“Turnkey Totalitarian State”
by John Rubino
April 9, 2012
New tech is always a double-edged sword, with benefits balanced to an extent by the risk of misuse by idiots or criminals. Airplanes make possible fast travel but also saturation bombing; biotech gives us stem cell treatments and frankenfoods; antidepressants and painkillers help some people and addict countless others. TV, nuclear power, cars; pretty much the whole of the modern world has up-and-downsides.
On balance this progress has been a good thing — no one with any sense would go back to the days before antibiotics and iPhones. But the risks that come with so much new power are growing exponentially, so the good might not always outweigh the bad.
Which brings us to computers and telecommunications: Cell phones and the Internet have opened the global economy to pretty much everyone with an active mind while democratizing politics and bringing down dictatorships around the world. But those same technologies strengthen the more advanced states in terrifying ways with, as is usually the case lately, the US behaving like the craziest inmate in the asylum. Below are some excerpts from a recent Wired Magazine story on the US plan to intercept, store and mine pretty much the entire infosphere — all your phone calls, emails, texts, FaceBook posts, everything.