The State Of Post-Snowden Surveillance And Censorship

One thing that Edward Snowden may not have foreseen during his leaks in 2013, is how little impact it would’ve had for the majority of the population in general. In fact, it was just like any other major news story that’s happened since. People watched the news, got a little agitated, and once the crisis had settled down, everyone was back to their normal lives.

If a survey was conducted for every citizen in every country across the globe, on how the Snowden leaks had impacted their lives, I believe less than 1% of people would provide some positive feedback. And this can be observed practically all over the internet. How many people have sought an alternative to mainstream social media? How many people have taken steps to protect their privacy online? How many people have taken steps to circumvent government surveillance and censorship mechanisms? I believe it’s just a few hundred thousand people scattered across the world, in different continents and countries.

I live in a geographical region with millions of people. And out of those millions, I can confidently say that I’m the only one who’s done extensive work to counter the government surveillance and censorship.

It’s not that people don’t know what’s going on. A large percentage of the population has access to smart devices and use the internet everyday. They’ve read the news headlines. They’ve seen the articles about government surveillance, oppression and censorship. But have they done anything about it? No!

Privacy is hard work. It’s not going to be handed over on a silver platter. You have to do your research. You have to find out how to secure your privacy. You have to get technical – for the majority of people, that’s where the problem lies.

How many people have you seen browsing the web without an adblock in 2020? I’ve come across so many people who still don’t know how to install an adblock extension on their browser so they can stop wasting time looking at ads throughout the day.

If someone can’t figure out how to use an adblock, do you really think they’ll ditch Windows OS, install a Linux distro, root their phones and install a custom ROM, ditch Facebook and Twitter and sign up for a Fediverse account? Do you think they can ditch Whatsapp and switch to Signal? How many news articles have covered Telegram’s blunders? Yet how many people still use it?

What we have is a population that can’t be bothered to do anything about the government surveillance, oppression and censorship. They’re just going to cry, whine and go back to using the very tools that the government uses to spy and control them.

Another factor that’s contributed to this mess, is the ever-decreasing IQ of people these days. Has anyone seen some of the dumb things people do these days? And it begins with an idea. They think of something stupid, they write it down, and then they go ahead and do it. At no point in this period of time, do they stop and think, “Hey! Wait a minute! This is a really stupid idea!”

A lot of countries now have data retention policies in place. That means the government has access to data that all ISP’s must retain for a specific period of time. It’s usually ranging anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.

The United States now requires visa applicants to submit their social media details. From a security standpoint, this is a genius move; from a privacy standpoint, not so much.

The Indian government blocked internet access in Kashmir for several months last year. A lot of people have praised and supported the Indian government’s ban on TikTok and several other Chinese apps. This is purely a political move based on the current border problems between India and China. Had China provided the Indian government access to all it’s user data before the current political turmoil, I’m pretty sure TikTok would still be running on several million Indian smartphones. And the Indian government would proudly siphon off all the data to identify all the bad citizens speaking out against the government.. That’s right. If you’re an Indian citizen, you might want to watch whom you criticize on Twitter because you could be arrested and roughed up in jail.

And now everybody’s criticizing China for establishing totalitarian laws to control Hong Kong. Perhaps these people need to look at their own countries to see if their government has given them enough freedom and privacy.

Recently the Pakistan government decided that all VPN users would have to register their VPNs with the ISPs who would provide all customer data to the government.

In countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Iran, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Syria, Russia, Kazakhstan, Eritrea, North Korea, and China, the majority of the population have been conquered to use self-censorship and silence toward the government. Many of these countries have already banned VPNs.

As each year passes, while the citizens are too busy engaging in silly protests and looting, their governments secretly pass on new laws and ramp up the surveillance and oppression systems even further. I’m looking at you, Americans. How’s the Earn It Act coming along?

I read posts by people complaining that various government agencies had ramped up surveillance to identify the BLM protestors. Is that even surprising? If they were going to start looting stores and burning cars, I think they should’ve expected some sort of response from the government. Do people not think ahead anymore?

The Americans carry an attitude around themselves, acting like they DESERVE some things. And they’re spreading that attitude across continents to other countries. But how’s that working out? Not so well I believe. As much as you may deserve whatever you think it is that you deserve, if you aren’t making smart decisions, you’ll end up in the same place where you started. And all that noise on Facebook and Twitter won’t amount to anything at all.

The people aren’t smart anymore. They’re becoming dumber and dumber with each passing year. They’re showing their arrogance by posting their selfies carrying firearms, and posting threats to harm other people on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

When Edward Snowden looked through the surveillance documents and decided that it was finally time for him to leak them to the press, he had a plan in mind. Even with the urgency of the situation and the short amount of time that he had left, the man planned his way through it. He had a course of action – a smart one. Edward Snowden didn’t go on a Twitter rant threatening the NSA and urging his followers to burn down the government buildings. And I think this defines the difference between civilized smart people and idiots.

I believe things are only going to get worse. I believe the majority of the governments have already tapped into social media. And now they’re going to tap into or ban VPNs. And then, they’re going to censor all speech against the regimes. Finally, people will start getting picked up in unmarked black vans and disappear. All countries should take note of this. The quality of politicians has already dropped to a despicable low. Just look at the current world leaders – Unhinged Trump, that Covidiot Bolsonaro, Kim Jong the family killer Un, Xi Winning the Poo ping. It’s such a shame that a bunch of morons have managed to acquire the highest leadership positions in the world. And as the citizens continue to criticize and mock these fools, it’s only a matter of time before they snap and do the unthinkable.