PARANOIA OR REALITY & PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE

  • https://www.alphr.com/mobile-phones/1009513/phone-listening-apps-paranoid
  • https://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/how-google-is-secretly-recording-you-through-your-mobile-monitoring-millions-of-conversations/news-story/8089bf3084a430f4c4be46b81710c158
Today, while I was having a chat with Amma about getting a new sim for the RW phone as there were some issues with the phone, suddenly, the phone suggested adding a sim card to make a phone call right when we were having conversations about the sim card. However, this phone that we have had for three or four years never needed one. Though this experience could be a mere coincidence, it made me think of sharing a couple of references about phones listening to our conversations. I have shared several on this topic of surveillance and smartphone technology in the past through different channels. Thought of sharing a couple with you all.

Also, suddenly, the speaker for the same Moto E phone stopped working yesterday and then came back to normalcy on its own today after I tried out a couple of things on the phone, which did not help much then. This issue also led us to have discussions on this matter over the phone and also at home. This unusual happening of the speaker losing and regaining its functionality took me to the topic of timed obsolescence.  Could it be connected to it?  Though it is not easy to prove, it is something that we need to know.

Here is one reference:
  • https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/apr/15/the-right-to-repair-planned-obsolescence-electronic-waste-mountain
These two unusual experiences made me share these articles with you on the phone listening to us and planned obsolescence. Think about what could happen if we were to have a listening phone that monitors and shares our conversations, with the ability to change its functionality depending on situations?

This is why I wrote years ago in the article, Blue Ocean, Red Ocean or a Desert with one tall building that we might not see Einsteins' or Ramanujans' much in the 21st century, as their ideas might be stolen right from their houses, many times, even without their knowledge. Instead of those individuals getting due credit, they might be labeled as idea thieves as someone else with more resources might have released those ideas, and/or developed products and/or acquired funding prior to it. It could be even worse when these kinds of technologies are extensively exploited by powerful politicians to their advantage, which might already be happening. 

Here is one dated video on the topic of technology, government and surveillance, which you might like. This video debates the future of computers almost forty years ago. Now, we are seeing many issues that were brought up in this discussion. From a technologist point of view, Steve Jobs pointed out only the brighter spots in this debate. However, as brought up by David Burnham, we are seeing many of the concerns coming to live action now that Mr Burnham shared then. 
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H-Y-D3-j-M
WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL IN THIS?
SCENARIO I
See, let us take a hypothetical case that a leader is facing the nation right before the elections and he handpicks a foreigner to ask questions. The day before, during a what's up messenger (not whatsapp) chat, a talented, knowledgeable, handsome, deep thinker shares with his friends and family on one of the messenger chat apps how some talented individuals misuse their creative ability when a fellow community member shares a scenario of how a group of individuals misused their creativity for wrong purposes. The next day, there could be a question in face the nation on what the leader thinks about people posting all kinds of tweets, the leader might provide a rehearsed answer similar to the one provided by the deep thinker on the previous day, when the same leader never would have considered, seen or would have had the ability to appreciate a person's creative abilities. If we are going to elect a leader like this one, (s)he would continue stealing others' ideas for everything even more so with his/her power, and what would be the plight of that country.

SCENARIO II
Another example, let us say that you have a discussion at home about an application that was unfairly removed, whereas same treatment was not meted out with an application that was created later on with the same name by the same platform provider. Let us say that the discussion at home also includes unfair and unclear responses from the support team in this regard. Right after these discussions at home capturing various angles to this experience, we might start seeing a cold shoulder from the support team. 

Could this sudden cold shoulder from the support team be due to the conversations at home getting tracked, heard and shared?

There is an old saying, "Even walls have ears". This saying implied then that we need to watch out what we are saying at home as someone else could overhear our conversations. This saying appears to have come to complete fruition now with all kinds of gadgets out there to do the same in a quieter, and faster way.

SCENARIO III
Let us say that the incumbent President and/or Prime Minister, though acts like the well-wisher of the people, is a great buddy of the leaders of the pseudo-monopoly empires around the world. Then, with the tracking ability, IoT and surveillance, this powerful entity namely government when under the wrong hands could track every move through Postal Services, Revenue service, Online internet activities and more under the pretext of something or other at the targeted individual, while leaving out real criminals and crooks in the process. Then, simple things such as government agency sending three letters of notification etc would not happen to the targeted person to make every process difficult for this targeted person. For example, a simple apostillation process and notarization process would become complicated. During the time of global crisis, when things are not in order, the targeted individual would not get proper answers and would be forced to send documents again and again for no fault of this person.

Let us continue this hypothetical scenario. Would this be any different with the contender politician ? Let us say that the incumbent president has ties with two primary countries for controlling, the other candidate would have his own ties, and would be targeting the same way using his own connected world. In the end, this talented and knowledgeable individual would be targeted from every angle possible.

SCENARIO IV
Let us say a talented individual who is keen to find out more about adwares and malwares that track users would start an interesting project in this regard and would also end up performing a thorough research on the extent of adwares and malwares on apps. A large company or set of companies, which also has close connection with political entities and questionable secret agencies around the globe, with an extensive ability to track everything would figure out some of the findings of this individual and would start acting as if that they are taking actions to clean the adwares on the apps offered through their platform. 

To further make this scenario intertwined and connected, let us say that as part of this gimmick, this platform provider could identify an adware that was funded by this entity's own financial arm years ago as a malicious adware. This entity could further exploit this strategy not only to get free information from this talented individual, but also block companies that are getting more popular than themselves. To add some details to this scenario to make it more interesting, let us say that the adware which was suddenly classified as malicious is part of close to 20000 apps and have had more than 68 billion downloads over the years.
For some more scenarios, please check out this article: 

Connected References
Theory says that it is possible (Reference #3 below); Practical data (#1 & #2) suggests that it is already happening.
1. https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/2019/12/19/your-smartphone-mobile-device-may-recording-everything-you-say/4403829002/ 

3. https://www.consumerreports.org/smartphones/is-your-smartphone-secretly-listening-to-you/

Comments