Following yesterday's article about Big Brother getting nosier than ever, I found another article that sums up what one man's trying to do about it. He's taking himself offline altogether, trying to erase what he calls his 'digital footprint'. The Telegraph reports:
From now until next April, I am trying to live without a digital footprint. I’m using multiple pay as you go phones, which I’m replacing every four weeks. I have several different laptops, which I use for different things. I pay for everything in cash, which I take out every month from the same cash machine. I buy a daily travel card (in cash). There is still, of course, a digital footprint of sorts, but it’s incredibly difficult to link everything together, and I will be scrambling my IP address and using the laptops only in set locations for specific purposes.
. . .
On Wednesday, the draft Investigatory Powers Bill will be published, setting out the range of surveillance powers available to the intelligence agencies and police. It is likely to make interesting reading, as the full extent of the government’s ability to spy on its citizens is made known in a single report.
The argument made by those who support that ability of the Investigatory Powers Bill is that there is nothing to hide and therefore have nothing to be worried about – the powers are there to intercept terrorists and troublemakers, not innocent citizens.
But the truth is, we all have something to hide. It might just be family photos, it might be intimate messages to our beloved, it might be contact information for our families and loved ones. But also included in personal information is your name, phone number, address, place of residence, place of work, people you interact with, duration of interactions, how often, current and past locations, what music you listen to, and with Spotify Run, how fast you’re moving and where.
. . .
We all have a right to privacy, but this is gradually being eroded. Last year in America, Congress decided that the Fourth Amendment, which states the need for a warrant to search for specific things, does not apply to non-US citizens' personal data. That is 95 per cent of the world's population. Moreover, thinking "I've got nothing to hide" is based on a presumption that we are guilty until proven innocent. It puts us on the defensive. Once the invasion into our privacy becomes visible, people start to behave in a very specific way, not just on mobile phones, but on computers. It erodes the breadth of our searches, what we think, our focus, our actions and the ideas we have. When we are necessarily limiting ourselves in this way, freedom of speech becomes pointless, since freedom of thought has been destroyed.
There's more at the link.
It's a valiant effort, but it cuts the author off from so much of our modern economy that I don't know whether he can succeed. It'll be interesting to follow his progress.