrivals and departures, like cyborgs people were immersed into their mobile devices in a constant state of motion. Even those that were seated either at the tables or along the window, were focused on their laptop screens, some talking on their phones while still engaged with taking a “selfie” on another device. No one ever looked at another directly, no interaction or even the slightest acknowledgement as they passed by each other. The gentleman reading the newspaper, seated near one of the towering tropical plant displays had gone unnoticed, every time he looked over his newspaper the maze of activity hadn’t changed, just different people constantly moving into or out of view.
—- * —-
Life in the digital age has and is already launching society into the future, nearly everyone is attached to a device and most likely a smartphone. With cyborg-like gestures taking over anything left of humanitarian interaction. Algorithms are the added edge used to channel or filter the monitored data — directing advertisements and political campaign agendas to specific groups or stereotypes based upon their social media activity. Along with another focused format referred to as metadata — every minute, everyday, even when the device is turned off the tracking capabilities are still engaged. Movements, destinations, purchases, phone calls, photos and web-cam activity are some of the metadata being collected and stored, mostly for marketing, GPS services and or the research of everything already mentioned . . .
Research ? Well there it is, “marketing and or research” — and what exactly does this mean for a society that has essentially surrendered their privacy for daily conveniences, like online shopping, travel plans and social media activity. Even though the digital age is relatively new in the recorded history of mankind, it has been in the making for several decades, with some of the early significant developments going back to the 1950’s. It had been foreseen to be the quantum leap into the future, along with the space program — together these preeminent forces would come to dominate the media, the digital quest in particular, voyaging into the foreseeable horizon a society that would blindly squander their private lives away for corporate profit.
The ironic flip-side to this is that the vast majority of the population is either not even aware, or the notion of mass surveillance doesn’t bother them — Either way, it seems perhaps not to have been taken seriously, so it is essentially allowed and therefore not considered to be an illegal act, not to mention invasive . . . This is how disconnected the now programmed society functions, allowing themselves to be monitored, analyzed and marketed like commodities. Lining the corporate pockets with fast cash, political affiliation alignment and financial marketing information.
Government however, had been slow to accept this concept in an evolving world, growing at hyper-speed — even dismissing the far reaching capabilities from within the aging and outdated body of elected officials that were not threatened and still trusted their own methods of communication, privacy and secrecy. Eventually the government, with its elected being comfortable in seemingly over extended terms of service, would take notice when even their own imperial corporate structure would be breached. Exposing collusion, corruption, financial documentation and war crimes, causing panic within to regain and re-polish their elected positions in office — now in full view of the world and no longer hidden away somewhere up on the hill or down the aged hallways protected by their bureaucratic layers of policy.
Enter now a select grouping of tech-savvy individuals with brilliant capabilities and an advanced understanding of the inner workings not only of the computer system but of the very framework that it is built upon. They delve into the unknown layers of “cyberspace”, where the “deep web” and “dark web” are buried under specific configurations and software familiar only to the “dark net” and unknowingly or intentionally discover undisclosed data, files, or documents that were thought to be secret, or presumed to have been deleted. They are loosely referred to as “hackers” and while there are those who have hacked into a corporate office, breaching weak spots in their security systems for financial gain or other nefarious activities, however, a growing number of these technical genius’s, have actually been hired on to redesign or to protect security systems — rather than to face prosecution, not only in corporate situations but within the once thought to be secured government levels. The military uses their own elite web communications system, identifiable only to those with the highest security clearance. Encryption being one of the safeguards — scrambling data, files or documents with “codes”, only readable to those who create them, thereby making them unreadable should they be intercepted. The intelligence community as a whole now has a newly redesigned arsenal of cyber-weaponry, taking outdated surveillance methods to a new level — “cyber-surveillance”. Nothing is impenetrable by a sophisticated, educated, computer programmer with a knowledge of computer or cyber-security.
A final thought to be considered . . . With everyone being able to essentially “spy” on anyone and with identity hidden behind the keyboard while trolling along for example, social media — do you really know who you think you are surveilling upon (?) and more importantly, do you really know who YOU are, or have you become the idealistic representation of who you want to be, or appear to be ?
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