Australians today, are living in the digital age. That may sound fine and in many ways it is. This revolutionary new method of data exchange and information sharing, however, comes at a very high price.

We know that those with a desire to control, are drawn to abusing this technology like a magnet is attracted to iron.

This desire is innate in humans and is ultimately the cause of wars, loss of freedom and the abandonment of morals and ethics.

Central control is at the heart of authoritarian government and always leads to a dramatic loss of freedom and justice.

Because digitally transmitted messages travel at the speed of light, information can be transferred and used in the blink of an eye. This is a quantum leap from sending messages by Morse code or carrier pigeon.

It is amazing technology which is mostly used for good. Unfortunately, it is also used for nefarious activity, with the latter rising daily as the crooks and the corrupt learn to harness the power of the digital world.

No doubt you’ve heard of the home and office voice assistant devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.

We now know that Amazon and Apple listen in using special algorithms waiting for key words and phrases. We recently learned the disturbing news that they also use humans to listen in on us.

These devices simply sit in your home or office. You call them by name and ask a question. Unfortunately, as well as asking questions, they also eaves-drop which is morally reprehensible.

Facebook uses people to listen to recordings gathered via its message app. They always claimed that this requires the user’s approval, but it turns out Facebook were not telling the truth.

NSW is installing special hidden cameras to identify people using mobile phones while driving and automatically book them.

You might say that’s fine, but it’s an extrapolation of the rapid loss of privacy traded off under the guise of road safety which may simply sanitise revenue generation.

Remember, we already have radar and red-light cameras which monitor our every driving moment. It’s debatable as to whether these intrusive devices actually do prevent collisions or save lives to the magnitude claimed.

The head of Amazon’s Alexa informed us that they are developing software to determine your mood – apparently without your knowledge.

Hi Alexa – sorry about bagging Zuckerberg on Twitter. Could you please unlock my windows and doors and tell the SWAT team outside that I’m unarmed.

Once determined it could lead to special ads being sent your way or even prescriptions suggested to alter your mood – all sponsored of course.

There are many such examples prevalent today, but just imagine when your insurance company can investigate your personal life before insuring you or your home.

In fact, I have no doubt that’s happening now. The big problem is that we the people are mainly unaware of all this intrusion and spying and how it affects our lives.

It’s big evil brother indeed and if you have a mobile phone you are being tracked daily.

The Global Times, a Chinese government mouthpiece, has bragged about its social credit system. It restricted 2.56 million Chinese citizens from purchasing plane tickets and 90,000 entities from buying high-speed rail tickets in July alone.

Chinese citizens are punished by having their social credit score lowered for engaging in a number of different behaviours which the Government disagrees with.

These include such subversive activities as buying too much junk food, buying too many video games, buying too much alcohol, calling a friend who has a low credit score, walking a dog without a leash, criticizing the government, visiting unauthorized websites and many more trivial matters.

Just imagine what happens with the big issues – and in China don’t even think about asking for your social credit score to be reviewed.

Yes, of course I’ll come quietly and no, I haven’t had any problems with my liver or kidneys – why do you ask?

As of November 2018, 6.7 million Chinese people had already been banned from buying air and train tickets and that number is surging.

While many decry China’s Orwellian social credit score system, they simultaneously advocate for a similar thing in the west.

They expect people to be de-platformed and have their right to engage in commerce revoked because of their political views.

Imagine going to buy groceries with your credit card but then having your payment declined because someone in Tweed Heads thinks you posted something “hateful” on the Internet.

Well this is our collective future, along with a $10,000 limit on cash purchases……..sound familiar. We already live in a digital gulag. It’s just not as restrictive as the one in China – Yet.

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