Pass The Toilet Paper, Google

RSS feeds are a wonderful invention of the computer age. They let us know when our favorite blogs have a new post available, saving the drudgery of constantly harking back, only to find the same old drivel from six months ago that we’ve already read half a dozen times before.

I do hope regular readers of Sparrow Chat have such notifications available to them. For those who don’t, I must profusely apologize on behalf of the scumbags who managed to put the website out of action again for over a week, subjecting anyone attempting to access it to advertisements of a decidedly shady nature.

I’ve written of these sad, anti-social, creatures before so will waste little further space or effort on them. Every society has its outcasts, roaming the dark areas at the edge of civilization. The modern day internet hacker is no more than the 21st century equivalent of the 17th century founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, who ordered the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor’s printing presses in 1844. The Expositor was an Illinois town newspaper that took exception to some of Smith’s preachings.

Joseph_Smith,_Jr. 1843

Smith, who was Mayor of Nauvoo at the time, had the paper terminated and the presses destroyed. He was later charged with riot, then ‘treason against Illinois’, and shot dead by a mob while awaiting trial.[1]

It’s unlikely the modern day hacker would suffer a similar fate to that of Joseph Smith, but internet attacks on Sparrow Chat have now become so frequent they’re unlikely to be random SQL injections or botnets. Other websites, on the same host, are never affected.

I’m now convinced they’re in response to ‘anti-gun’ posts, or what are seen as ‘anti-American’ essays, that appear on Sparrow Chat from time to time. No doubt there are those, like Joseph Smith, who would wish to prevent such writings from publication, and turn to a ‘brute force attack’[2] in retaliation.

The criminal hacker would seek to wrest temporary control of our computers from us. Perhaps of more concern are the corporate entities striving to take permanent control of them. How many of us have found ourselves members of “Google+”, without knowing how it came about? “Google+” is all about invading privacy – clawing information about us from watching our every computer move. How long will it be before Google can determine when we’re at work, robbing a bank, making love…

toilet-computer

…or even using the toilet?

It’s so easy to become a member of Google+, but have you ever tried to escape from it? It is possible to do so, but it took me twenty minutes and an internet search, because Google doesn’t make it simple. And, if I click on the wrong link one day…

puppy_behind_bars

…I’ll be back inside again before I know it.

We’re all indoctrinated to be unconcerned by those mysterious downloads that regularly arrive from Microsoft, or Android (Google, again!), ostensibly to keep our computers secure, but we have no idea what they really do, or what they contain.

I run Windows XP on three computers, and Linux on two others. My XP machines are set to receive downloads from Microsoft, but not install them automatically. I like to see what they’re purporting to place on my hard drives. Consequently, I was somewhat surprised to see each of my three machines shut down and re-boot over the space of twenty-four hours, and to be informed via a pop-up message that Microsoft had installed updates that required an immediate re-boot of all three. There was no information on why, or what the download contained.

On checking “Control Panel’, I found all three machines had been hacked by Microsoft, and the download panel set to automatic install. Presumably, this was done to allow the installation of the previously mentioned download. While it may have had an entirely benign purpose, we’re supposed to trust these corporations in a rather, “father knows best”, sort of way. Which is fine when Big Daddy only has our interests at heart. Personally, where Microsoft and Google are concerned, I have my doubts.

It’s only recently Google removed its Gmail Notifier from circulation. The excuse: it was no longer needed as these days everyone checked their emails on their ‘smart’ phones. That’s a downright lie. I don’t. I relied on the Notifier and spent wasted time attempting to ascertain why it suddenly stopped working and permanently displayed an annoying exclamation mark, with the pop-up message: “Cannot connect to your mailbox. HTTP error 404”.

Was it costing Google anything to leave it alone? Probably not. It’s just another tiny example of how the dictatorial control of corporate business is steadily hacking away at our daily lives.

I began by discussing internet hacking, but that’s not the only form of hacking taking place in our societies today. There’s a more serious one – and I’m not talking Edward Snowden. He deserves a darned sight more support – not just from the American people, but from the population of the world at large. It’s not just the US government that has hidden secrets its people have a right to know about.

My own country, Britain, is gradually being taken over by what were once US companies, but are now called, “Multinationals”. The British government, probably via corrupt, ‘back-door’, payments to its members from corporate bosses, has sold out the nation to these corporations.

Cameron-Brooks

We must all be aware by now of the cosy relationship, recently thrust into the limelight via the News of the World scandal, between British politicians and the Murdoch corporations. Another prime example is the UK National Health Service, in process of being dismantled, brick by brick, and sold off for pennies on the dollar to private US health companies. Much of the UK manufacturing base has gone to US companies: famous names like Cadbury – taken over by Kraft Foods and factories closed; Debenhams – stripped of its assets by two US private equity firms; Asda, now part of the Walmart conglomerate.

Even as the News of the World was hacking royalty and a murdered teenager (among others), the British economy was being hacked apart, its politicians happy to let it happen because their hands are deep into US corporate wallets. Meanwhile, two and half million Britons are unable to find work, and the government labels them, “Scroungers”.

International hacking isn’t just a new internet problem. It could be defined as the standard practice of a dominate superpower. One dictionary definition:

…to damage or injure by crude, harsh, or insensitive treatment; mutilate; mangle”

The Romans were past masters of the art; the British became equally adept. The United States is now in the prime of its hacking days. Militarily, economically, even religiously, the US steadily encroaches on the weaker nations of the planet, destroying economies and cultures in pursuit of corporate gain. How many Americans have conveniently forgotten…

war-crimes-iraq

…this image, well publicized during the Iraq war, as US armor hacked that nation to bits before leaving its remains to be devoured by fanatical religious vultures?

They’ve even found a new word for it: globalization.

I doubt my rants on Sparrow Chat will make one iota of difference in the end. But if we all sit back and say nothing then we may as well hand our lives and our freedoms over to the Walton family, or Ronald McDonald, today.

Those who try to silence Sparrow Chat are misguided. Corporate bosses couldn’t give a monkey’s toss what I say or write, even if they were aware of it. It’s the work of manic gun-lovers and ill-informed ‘freedom freaks’ who think they’re defending some long held tradition of Americanism, unaware that it never truly existed, and never will.

They don’t need a gun to be free. They only need one to kill. If they think they’re defending the American way of life, then they’ve never really studied the American way of life. It neither bears, nor has it ever borne, any relation to the ideals they try to uphold, yet cannot even find the words to define.

They may think it’s good to hack into websites that espouse a different doctrine from theirs, but their myopia blinds them to the reality that it is they whose freedoms are being hacked, even as they strive in their own inept way to defend the perpetrators.

[1] “Death of Joseph Smith” Wikipedia.

[2] “Brute Force Attack” Wikipedia.

One Reply to “Pass The Toilet Paper, Google”

  1. Glad to see you back, RJ! I wondered if you’d thrown in the towel in disgust (& couldn’t blame you!)

    Good post – as always. Handbaskets and Hell spring to mind. This is all we’ve got for now – and for the foreseeable future. All we can do is let off steam on blogs etc. when frustration piles up, and try to enjoy what’s left to us between those times. :-/

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