After the end of the bipolar world in 1989 and the disappearance of opponents and borders, all restrictions on the movement of goods and capital were lifted under the direction of the USA. This at a time when almost half of the world’s states were opening up to foreign capital for the first time, which then met with a huge supply of cheap and skilled labour, an enormous supply of Natural Resources and an unprecedented large sales market. This benefited the capital of the USA in particular, as a new unipolar power.
At the same time, the spread of neoliberalism received a boost in which capital was freed from restrictions and labour protection, public services and the welfare state were sustainably reduced. Against the background of global capitalism with its social disintegration processes, international strategies have been developed in parallel to ensure that the balance of power remains stable. Above all, the police have been militarised, the military has been deployed inside, and there is now hardly a social Problem that politicians do not respond to with the tightening of criminal law.
At the same time, a surveillance system was set up in which the population was totally monitored, information was collected en masse from each Person, they were blackmailed and an immense range of opinions and entertainment was set up with the Internet to appease and distract the masses.
The digital age has made monitoring as cheap and easy as ever, partly because much of the data is supplied voluntarily by the e-Phons.
The possibility of complete control of all people worldwide through the revelations of Edward Snowden became widely known. The so-called PRISM(link is external) program of the National Security Agency (NSA) gives the Secret Service direct access to the data of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Paltalk, Youtube, Skype, AOL and Apple. This option costs only 20 million dollars per year, with an annual NSA budget of well over 10 billion dollars.
Collect massive information about the population
Although the World Wide Web was invented in 1989 in the research laboratory of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN(external link)) in Geneva, it has quickly become a purely American company. More than 90 percent of the world’s internet traffic is handled by technologies owned by the US government itself or by US companies, developed by them, which are now more than ever sitting at the on and off switch of the system and can operate this at any time.
The Software is also mostly in US hands, as well as Hardware and other accessories such as Chips, routers, Modems and platforms. Mail traffic, social networks and storage systems in the Cloud are government-owned or operated by private companies such as Amazon, which provides government Cloud services and half the Internet.
Even if these companies produce abroad, they are subject to US law. Thus, the US government is able to observe all people who operate a Computer or a phone.
“Cooperation of services” with telecommunications and software companies
In January 2007, the Washington Post reported on the collaboration between Microsoft and the NSA. Microsoft based this cooperation on the fact that this had increased the security of their operating system and that the company wanted to ensure the compatibility of their products with the needs of the (American) government due to its outstanding market position. Other IT companies quickly followed the example of Microsoft.
The German “Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik” (BSI (link is external)) also considered the cooperation of the companies with intelligence services to be “exemplary rather than reprehensible” and stressed the “Win-Win Situation” for the end user as well as for the companies. Reports about the NSA’s access to the operating systems of the IT companies were quickly dismissed as conspiracy theories.
Since the beginning of 2012, the NSA has been a co-developer of the operating system “SELinux” and has also designed the “SEAndroid” operating system for Google. A year later, it was announced that the NSA, as part of the program “planning tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization and Management” (PRISM), was to spy on the internet on a large scale worldwide by systematically evaluating the data of large corporations such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Paltalk, Youtube, Skype, AOL and Apple and their users.
Cable and Cloud
Large parts of the data on the Internet run over fiber optic cables, many international and intercontinental connections run over submarine cables. To conduct these data streams, there have been corresponding cables on the seabeds for almost 50 years that connect the global network.
Intelligence agencies such as the NSA use many different technologies to intercept and store communications. In addition to hacking systems, you can also get the desired data through cooperation with operators. The telecommunications group AT & T has exclusively given the NSA in San Francisco its own space in which it delivered the data.
Tapping the cables themselves is also common practice and is carried out with different techniques: the easiest way is to attack the light signals(link is external), in which the fiber optic section is separated and an additional device is installed between the transmitter and receiver. With the Splitter-Coupler method, attackers bend the glass fibers in order to secretly access the information flow by means of special “bending couplers”. Break-ins that completely avoid direct contact with the data Line are not detectable (non-touching methods). Such attack methods are based on the fact that minimal amounts of light radiate from each cable, which are captured and amplified with highly sensitive photo detectors.
In Germany there are transfer points also at telecom providers, they are called here SINA (link is external) boxes. The procedure is as follows: the authority sends a court order with the data request, the company checks it and then releases the data. These are then automatically transferred to the service via the interface.
Much more effective and comprehensive than tapping the cables is Cloud computing, where people around the world sign up, voluntarily unload their Videos, music favorites, photos and private communications in the “cloud” and unconditionally submit to the providers of this service.
Data providers are lured by the fact that they can store and manage their data in the huge storage centers with any PC, smartphone, laptop and tablet without any expensive accessories. “Manage” means here that the individual user no longer owns his own data and if he has not stored it on his own devices, they are gone. He has ceded everything and the companies can do whatever they want with it. With their contracts of up to 6000 pages, the companies have secured these rights. You also have the right to delete data arbitrarily, to refuse access to its stored data and to store a copy in the company’s file or to hand it over to the authorities without the knowledge and consent.
