Lonely Local Man Seeks More Surveillance
Traditional privacy focused apps and “no track” add-ons are out, and the digital tentacles of data miners and security agencies are in. At least, that’s the case for 34 year old local man Jack Hiscox.
Mr. Hiscox told us yesterday via Skype that he had long given up on the usual avenues to socialising, including the popular forms of social media, instead choosing to embrace the very thing most people were looking to avoid - online surveillance. He says that popular browser add-ons such as Privacy Badger, ad-blockers and NoScript were “thrown out the window”, as well as choosing to install programs that “widen the net” for his unique idea of social connection.
“It’s just nice to think someone is there, you know?” Mr. Hiscox explained. “Everyone is only interested in memes or one upping their friends on social media. It’s not really for me. I mean, the memes are good. Everyone likes memes, right? But I don’t feel like anyone really cares about anyone else, and no one seems interested in anything I write. That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing. I run a Linux system and used to do all the usual stuff concerning privacy, but I realised I was really missing out. Think about all those people who could potentially spy on your stuff. And then think about all those people you could reach!”
He says that it was a surprisingly easy transition to make, though with the increased widespread focus on security and privacy, he found that he “had to change things up at the OS level” as opposed to simply using insecure browser sessions. “I made sure I was using a distribution running systemd, I switched from Xfce to Unity with the Amazon search results enabled, I signed up to Hotmail and share stuff to OneDrive. I even switched full time to a completely vanilla and official Google Chrome,” he said. “But it still didn’t seem like enough. Some people have said systemd probably has some back doors for the likes of the NSA built into it, but we can’t be totally sure yet. With that in mind, I’d like to announce that I’m actually currently in the process of switching to Windows 10.”
With Windows 10, Mr. Hiscox believes he can take his “reaching out” to the next level. “Just think, maybe my entire hard drive will be available for sharing with whoever pleases to look,” he said, while holding up a picture he drew for the NSA. “I could share all my pictures and diary entries, all without trying so hard with social media and all that crap. And at least these people will genuinely want to check my stuff out. It’s a nice feeling.”
Mr. Hiscox also says he will be sure to “step up his game” in using particular keywords, in the hopes of reaching as many people as possible. “It’s like using hashtags on social media, but way more effective. I only have to make casual references to bombs, hacking, the ionosphere, The Linux Journal. Stuff like that, and whammo, I’m sure to hit a few watchlists somewhere.”
When questioned on whether he thought his techniques might end up inviting a few government agencies to pay him a personal visit, Mr. Hiscox nodded enthusiastically.
“We can only hope”, he added.