Data collection and invasive monitoring of American citizens has been at the forefront of government activities for decades. After revelations by Edward Snowden in recent years, the fringe conspiracy theorists who warned of Big Brother surveillance and had been laughed at by the general population were finally proven right.
There is a lot of debate on whether Wednesday’s computer issues that shut down the New York Stock Exchange, the Wall Street Journal, and United Airlines were just a very strange coincidence (very strange) or a deliberate cyber attack.
After a series of cyber failures involving first UAL, then this website, then the NYSE which is still halted, then the WSJ, some have suggested that this could be a concerted cyber attack (perhaps by retaliatory China unhappy its stocks are plunging) focusing on the US. So we decided to look at a real-time cyber attack map courtesy of Norsecorp which provides real time visibility into global cyber attacks.
Have you ever come across someone on the Internet that you suspected was a paid government troll? Well, there is a very good chance that you were not imagining things. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have solid proof that paid government trolls are using “psychology-based influence techniques” on social media websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Documents leaked by Snowden also reveal that government agents have been conducting denial-of-service attacks, flooding social media websites with thinly veiled propaganda and have been purposely attempting to warp public discourse online. If we do not stand up and object to this kind of Orwellian behavior, it is only going to get worse and worse.