At the end of the last millennium, the gigantic amounts of data generated by eavesdropping were still causing major problems. But the increasing computing power of supercomputers and mega data centers make it possible for a single analyst in the services today to extract information from vast amounts of raw data. But not only the quantity of data had to be controlled, but also the quality of the vast quantities of data raised problems.
Today, the information has priority, which is unwritten, unspoken, but which says a lot about the behavior patterns of the individual person. This is where the concept of metadata was created, i.e. activity data that provides information about everything that is done with the electronic devices and what the devices do independently. In the case of a telephone call, such metadata includes the date, time and duration of the call, the number, the caller, the number of the person called and their location. In the case of an e-mail, the metadata can provide information on which type of computer was written, Who Owns the Computer, where, when and by whom the e-mail was sent, who received it and also who might have had access to the e-mail besides the Sender and recipient, where and when.
The metadata also provides information about very private things. They tell the supervisor where the person has stayed, when he got up and tell him where he has stayed and how much time he has spent there and with it also with whom he has had contact and who with her.
Metadata provides exactly the information needed as a starting point for monitoring. Above all, the metadata that is created automatically and which the individual person cannot influence helps. The machine collects, stores and analyzes independently, autonomously and discretion is a foreign word. It contacts the next cell tower and sends out signals that never lie.
For the intelligence services, the activity records can not only provide a picture of the big picture by analyzing comprehensive data, but also in the small area they can create pinpoint summaries about a person’s life and they even think they can derive predictions about their future behavior.
The internet monitoring programs PRISM and Upstream Collection
With the introduction of the PRISM surveillance program, the NSA was able to collect data in an incredible number. It generates them from emails, photos, video and audio chats, web browsing content, requests to search engines and all data stored in the Clouds. In addition, the routinely supplied data from Google, PalTalk, YouTube, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Skype, AOL and Apple.
PRISM is not just a Software or data center, it consists of several components. The most important is an output interface through which data is transferred from the companies to the services. It works like an electronic mail carrier.
The Upstream Collection program enables permanent data collection directly from the private sector’s internet infrastructure, extracted from the Switches and routers that handle internet traffic from the cables laid on the seabed or via the satellites. With its tools, the program is able to operate very close to the monitored Person and his privacy. Every time the Person visits a Website, opens a web browser, enters the URL, the request goes on server attempts. Before the request reaches the corresponding Server, however, it must pass through the most powerful weapon of the NSA the so-called TURBULENCE. During the run, the request must overcome some “black servers”, stacked on top of each other barely larger than one square meter and set up in all allied states in special rooms of the telecommunications companies, as well as at US military bases and in US embassies around the globe.
The TURBULENCE contains 2 important tools:
- TURBINE, this tool passes the request to the servers of the NSA. There it is decided with the help of algorithms which malicious programs of the NSA are used against the Person. The decision is justified by the type of Website requested or by the computer’s Software and the type of internet connection. The selected malware is then sent back to the TURBINE. This leads the malicious program back into the channel of internet traffic and delivers it to the Inquirer free home together with the desired Website. The entire process takes less than 680 milliseconds without the user noticing anything. From this period, the entire digital life of the user belongs to the Secret Service.
Both programs can monitor information across the globe, whether stored or transmitted, through mandatory data collection on providers ' servers (PRISM) and direct data collection from the internet infrastructure (Upstream Collection).
Unlimited corporate power coupled with uncontrollable state power. Service
The Internet is a basic infrastructure for the exercise of numerous human rights. Corporations like Facebook and Google are the gatekeepers of this digital world. They have a historically unique power over the" digital public space " and also determine under what conditions and with what restrictions freedom of expression and information can be exercised online and what price one has to pay for it.
The dominance of online services, as IT offer giants such as Google and Facebook, give these companies an unprecedented level of Power over the most personal data of millions of people: 2.8 billion people per month use a Facebook service, more than 90 percent of the Internet, the Google Android operating system search on Google instead, and more than 2.5 billion mobile phones use.
Corporations like Facebook and Google collect data on an incredible, unprecedented scale – unlimited, permanent. This includes not only voluntarily provided information, but the digital recording and monitoring of all activities, far beyond the use of individual Social media platforms. Nor is it limited to the data of those who have deliberately chosen to use these services.
While international law and constitutions guarantee basic human rights, regulate state authorities and subject them to the rule of Law control of violence, these corporations have created a private surveillance regime that largely eludes independent public control. Parallel to the expansion of the global surveillance system, in which the population is totally eavesdropped, mass information is collected from each Person, making them extortionate, an immense range of opinions and Entertainment has been set up with the Internet, with which one wants to appease and distract the masses. In addition, the USA and the European states have an army of influential journalists in cooperation with the monopolized media power, which largely controls global communication.
Even more, in the cooperation of state authorities and intelligence services, IT companies and media corporations, a surveillance system has emerged that even George Orwell could not imagine in his utopian novel “1984(link is external)”.