Sometimes, it really does feel as though we are living in a bit of a futuristic crime novel, where the President is playing 4D chess against a Deep State cabal more nefarious than anything any Hollywood writers could muster even from his darkest of holes.
First, as my generation grows older, (the last folks to go through high school without iPhones), we are beginning to discern the coming of a new age in which our lives play out on any and all screens available, gaining theoretical points in the form of “likes” and “follows”. As soon as you are deemed worthy of attention and subsequently get that attention, you are now a commodity for the men and women who disseminate your voice to the masses. Even your edgy, anti-Facebook rants are being shared on Facebook.
And you should consider yourself lucky…Facebook won’t give my articles a fighting chance at being shared far and wide.
The young people who have only known a world with the internet are oblivious to this. They’ve matured in a world where you can star in and publish your own content at the press of a button, in real time, internationally. They have no idea that they’re giving away the farm to the platform jockeys who create very little, if any, content of your own.
And, as such, these young people just assume that this is the way its going to be, and it is eroding their sense of privacy. It is this nonchalance that has allowed a number of sophisticated attacks on White House communications to take place, and has likely led to a number of leaks from within the halls of the West Wing.
A federal study found signs that surveillance devices for intercepting cellphone calls and texts were operating near the White House and other sensitive locations in the Washington area last year.
A Department of Homeland Security program discovered evidence of the surveillance devices, called IMSI catchers, as part of federal testing last year, according to a letter from DHS to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on May 22. The letter didn’t specify what entity operated the devices and left open the possibility that there could be alternative explanations for the suspicious cellular signals collected by the federal testing program last year.
The discovery bolsters years of independent research suggesting that foreign intelligence agencies use sophisticated interception technology to spy on officials working within the hub of federal power in the nation’s capital. Experts in surveillance technology say that IMSI catchers — sometimes known by one popular brand name, StingRay — are a standard part of the tool kit for many foreign intelligence services, including for such geopolitical rivals as Russia and China.
In this scenario, blackmail becomes the currency in which we trade. At some point, some device will exist that allows anyone to see any of our internet history or text messages or deleted emails. To be successful in this inevitable world you have but two choices: Succumb to the shame of your reality, or admit your fallibility and forge on.
Thank God Donald Trump is the latter.