Friday, September 20, 2013

Creating A New World Order on the Internet - SAC5

It was a dark day in Internet history to which the world woke up when The Guardian published Snowden's disclosures about NSA's Prism program. Then over the next few days we read how the US Government unleashed it's wrath, using 'all the king's horses and all the king's men' to get to him in Hong Kong. Since then, the story has taken many twists and turns, bringing grief and embarrassment to the US establishment as every new disclosure peels of the layers of the prism program and reveals the depth (and extent) of surveillance carried out globally. 

As it has turned out - there is no safe harbor, nothing is sacred and no one can be believed. It is akin to the world known to spies during the cold war when the world was fractured into the western world and the communist camp. 

In those times of strife a few nations rose above the demands of the powers that be to ally with them and formed the Non Aligned Movement (NAM). This eventually morphed into regional movements driven by social and commercial motives. 

Now, we been brought to the cusp of another era of global strife and mistrust with the US program that has been spying on, practically, human being on the planet. Against this power center is China which has created exceptional capability and capacity in all things cyber - offensive, defensive, proactive and preventive. The third player is Russia with it's underground players who are also very nationalist, as was proven during the known cyberwarfare attacks on Georgia and Estonia.  

Whether a country is aligned to any of these three global players is of no consequence whatsoever because, as per the disclosures, even if you are actively participating and contributing to the Prism program, you will continue to be monitored and spied upon.

So,maybe the world order needs change and the 'weak' nations need to come together to form their own support and power club. India can lead this movement, in the same way as having led the NAM many years earlier by forming a South Asian Cybersecurity Capability and Capacity Cooperation Council (SAC5). 

The South Asian Council can comprise neighboring countries, Middle Eastern and African countries with India leading the way. Collectively, these countries can share information, develop joint capabilities, conduct skill enhancement training and form a central response or early warning cell. 

Brazil has put out the clarion call for an Independent Internet and slowly and steadily the backlash against US (and Allies) resources will gather momentum like a tsunami. The Prism - NSA disclosure has implicated US corporations like Google, Microsoft, Facebook etc and resistance is bound to rise in time. says - let's break away from the Internet ! The Brazilians have also protested strongly to the US and this has led to a long phone call between the two presidents. 
So is it time for the world to polarized again and, worse, for the internet to publicly lose it's independence and be branded as a tool of American hegemony. 

The movement to break away from dominance of a few countries on the internet has been shouted out. If the South Asian countries ally and form a Council it will be another power center which will be an effective foil to any type of actions to take over this critical medium. 

As I have said earlier this is a new and different dimension and has to be understood and accepted in a different light. Mankind co-exists with the dimensions of water, air and has to learn to live with ether - better early...  before this dimension is destroyed by mankind itself. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Innocence Lost....

Sometime back we lost our innocence. 

When wikileaks leaked Manning’s files worms crawled out affecting the pride of country leaders across the world. Egos were punctured because the cables sent by US embassy minions to their masters were judgmental in nature and revealed “private” foibles and conversations. This has been followed up by Snowden’s snowfall which is more damaging for the US Government and business than for any other government.

Over the past few months, every day we are stripped layer by layer by the revelations of the NSA’s prowess for invisibile intrusion. We thought the TSA guys were having fun seeing us in whole body scanners and sharing the pics, but it turns out that the NSA has been having more fun. Move over Guantanamo Bay that was just a small set of prisoners who could be stripped, chained or flogged – here they have the world at our fingertips, and no one looking over their shoulders.

First one learned that there was access to emails and internet conversations, the next layer included voice conversations, then came location data, followed by the revelation that IT majors like FB, Google. Microsoft, et al are participating in the program. Alongwith these businesses, some governments also howled in only to retract when the next revelation exposed their participation and remuneration. It was another shocker that told everyone about the possiblity of backdoors in commonly used software and hardware. The world started thinking about seeking safety under cover of encryption and proxy technologies only to learn that these have been seduced long ago – in other words encryption technologies have a backdoor.

So, is there anything which is safe? Maybe we have to go back to living in caves to save ourselves from this intrusion, because it seems that the only thing Uncle Sam cannot do is shove a finger up your 455. But, maybe the time is not too far off too what with the Internet of Things promising particle transportation and more!

Yes our innocence is lost – the new innocence is that “we do not look inside, we only search patterns”. The new innocence is that you are just a lump of flesh which eats, breathes, shits and screws and that’s it – simply put you are an animal and no more. Of course, this is so if you are not the most powerful man on earth, a.k.a. Mr President. Liberty, freedom, privacy and such rights are good to discuss but not to be expected in the face of secret laws and powers available with the intelligence organizations.  

In any case, even if you are Mr P there is no gurantee that someone did not dip into your smart phone or that of your wife or children. There is no way you would know, just like the world did not know until it started snowing. Quite possibly Mr Snowden carried some stuff on you and that is the major cause of the big manhunt that has been launched.

Today, every government wants their own NSA with enough powers to run every sort of surveillance on their citizens. What will be done with the data is anyone’s guess – maybe it will help run genocides and progroms more effectively. Or get to play ghetto-ghetto by segregating people based on caste, color, religion etc. At the cost of development, Governments are spending billions on technology selling the dream of nirvana that follows thorugh an e-governance portal or a new registration card, and it does not matter whether you can read or write, or whether you have had a square meal in a day.

Innocence lost forever, welcome to the new order Kalyug is now the C-Yug  where C=corruption, chamchagiri, cronyism, chutiyapanti, conmanship, carpetbaggers, cybercrime, computers and any other C which you can define negatively.

So what is happening is that we are all without clothes, having been stripped, layer by layer and naked for NSA eyes.

I wonder – are we a number or a name in the NSA records? Is this numeric, alpha-numeric, with or without capitalization. Or is it a continuation of the numbers given in Auschwitz and Dachau .. that may be apporpriate. Will we soon start hearing ‘arbeit macht frei’ or will it be embedded into our flesh at birth. Are we going to see Mr President in a new role as the oracle from Minority Report?

Mommy is that what Big Brother’s look like.

Wooooohhh !