Forget Bitcoin…the most valuable commodity will be Privacy.  Ed Snowden recently released his book “Permanent Record” which has given rise to further debate on what is the ‘right level’ of privacy we should be prepared to give up, in exchange for a safer nation?  That is not the subject under discussion here, as our interest is more concerned with the facts and what the practical, not moral, implications are.  In a recent interview Snowden went into quite some detail about the proficiency with which National Security agencies and intelligence organizations are able to collate data, seemingly forever.  History will decide exactly how much impact Snowden’s revelations actually had on changing the ‘deep state’ approach to surveillance and monitoring of citizens.  It is most likely that the effect will have been awareness and publicity but, as with any activity that is considered illegal or in this case, an abuse of power, the activities more often that not, do continue.  It’s just they are driven further underground. This may well be the case now.  Other articles on this site focus more on the Privacy Payment we, as citizens who provide tacit approval of these activities, will pay in exchange for safety. What we can say however, is that the commodity itself will only increase in value and at some point the clever folks out there will find a way to monetize it.  As far as" current surveillance is concerned, following all the revelations many years ago, one might head the warning to "beware of wolves in sheeps clothing".  Here we are saying that nothing has really changed that much fundamentally and that the data and invasive approach to monitoring is still very much there, it’s just the corporate world now takes on even more of a role, and this in turn shields the government and diverts attention.  Orwell wasn’t wrong…he was just 25 years too early. 


So if the Corporate entities i.e. FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google) are now the sheep (to continue the earlier analogy) then how, and why become even more involved? Take a recent story for the US in which a young lady was murdered and Amazons' Alexa was in the room when it happened.  The process of government being able to gain access to private data in the form of recordings or calls, has been around for many years and the precedent was set (inadvertently) to allow for Law Enforcement agencies to circumvent the requirement to serve a  warrant to the protentional perpetrator. Instead going directly to the companies who technically own the records is now much speedier.  In the murder case it happens that a warrant was obtained so that Amazon could release the recordings which in turn may well assist in the prosecution of the suspect.  In this case, most people will agree that if the system here is going to help remove a murderer from the streets, then this technology and its use in prosecuting the villain is justified.  Just as those same people, all those years ago said (when the first examples of mass surveillance surfaced), ‘well, if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about’.  Unfortunately sometimes things don’t always work out quite as simply as that, and once out of the box, a genies is hard to put back in. 


Before too long, and in the UK too, we will start to see more and more cases where technology of this sort which is accessible by the public, is used as by the Government through their ‘enforcers’ the technology companies.  The link is inextricable and always has been.  Ying and yang, bread and butter, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.  Intelligence agencies and corporate giants.  The two simply cannot exist efficiently without the other.  So, it is no great leap of imaginative thought to accept that at some point in the exponential growth of technology, AI and especially IOT and 5G, that more devices will be used to carry out the job of the ‘once human’ detective or policeman.  Sci-fi bods may remember the names of the pre-cogs in the film Minority Report, Agatha, Arthur and Dash.  Forget them…we have Alexa and Siri now.  So what next? Read more.

Intelligence Reports

14 April 2020

After AI comes Quantum AI...and then what?

When Google's Sycamore effectively moved us to the next step in AI it will become one of those defining moments...but how will Quantum Artificial Intelligence affect the Intelligence World?

21 March 2020

Neurodiversity & ASD within the Secret Intelligence Services

Some have gone as far as to say that the 'diverse' represent the next step in the evolutionary process.  Maybe.  But, ignore the Neurodiverse at your peril!

12 May 2020

A Government Department of Virus Safety

A Government run, uniform and credible safety certificate to be used across the board, would benefit UK business greatly.

Wuhan conspiracy theories aside, diplomatic traction is the reward.


A week or two ago we wrote an article "Conspiracies & Ripples" which focused primarily on conspiracy theories and kicked off with the rather obvious statement that a conspiracy theory is simply a theory without the facts i.e. just a theory.  Within that we highlighted that ‘flavour of the month’ theorist’s delight, the origins of the Coronavirus and its links to Wuhan.  This echoed our views published in February which, as many did, ponder the chances of this remote coincidence maybe actually being true.  Since then there have been swathes of articles on the topic citing all sort of sources and from numerous ‘renowned’ scientists.  We have also recently had the opinions offered by those whose opinions really count, that this virus originating from the labs in Wuhan may not actually be so far-fetched after all.

We do tend to agree, or at least we did.  That was then and this is now and in the world of Politics things move quickly and one does have to look at the reality of the situation.  If there is enough fog between you and your destination, then sometimes the route you take can change, leaving you all sorts of options.  If the objective was originally to circumnavigate through uncertain waters to establish who, what, why and when the virus came about – then that is now lost in the fog.  It is arbitrary.  Now we have something that is far more concrete and tangible to use to our advantage – we have uncertainty.  We now have enough debate and conspiracy to render the findings of the scientists open to interpretation.  And that… is a diplomat’s dream come true.   This particular carcass will feed many and although the WHO will go in, on the ground, and no doubt find yet more uncertainty…it really is irrelevant.  You will certainly not find individual government’s chomping at the bit to send their representatives into Wuhan anytime soon, and even if they did, why?  Wuhan is not some sleepy suburb in leafy Northamptonshire… it is in China.  Whatever was there has long gone, if indeed it was ever even there.  So perhaps it would be wise to assume that at least for the next few decades this is a conspiracy that will never find out those salient facts. 

Now, listening to the scientists, there is an overwhelming urge to say, “shush now”.  Step back ladies and gentlemen and look at the bigger picture at play.  Nobody is actually interested whether or not the virus started in Wuhan, intentionally or not.  As long as it is open to debate, it is far more valuable.  The scientists have debated at length and argued, but there is still no unequivocal proof either way that satisfies all parties…and why could that be?  Scientific fact is not open to debate or questioning, that is a given.  However, to say Science is correct, is not true.  That is because Science has Scientists, and Scientists are human beings who in turn are fallible and motivated by many many other factors.  In China for example, one might say that scientific fact is exactly what they want it to be.  Indeed, who is to say it ends in China.


So why is uncertainty such a blessing in this case?  It provides an additional bargaining chip and a weapon in the armoury for all Governments to now use against the Chinese.  Maybe on the other side of the fence their own initial conspiracy theory that a foreign Government (the US) planted the virus in their midst, is being written about in their own press.  Or maybe not. The fact is it is a safe bet to assume that no body will ever know.  There will be no compensations or admissions of guilt in this case sadly…however the capillaceous network that is politics, diplomacy and economic negotiations will be the real beneficiaries.


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