Are we due for a technological revolt?

American Revolution

There are entities in the world of technology that are out to get us. They want our data. They want to know our whereabouts. They want to limit the amount of internet we can access and they want to control which websites we can visit. They have billions of dollars they think they can protect and they will step on any person in the world, American or not, that stands in their way.

It sounds bad, but the worst part is that we elected them.

The US government (and likely other governments as well as non-government entities) have it out for us. They want the whole world of technology under their control, of course, but Americans and our communications through technology are the real targets. There’s the NSA, obviously. They want all of our personal information. There’s SOPA and all of the sequels that keep popping up like a Hydra every time we seem to lop off one head. Supporters want to censor us. There’s the RIAA, the MPAA, and every other __AA out there that thinks we’re all stealing their hard earned money. They want to make sure that we can’t so they’re attaching their own legislation to terrible crimes like child pornography in order to prevent illegal downloads (because apparently the people that are illegally downloading their garbage aren’t buying at all despite what every study in the world says to the contrary).

As Syrians revolt against oppression, Tea Partiers revolt against Obamacare, and Europeans revolt against each other, is it possible to squeeze in one more revolt? We are due for a technological revolt. No, I’m not suggesting that we go back to the dark ages of home telephones with wires or watching movies on DVDs. I’m suggesting that someone, anyone needs to take up the mantle of technological freedom and create a way for those of us who like privacy, enjoy freedom, and despise censorship to experience our technological world in peace.

It sounds like a lofty goal, but if you think about it, all it really needs is someone of power outside of the scope of the government to step up and make it happen. The people will pay for it. The technology exists to lock out the NSA, to spoil the plans surrounding censorship, and to give us the same sense of security that we had before #StopSOPA, before Edward Snowden, and before Napster became legitimate.

The missing ingredient is mobilization. It will take a leader. That leader isn’t Google, Facebook, or Microsoft. It’s not Reddit, Automattic, or Firefox. It has to be a person, a group of people, or even a former politician (notice that I didn’t batch this politician in with actual people) that has the money to organize a following and a willingness to watch their rear view mirror for men in black ready to make their brakes stop working all of a sudden.

Journalists could help. The aforementioned Reddit, Automattic, or Firefox could help. The monster companies are too big; Google and their acquaintances are already too corrupted to do anything other than give a fake bow of support and hope that the initiative fails.

It would need these things to make it work:

  • A dark net with a new and incorruptible (yes, that’s still possible in the 21st century) ISP that is interested in security and privacy first, money second
  • An independent, security minded cell provider that could make encryption affordable
  • A leader that gets “elected” through a true democratic process, one where every vote is equal and every candidate is given equal opportunity to promote their case (in other words, money can’t buy this election)
  • A ton of people willing to spend the money to make it happen

It’s a dream. This is a revolt for a fiction writer, not something that could possibly come true today. On the other hand, if enough people are willing to suspend their disbelief for just a moment and the right people step up to make this happen, it’s not an impossibility, or rather, it’s not completely outside of the realm of possibility. You may say that I’m a dreamer and I very well might be the only one. I hope someday…

Written by Brian Molidor
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