(Som en undtagelse til reglen vil denne blog i dag være på Engelsk, så folk i Det Sydlige Udland kan læse med.)
Amongst mass murderes, Henry Ford reigns supreme.
Even half a century after his death, approximately 1.2 million untimely deaths per year can be traced right back to him. (A further 50 million are maimed each year, but mass murderes can not count near-misses to their credit any more than cricket, soccer or baseball players can.)
But nobody seriously classifies Henry Ford as a mass murderer, just like James Watt is not blamed for CO2 polutions dire consequences, and Bud Fletcher is not blamed for gun violence.
Therefore, by the total lack of powers invested in me, I absolve Mills, Kleinrock, Cerf et al. for any responsibility for the current Global War On Privacy.
However, there's no escaping that we made this particular mess, just like the car nerds made the mess that can be found downtown in pretty much any major city in the world.
And that "we" is people like you and me, people who connected computers, people who wrote software, people who ran ISPs, and people who told everybody and their grandmother how great the Internet was.
... without thinking it fully through.
In particular without thinking it fully through, what people who are not like us might use the Internet for.
It's not like we were not warned.
My good friend Jordan Hubbard personally issued that warning, right on to everybodys screens in 1987, almost but not quite predicting the spam-tsunami later to follow.
The year after, Robert Morris made a programming mistake, which caused his self-replicating code to escape and lay waste to CPU cycles on any Sun or Vax on the net.
The year after again, 1989, Cliff Stoll published his bestselling account of how he had traced and trapped actual bona-fide card-carrying spies who used the lax security of the Internet to steal military secrets in 1986. And just to put a cherry on top, he wrote a little read book called "Silicon Snake Oil" pointing out what we were rapidly loosing in the heydays of the "dot-com" craze.
No, we were warned, and warned good.
And just like, I pressume Henry Ford did, we ignored the warnings, thinking that people would get used to the new way of living.
Well, guess what: If they still havn't, they'll bloody well have to now, because just like the car, there is no way to put this genie back in the bottle.
The best we can hope for, is that somebody invents the safety belt and the airbag.
And this brings me to why I'm writing this blog entry:
The car industry has fought every single attempt societies have made to reduce the carnage wrought by their creations.
If you are young you probably only know Ralph Nader as the bloke who made it possible for G.W.Bush to steal the election from Al Gore, but his major accomplishment was to get safety belts in all new cars. That took him seven years to get legislative action and another 10 years before first effects of his effort began to appear in the statistics.
If, like me, you think The Global War on Privacy is wrong, you got to face that we are headed into a grim battle.
Any attempt from now on to claw back the privacy which have been illegally removed from our lives, will be met by similar fierce resistance.
Resistance from the companies which have made lack of privacy their primary business case: FaceBook, Microsoft, Google, Klout, DoubleClick, LinkedIn etc.
Resistance from the military industrial complex, for whom "Cyberwar" and "Total Situational Awareness" is the new cash-cow.
And resistance from the cold-war generation in governments, who gladly signs the cheques, with our tax-money, in the mistaken belief that spying on love-crossed teenagers and married couples hashing out their daily lives using electronic communication, somehow "enhances national security".
That's a lot more resistance than Ralph Nader had to deal with, for a cause which not nearly as viscrerally in your face as car accidents.
A lot of the "we", are currently arguing that adding more encryption will solve the problem, but they are deceiving nobody but themselves: More encryption only means that more encryption will be broken, backdoored, trojaned or otherwise circumvented.
If you think you can solve political problems with technical means, you're going to fail: Politicians have armies and police forces, you do not.
Like the whites were never thrown back in the ocean, and the cars never removed from the cities, we will never claw our privacy back entirely. Even if you go Full Amish, there will still be military hardware worth billions looking, listening and monitoriing you, every single second of your life.
The only way to claw back some amount of privacy, is politics.
Cause the right people to be elected
If there are no right people to elect, stand or run (depending on which side of the Atlantic) for office yourself.
That is not how I planned to spend the later half of my life, but we made this mess, and I'm going to do my damnest to clean it up again.
Are you with me ?
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