Ok, I know a lot about tech, way more than is good for me. I’ve been headhunted for it and to be honest it’s not a good trade for a bipolar person to be in to. Especially one as paranoid as me.
So I was playing with my new Nintendo 3DS that I treated to myself as a gift for not smoking for 2 months and I noticed it had 3! Cameras on it, a mic an infrared light, as well as WiFi. WTF, I’m here to play Pokémon like the good old days not to be scanned constantly. I have no idea why it needs all this when only one game I know of even uses just 1 of the cameras.
So this led in to all my other devices, and their cameras and plethora of sensors and my phone (which I’m writing this on) my big PC with a permanent power supply for the network socket even when the PC is off, set top TV box, kindle, WiFi radio. From a hackers point of view it’s a goldmine if I was to be a target. Which I have been, I had to delete and disable my test bed external website and email server after some very threatening spam and a hijack that turned my mail server into a spam bot. Fortunately I had the foresight to pick up the chatter and move important services to different email accounts before the escalation. The only thing I may be locked out of is my Nectar account, so score one for the hackers, I have to call Sainsbury’s to regain control of my supermarket rewards points.
Anyway it was a bit of a pain but no irreversible harm done, but I’m annoyed that a convenient email address I used for 8 years with no trouble is now in the dark zone.
So yesterday I started my unplugging program. If it can be unplugged and switched off and the socket taken out it now is. I don’t actually need to be permanently connected to the net to play Kerbal Space Program or play mp3s so there’s no need for it to plugged into router. Just like dial up days, if I need the web or an update, plug in, get what I need and unplug.
The phone and other stuff well not a lot can be done with the WiFi because there’s a gut feeling in me that just because Android says WiFi is off it actually isnt, same goes for roaming data. I have a long winded explanation as to why that is (that I don’t have the time or energy to explain) but it follows ‘there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’. Still cameras that don’t get used are now taped over (it’s good enough for Mark Zuckerberg) and mics to. As I know speakers reversed are mics, innocuous devices like TV and radios that have WiFi in them are unplugged and pulled out the socket.
So am I off grid and desperately lonely. No, this may be paranoid behaviour to some but, unplugging everything before bed was a ritual my grandfather did and he was always bitching about my wiring. Who knows, maybe he knew of the ‘spy in the cab’ even then.
The last couple of days I’ve barely used the net other than a couple of things on the this phone. Which now gets turned off at night which is a half way measure. I’m not going completely luddite.
I have really enjoyed my vinyl though and basking in hack free analogue experience of just the turntable and amp. I have a large collection of radios to, including a Decca from the 40s I’m repairing to the latest Tescun digital analogue SW hybrid.
I fear that the generation behind me think they will enter some kind of digital Nirvana. And privacies don’t matter. Privacy is a birthright, and as someone with mental health problems and dealing daily with people who quite rightly want to know what’s going on in my head on the other hand it is actually ok for me to say there are some thoughts I tell no one. We all do, despite this digital invasion into our daily lives.
As the Prodigy lyrics go;
“Now the writings on the wall, it’s an omen, you just run the automations…”
I say your mind is the analogue computer, your body it’s interface with reality. Which begs the question, is analogue dead yet?