Thursday, 5 December 2013

travelling matte

More documents leaked to the press by the Fugitive reveal that US intelligence has the capability and apparently the prerogative to track the whereabouts of some five billion cellular telephones, the world's human population, per day. As the Washington Post reveals, with an array of special-programmes under names like CO-TRAVLER, the National Security Agency is able not only to intercept communications but also to plot the location of the devices and their users even when the phone is not actively sending or receiving—American reporting hinging on the fact that indiscriminate surveillance, almost apologetically those unfortunate and misguided Americans abroad, has culled some native mapping and associations—inadvertently.
Making self-reflection the biggest transgression always makes me angry about this sort of coverage, which comes at the expense of the rest of the population, as if their privacy was a trifling thing. With such a universe of star-crossed paths to reference, of course, analysts can retrace steps and build quite telling profiles (or misconstructions) through the gleaned habits and contacts of individuals. Of course, we've all too willingly outfitted ourselves and our lifestyles with these homing devices and pay a handsome ransom for the shackles of convenience, presence and awareness and such clever and useful tools were not doled out like identity papers or cattle-brands for these ends alone. It does seem odd, ironic that there is so much glee over the state-of-the-art when that's all the tidier to survey, with or without industry cooperation.