All you need are 4 geospatial points (localization + time) to identify 95% of people. The technological revolution has provided law enforcement agencies with increased surveillance capabilities, particularly through cameras and drones.
To Moxie Marlinspike, one of the world’s leading cryptographic protocol developers, this is an example of voluntary servitude. So a cryptographic war is now raging between authorities and privacy advocates. And in that context, the recent birth of the world’s widest fully encrypted network (WhatsApp, with one billion active users, integrating the most powerful encryption software, developed by Moxie) is a major blow for authorities.
The more moderate claim that a fair balance must be found between the security of all and the privacy of each and that, with this in mind, providing the authorities with backdoor access to personal information is both necessary and unavoidable. Except that authorizing backdoor access in WhatsApp or any other communication system would mean authorizing a fault that would challenge the very usefulness and function of the system – that is, the ability to send personal messages of a private nature. The appetite for apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger is a sign of what they see as a promising evolution of the telecom industry: its economic separation from political power makes it possible to foresee an infrastructure built to resist state intrusion (surveillance).
Beyond surveillance as such, the hacker community is organizing itself to defend democracy and civil liberties with these new digital interfaces. As the original freeware advocates, hackers intend to challenge Big Data’s intrusive merchant model. They want to be able to see real people again in the matrix. Opacity prevents individuals from regaining control over the part of their freedom that they have turned over to digital systems.
Hackers provide a sort of injection of vigilance. But it is up to individuals to regain their freedom over the system. What are we willing to let go as a counterpart for what benefit? How do we circumscribe our security and what is the new balance between our security and our freedom? Individuals and their digital doubles will position themselves on a new value scale. At stake is the preservation of creativity and spirituality.