The elevation of shady tactics and just plain scary directives from the tech industry rivals the one-upmanship nature and dramatic escalation faced by conservative politicians and appointees in enduring a public and damaging reverse Salem Witch Trial hysteria, funded special interest groups and wealthy individuals.
However, that is where the parallel abruptly ends, as the oppressive digital tendrils coded with an insatiable lust for indoctrination and submission, furtively slither from the server matrix of Silicone Valley corporations in proliferating a singular ideology and strategically vanquishing the opposition. It has certainly arrived at this culmination, as ex-employees of Google have publicly leaked information to the US government and the mainstream press, of a secretive and diabolical plot by the search engine and email giant to assist the Chinese government in launching aggressive and innovative surveillance measures in tracking and storing specific online user habits of citizens, reports the BBC. The daunting and deviously ambitious enterprise, will provide Beijing with yet another powerful weapon in an already full arsenal of espionage-grade tools utilized by the government in maintaining perpetual control over the population.
Along with the chilling existence of 200 million facial recognition cameras as the eyes of the government and the communist party, the mysterious venture with Google appropriately named “Dragonfly” will certainly create an imposing duality of formidable tools available to secret police in monitoring, processing, and mining personal data of nearly 1.39 billion citizens, while almost completely abolishing any remaining sliver of individuality not mandated by bureaucracy. Ironically, the culprit of the expanded spying exploits is an carefully engineered search engine, assigning interactions between end users with specific cellphone numbers. The entire product will apparently allow officials to combine searched for content with GPS fixtures in devices to produce a pinpoint location based on the intersection between satellite and data coordinates.
The resistance to the project by former Google engineer Jack Poulson, who authored a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee, which spearheaded a protest of over 1,400 company employees in coming forward against the development of “Dragonfly” in August. Corporate officials responded to Poulson’s public correspondence in requesting that any intracompany dialogue regarding the venture, should be left to offline conversation.
In a Senate Commerce Committee meeting Wednesday, company leadership commented to committee members that the project exists, and claimed that the venture is in the very early stages of development.
The general wariness resounding throughout specific sectors of the tech community and society, is the reality that Google could possibly clone the cryptic technology of the search engine for applications in Europe and North America, and based on the past indiscretions of the company in the questionable policy to handling personal information, does not seem that infeasible. If the ultimate manifestation of “Big Brother” is unleashed upon US citizens in feeding sensitive data to a certain organization, the concept of privacy requires a redefinition and the ideals of true personal liberties hang in the balance.
The current capabilities of Google in storing personal information for European and North American users includes a tracking ledger of all company software products used, as well as a complete history of email correspondences, including “deleted” conversations. The individual’s electronic dossier is available for download, in an attempt to prove to the world that there is nothing but good intentions emanating from the Bay Area digital custodians, however, the reality of archived personal information does very little in building confidence that Google and other firms have nothing more than ulterior motives in continuing to barter data and forwarding a specific societal narrative. This is just another example of how the internet in many ways is an antithesis to democracy.
Read the BBC News story here.