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Robert ₿linov’s blog

1984: “be normal”

Endless discounts? Very normal.

And you too: be normal. Okay? JUST BE NORMaL OK???

Celio clothing store in Sanremo, Italy

1984: technology

Every Intel and AMD chip since 2008 has a backdoor that allows hardware manufacturers (and presumably the NSA) to manage files and network connections remotely, without the device’s owner even knowing. Purism has disabled it, Apple has not.

Indeed, Apple is not as privacy-focussed as it pretends to be. Along with embracing that backdoor, it sends app usage metadata to its servers. Its image scanning is yet another dangerous development: bugs in the algorithm could lead to people being wrongfully detained.

5G may be fast but it can pinpoint our location to the metre.

Tor is an American federal weapons contractor. Judging by Europol acknowledging that it has a way to deanonymise people using the network, using Tor is the same as wearing a black cloak in a room in which everyone else wears white.

The bank ING is integrating personal health records into its website. This could be a way to turn people into slaves by forcing them to surrender their bodies to Big Pharma, just to keep what was always rightfully theirs.

I am writing this series of posts not to convey gloom and defeat, but to highlight how much manipulation, corruption, and secret surveillance there is around us.

We should act, and do so now. Switch to open-source software—its transparency makes vulnerabilities easier to find. For those developing it, self-host instead of relying on GitHub and the like. Boycotting banks, Big Tech, and the many organisations that want to decide what’s “best” for us is painful at first, but has to be done to stop cyber-tyranny.

1984: green passes

There’s nothing inherently bad about green passes: they are a useful tool for limiting viral spread during an outbreak.

But mandating green passes is ethically acceptable only when the alternative is a stay-at-home order. This means that green passes may become obligatory only during a surge that threatens to overwhelm hospitals, and only for entering certain crowded areas. Of course, private businesses should be able to set any additional rules they like.

Anybody who wants to “save people from themselves” is endorsing enslavement. Restrictions should always be the minimum necessary to protect hospitals from overwhelm.

The European Green Pass was created by the EU government. Embracing it is dangerous, as is relying on the government for anything. A government that can give you everything you want is a government that can take away everything you have. Should green passes be required to access all public places, nasty leaders will be able to isolate dissidents and protesters, limit access to courts, constantly track whereabouts, force people to take a jab every month, and perhaps even automate the process of repression by adding social credit scores.

It’s always harder to regain freedom than to have it taken away.

 1 comment   2 mo   1984   Covid   ethics   EU   freedom   Italy

1984 in the European Union

If we’re not yet living in 1984, then we’re closer than ever.

The European Union wants to “temporarily” mandate spying on personal conversations in order to “protect” children. By doing this, it is effectively banning end-to-end messaging encryption, allowing potential thieves and murderers to read our conversations. If the EU doesn’t backtrack on this, I expect principled communication companies like Posteo to move to freër lands and give this law the finger.

But the EU is not done yet. Under the pretext of beating financial crime it wants to ban pseudonymous cryptocurrency wallets. Since the EU already has a database of gun owners, muggers will be able to find out which unarmed individual to hold hostage for money. The EU must backtrack on this if it wants its economy to grow and its citizens to live a peaceful life.

Stopping the introduction of these regulations isn’t enough—they are a sign of a wider problem. The EU is too powerful and needs to be reformed.

 No comments   2 mo   1984   bitcoin   EU   Europe   freedom   money   privacy

Seize the moment

Make your dreams come true now, before something unimaginable stops you from doing so later.

 1 comment   3 mo   life

Baskets for unwanted items

Stores should have baskets at every corner so nobody ever wastes time searching where to leave unwanted items.

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