Who’s the Baddie: Government, Private Sector, or Both?

With the massive collusion between the government and private sector only growing and fortifying, our privacy is the currency being brokered.

September 18, 2023

By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director GWP

government I own a virtual business. Obviously, I have a vested interest in technology and all the digital accouterments out there. Digitization and automation has made life vastly more comfortable and created so many opportunities. But everything comes at a cost; or as Thomas Sowell would say, a trade-off.

That we can pay or repay someone instantly, send a message instantly, monitor our homes, start businesses, sign documents, order what we want or need and have it arrive within a day… this is nothing to scoff at.

The tab has been racking up, however, in the form of compromised privacy. Seems privacy is the currency we really pay with for things like convenience, the illusion of safety, expediency, opportunity, communication, etc.

It used to be that the private sector was leagues ahead of government, and I found. solace in that. The government would roll out something years after the private sector is having a clearance sale on that same thing because it’s antiquated.

Unto itself that was a decent safeguard. But now, as the private sector colludes more with the government, that layer of protection is falling. There are a lot of “private” companies, especially in the security (read: surveillance) industry, who’s main client is government. Here’s just a normie list of contractors.

The DHS (Department of Homeland Security) has been chomping at the bit to get its grubby little hands on our information. It is safe to say that the DHS isn’t about keeping the US safe from foreign invasion, which was its purported cause after 9/11.

Words like “extremism” have permeated into the political and mainstream rhetoric since 9/11 only it shifted from foreigners to domestics. And all the efforts are being directed inward.

Remember when the DHS tried to start a Ministry of Misinformation? It almost got off the ground, too. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas appointed Nina Jankowicz, and everyone descending on her and the whole idea with abject disapproval. It took mere weeks to kill the whole operation. But that’s how bad ideas get destroyed.

There’s been facial recognition and DNA recognition and and expansion of biometric surveillance. While we get upset about it, that hasn’t been quelled like the failed ministry. This is all made possible by the willful cooperation of the private sector, I might add.

The latest news from the DHS reads:

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded 34 grants to as many organizations, worth a total of $20 million, whose role will be to undergo training in order to flag potential online “extremist” speech of Americans.

It’s an initiative meant to start at the community level and spread from there. So the police, mental health providers, universities, churches and school districts all will receive this funding.

Those given the money from the grants fund are expected to develop prevention programming at the community level that would stop “targeted violence and terrorism,” as well as come up with innovative prevention ideas, and “identify prevention best practices that can be replicated in communities nationwide.”

That’s not very specific, but knowing that the same person who is behind this program was behind the Ministry of Misinformation, this looks a lot like a work-around for the failed attempt earlier.

The vagueness of this “mission” is deleterious, to say the least. Does this mean dissent from government? Does this mean challenging official narratives, reports, and directives?

If the IRS can target “conservative” groups, if the Southern Poverty Law Center can call parental rights groups extremists, and the Anti-Defamation League can call Elon Musk antisemitic, never mind the Twitter Files. What is getting screened and construed as misinformation will likely be elevated to “extremism”.

They couldn’t get the facial recognition without Clear View AI… they couldn’t get the DNA without companies like 23andMe… they couldn’t censor people without the cooperation of Big Tech Social platforms… they wouldn’t know our whereabouts and metadata without Anomaly 6.

Trying to disparage these as conspiracy theories, when the facts are laid out at this point is just silly.

Another REAL company that has not quite made it to the United States is Worldcoin. They sound… well… you decide. This is from their website:

The Worldcoin community is building a more human economic system.

Worldcoin is designed to become the world’s largest privacy-preserving human identity and financial network, giving ownership to everyone. Worldcoin aims to provide universal access to the global economy no matter your country or background, establishing a place for all of us to benefit in the age of AI.

They are kicking things off in poorer countries, you see. Places like Argentina, Chile, India, Uganda, and Kenya. What’s so controversial?

A Forbes  article from last month shares this:

Worldcoin’s campaign to literally capture eyeballs on the internet is coming up against security concerns as critics question whether the benefits of the iris-scanning system of identity verification are worth the privacy risk.

The project offers people about $60 worth of the new Worldcoin (WLD) cryptocurrency in exchange for a digital scan of their eyeballs. In addition to the 25 tokens, users get a unique World ID, which proves they are humans–rather than artificial intelligence software–and can be used to verify their identity to third parties without any other personal information being shared.

My first thought is: you’re going into developing countries and pitching to people who might not be very familiar with what is entailed in technology like this. How informed was the consent of the two million people that signed up?

You might ask, how different is this from the iris (and other biometric) scanning services from Clear  that allow travelers to bypass security? It isn’t really. It meets a high demand need in the market: verification that you are not dangerous and you are who you say you are.

With the internet rife with fraud and bots, as well as the very real potential of identity theft, the demand for security of that data has never been higher. We are looking for convenience, expediency, and authentication all in one.

The solutions rolling out are a page out of some dystopian movie from the 90s.

Biometrics precludes the need for additional identification documents that can be stolen, sold, or forged. It also puts your biometrics in a centralized database.

Worldcoin claims the iris is scanned, then processed, stored, and finally deleted from the scanner’s local memory. However, there are still concerns about privacy:

…the processed personal data on the Orb are already encrypted and uploaded to Worldcoin’s blockchain-based digital identity network, creating doubts over privacy concerns and the possibility of mishandling of the coded iris data on a technology that stores information without options for removal or alteration.

Imagine something like this rolling out in the US. You know as well as I do this doesn’t happen without a backdoor.  Like I said, my livelihood and business rely on the convenience and opportunities offered by massive technological advances.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t be critical, if not in outright opposition of the compromises in our privacy and the malicious attempts and attacks on it by governments.

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