Smartphone Rants, Part III: A Tracking Device that Makes Phone Calls
Privacy isn’t a question of hiding, privacy is a question of control. Smartphones have brought all the world’s information to our fingertips, but not the information being collected about us, or even a solid answer of how much of it is.
The information age has become the surveillance age. The technological capacity of modern states has become so sophisticated that Orwell’s Big Brother would not so big in comparison. Some would ask what we have to fear if we have nothing to hide, but what exactly makes you think you get to choose whether you do? In the age of mass data retention, why would anyone care not to record everything you do “just in case?”
That choice, to control our own conversations by consenting who it is heard by has become so easily overturned by the same machines that enable our speech that it can only demand an equally radical alternative. What would that be, exactly? Go live on a mountain outside the range of any cell tower?
No. We go back to the drawing board, rebuild the machinery of voice communication in the design of our ideals: Decentralized connectivity. Transparency through open source software and hardware. Privacy by design. A schism in the centurion history of telecommunications.
No cell tower.
No god-mode, no master switch.
Oh, and while we’re at it: Better battery life and robust design.