Science Fiction novels often borrow from the real world — spin the concept around and add a few unique twists — and place the novel at some point in the future. Human nature being what it is and what we are — the idea is that human motives will survive for decades or centuries.
My point of take off for today’s story is from a blog’s entry called “Our digital strip-search”. This blogger is from New Zealand:
If you have nothing to hide, from now on I’d like you to leave your bedroom curtains open when you get changed, please. If you have nothing to hide, I look forward to seeing the footage from the 24/7 webcam you are apparently about to install in your bathroom and toilet. Thanks in advance!! –
. . . .
If you have nothing to hide, then I can barely contain my excitement – you are quite obviously about to self-publish the entirety of your bank account and credit card details, your emails and texts, your pornographic predilections (including what sites you go to, what you watch, and for how long), your browser history, everything you’ve bought online, your address and phone number, all the photos and videos on your hard drive, your – oh, wait, what? You’re not? That makes no sense. I thought you had nothing to hide. – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/06/18/our-digital-strip-search/#sthash.fPv5JjHJ.dpuf
The major characters in this story are the NSA and one of the sub sub contractors/hackers, a bunch of lawyers, and one honest taxpayer who has been called for jury duty. The case in between two companies one who claims the other stole technical research.
The jury selection has moved along with the final spot on the jury bench going to the honest tax payer (HTP). HTP is beyond honest, he always pays all of his taxes, he give a tithe to his church, he always votes, he always obeys the speed limit and he never ever lies about anything (except if his wife asks if her dress makes her butt look fat.)
The trial has reached the midpoint and HTP is busy taking notes and trying not to decide before all the facts in the case are heard — as the judge instructed the jury.
HTP is out to dinner with his wife, celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary when suddenly he hears someone speaking to him, he starts to turn around and hear a sharply spoken command — “Do Not turn around, do not let anyone know that you are hearing my voice — only you can hear my voice. Good — now relax while I tell you what you how you will vote. NO! not a word — I will do all the talking. Raise your right shoulder just slightly — you do not want to get anyone hurt. Now look down at the table in front of you — the white plate.”
HTP was sitting by himself at the table because his wife had left for the lady’s room. So he looked down as instructed, although he felt like an idiot, really he should be calling his doctor.
On the white dinner plate HTP’s life flashed before his eyes — just like the stories of what happens just before someone dies or thinks they are dying. HTP grabbed the table — and the voice again told him to relax or someone could be hurt.
The scenes and documents HTP was seeing had been taken out of context making him look like a sneaky criminal. None of this is real — it can’t be he said under his breath and then quickly looked around to see if anyone else was noticing or seeing this garbage. Nope in this he was alone — responsible for the lives of everyone in the restaurant.
Then he remembered how he discounted the news from that traitor hacker that the US Government was spying all digital communications. He had nothing to hide so there was no reason to believe that he would in anyway be of interest to the Government. But wait this might not be the Government but rather related to Corporate spying and corporate secrets involved in the case where he was a jury member.
“Here’s what we want you to do Herbert, continue just as you have, make no changes at all and when it comes time to deliberate — claim you can’t make up your mind and force the rest of the jury to convince you which way to vote. But know this — you will vote to acquit. If you do not we will turn your life into a living hell and you will commit suicide.”
HTP saw a motion up near the ceiling and thinking he was seeing a new species of dragonfly he started watching the insect. One of HTPs life long hobbies was the study of insects and it quickly became apparent that this insect wasn’t real. He wasn’t sure what he was looking at but he suspected that he had just come face to face with his own personal Drone — something he had read about but had never believed.
“Oh honey I’m sorry I took so long”, his wife said as she returned to the table, “but Maria called and you know how she can go on and on about her causes.”
When the final jury vote was taken HTP voted to acquit. He realized that the NSA really was doing everything that his nephew the tekki had been claiming for years. All of those TSA scans of his wife and children were indeed kept in massive databases and all of his internet searches and email, phone calls were sitting in cold storage in Utah. His nephew claimed that with so many people having access to data that it wouldn’t be impossible to get information on anyone and use that information to blackmail anyone for any reason.
End of story — Maybe?
Here’s one more bit information from the blog — with a twist about what could happen if someone not so clean as HTP gets a job of shifting through everyone’s data:
Does it really matter? Well, here’s a test to see if you are OK with the National party’s government plus the US government peeping (and filming!) through our communication curtains:
Think of that person you hate. Go on. There must be someone. Now think of them getting their dream job with a private communications company. High pay, perks, prestige (lucky bastards). As an employee of that company, with a few keystrokes they can now find literally almost anything they want out about you, you potential rascal. As well as what I outlined above, they can read, watch and listen to your Skype, Messenger, Facebook, Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo chats, as well as activity on Apple, YouTube, view photos and videos from your hard drive, read your text messages, get the details of your phone calls, and peruse transferred files in their entirety. You get the picture. Dropbox will shortly be added to the list of companies involved, and data collection from existing providers will be increased even further.
PS: for the NRA (National Rifle Association) members — does the NSA have or is the NSA keeping gun ownership records? Can gun owners be somehow tagged — by their internet or digitally collected habits? No really — this is for real — this was a question by a few Senators to the NSA etc.