Maciej Cegłowski on The Unbridled Growth of Surveillance

On June 16, 2016 Maciej Cegłowski, one of four panelists on a seminar called The Moral Economy of Tech, startled his SASE audience of social economists with his ten minute contribution. It is worth taking the few minutes it takes to read. He reveals the scary extent to which our institutions gather a dangerous, gargantuan, indigestible amount of data on virtually every citizen.

Border customs agents are (Egad!) discussing asking travellers routinely for their social media links.

Cegłowski calls for a rethink of this invasive activity that governments and corporations do “just because we can” and muses about what could happen if extrajudicial murder by military or police drones were to become as commonplace in the First World as it is in an increasing number of US-strategic, Third World, places. And what place isn’t “strategic” for Barrack and Hillary these days?

One “tongue in cheek” photo to highlight America’s relentless military expansion:image

The above courtesy of russia-insider.com

Cegłowski points out that many of these drone hits are simply based on circumstantial data collection from cell phone contact lists or social media interchanges that create some imprecise “probability” that a target, guilty or innocent, is in a house or a car or at a wedding:

Get into the wrong person’s car in Yemen, and you lose your life.

He concludes with this frightening statement about data collected for data’s sake:

What we’ve done as technologists is leave a loaded gun lying around, in the hopes that no one will ever pick it up and use it.

I’m getting tired of passing on this stuff like Jeremiah.

 

George Lake, Killarney, Ontario

Discovered Killarney Provincial Park in 1979. We were there many times, most recently this July.

Photos: Evening July 23 from high rock near Groundhog campsites. The other two were shot this morning just after dawn from the jumping rock near Woodchuck campsites.

Britons As Canaries

In Jacobin Magazine this detailed examination, by Costas Lapavitsas, of the Brexit decision:

Why They Left

We in Canada would do well to read it for an appreciation of how Britain, a canary in our Western coal mine of corporate-led disenfranchisement of working people, has alienated all but the privileged as wages, health care and other social services disintegrate.

If the discontent that produced Brexit is recognized as a sign that revolutionary reforms to our global economic model are urgently needed, it may be the first step in a progressive movement.

If, alternatively, the powerful seize this crisis to preserve or fortify their oppressive corporate welfare state of affairs, it will become yet one more “shock” used by disaster capitalists to tighten their strangle hold on the rest of us. Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine explains this brilliantly.

Cautious Wisdom on Brexit

This short article from Robert Parry is a very worthwhile read. I trust him on so many issues. He reflects here on the loss of trust produced by the realization that American leadership, like that in the EU, has resulted in policies that have not produced a system that respects, or works toward a secure future for, the average person. Wealth is increasingly funnelled upwards. Everyman has been betrayed. The outcome of the dangerous, but natural, human reaction to this is disquieting.

The piece’s final statement:

Right now, Clinton and the Democrats are carrying the banner of the Establishment, while Trump and his Republican insurgents fly the Jolly Roger. In a political year when the anti-establishment wave seems to be cresting, the Democrats may regret their choice of a legacy, status-quo candidate.

Skagway Train

Our Skagway Train - 2001
Skagway Train – 2001

In August 2001 we sailed from Vancouver to Alaska on the Norwegian Wind. The ship docked in Juneau, Skagway, Haines and Ketchikan and sailed Glacier Bay. Traveling with Tom, Carol and Margaret made it great fun.

We took this spectacular train trip rom Skagway on the Alaskan coast to the border with Canada. On the way were footpaths that the prospectors took – evidence being lots of stuff left behind. A lot of packhorses died on this journey in search of the yellow metal. Those prospectors  that made it were often turned back by RCMP guns protecting our Canadian Yukon gold.