An article explaining why it’s impossible to be anonymous in this modern day and age.
In this age of technology that connects everyone across the globe, society’s view of privacy is shifting rapidly. With the internet making every person’s daily lives increasingly transparent, it’s clear that, without living indoors and offline from birth until death, it’s impossible to keep your life truly private. But there are still people who try to keep the tattered remains of anonymity in their hands, but at a certain point we have to ask ourselves: is this even possible?
To be Networked, You Have to Be Online
It’s just a fact today that most people with internet access use some kind of social networking site. This is great, because you can meet people from all over the world. The downside, of course, is that if you’re not using sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can end up feeling left out.
In a society where socialization has gone digital, it’s nearly impossible to stay in the loop about the latest concerts and get-togethers if you’re not where all your friends are: online. But let’s say you choose to forego social networking sites; there are still other obstacles to being invisible in the eyes of the Net.
The NSA is Always Watching You
Five years ago if you said the government was spying on you, you would have been called a crazy person. Today you can say the same thing, and no one will call you crazy thanks to Edward Snowden leaking NSA documents detailing how they’ve been performing mass-surveillance domestically since the early 1970’s.
It’s not just phone records they gathering either. Depending on where you live, they might save the actual conversation that takes place. They can tap into any webcam anytime they wish, in addition to being able to take remote control of your computer. They’ve even been shown to collect all of the internet browsing data in the U.S., and the documents also revealed that they monitor communications through every internet medium.
When you sum up all of the government surveillance activity, it’s clear that no matter what piece of technology you use to communicate, it’s being monitored by the government. It’s just that simple.
Why TOR is Useless
Another fact discovered about government surveillance is that Big Brother can crack the TOR encryption scheme. What is TOR? TOR, also referred to as the onion router, was a multi-layered protected form of communication. In layman’s terms, TOR was the browser used to access the dark net. This layer of communication was considered safe from surveillance, but it turns out that it wasn’t.
So, it’s clear that if you’re using technology, no matter how secure, the government can still break your vow of anonymity.
Why You Can’t Just “Go Off the Grid”
Many people try to go “off the grid” in an attempt to escape technology. However, in the 21st century, this is a pipe dream at best. With space satellites, GPS, and everything else man has created to tame and map the wild, no one can ever completely disappear.
So what does this all mean, really? Summed up simply, it means that we would have a much more productive time trying to figure out how to co-exist with surveillance than trying to escape it, because at the end of the day, trying to escape technology and surveillance by Big Brother is basically the same as trying to become a famous inventor or a billionaire or finding the cure for cancer: it’s a nice dream, and it’s a fun thought, but at the end of the day, it’s probably not going to happen, and it’ll just be a dream.