On April 1, I announced the Seventh Mostly Annual Movie-Plot Threat Contest:
The NSA has won, but how did it do it? How did it use its ability to conduct ubiquitous surveillance, its massive data centers, and its advanced data analytics capabilities to come out on top? Did it take over the world overtly, or is it just pulling the strings behind everyone’s backs? Did it have to force companies to build surveillance into its products, or could it just piggy-back on market trends? How does it deal with liberal democracies and ruthless totalitarian dictatorships at the same time? Is it blackmailing Congress? How does the money flow? What’s the story?
On May 15, I announced the five semifinalists. The votes are in, and the winner is Doubleplusunlol:
The NSA, GCHQ et al actually don’t have the ability to conduct the mass surveillance that we now believe they do. Edward Snowden was in fact groomed, without his knowledge, to become a whistleblower, and the leaked documents were elaborately falsified by the NSA and GCHQ.
The encryption and security systems that ‘private’ companies are launching in the wake of theses ‘revelations’, however, are in fact being covertly funded by the NSA/GCHQ — the aim being to encourage criminals and terrorists to use these systems, which the security agencies have built massive backdoors into.
The laws that Obama is now about to pass will in fact be the laws that the NSA will abide by — and will entrench mass surveillance as a legitimate government tool before the NSA even has the capability to perform it. That the online populace believes that they are already being watched will become a self-fulfilling prophecy; the people have built their own panopticon, wherein the belief that the Government is omniscient is sufficient for the Government to control them.
“He who is subjected to a field of visibility, and who knows it, assumes responsibility for the constraints of power; he makes them play spontaneously upon himself; he inscribes in himself the power relation in which he simultaneously plays both roles; he becomes the principle of his own subjection.” Michel Foucault, Surveiller et punir, 1975
For the record, Guy Macon was a close runner-up.
Congratulations, Doubleplusunlol. Contact me by e-mail, and I’ll send you your fabulous prizes.
Posted on June 13, 2014 at 6:12 AM •