lock'd & loaded in the digital revolution

All the steps I'm now taking to secure my privacy and reclaim control over my data makes me reflect on the days when my digital practices revolved around porn, torrents, google, and routinely ignored software and OS updates.

How careless of me.

I used the web like a stooge from age 12 to age 30. That's a lot of frivolous internet use with practically no thought given to security, anonymity, or threat modelling. Big data thanks me. And I get Five Big Winks from the Five Eyes.

For so long I had waived my privacy without thinking hey maybe I should be smarter about this. Maybe I oughta learn more about this revolutionary tool I use on the daily. Maybe, just maybe, who I am, and what I do, has value—both online and offline.

I do wonder if the poor digital opsec of my past has compromised my efforts going forward. Perhaps only time will tell.

All things considered I take heart knowing that if my digital efforts to anonymize and agorize are in vain, at least I am cultivating a tactical mindset, a useful mentality as we plunge deeper into a “guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation,” as Marshall McLuhan so aptly put it in Culture is Our Business (1970).

So I decided to sign up for PayPal.

As a privacy advocate, this was a pretty big deal to me. Knowing full well the loathsome track record of PayPal as an instrument of the technocratic state, I agonized over this decision.

The skinny: I applied for a remote editing gig. If I wanted it, I'd have to get the P, and I don't mean Pfizer. The employer wanting me on board as an editor apparently only makes payments to its freelancers via PayPal. Balls.

Understand this. I don't ever give out my provincial name (i.e. “legal name”... does that mean another name can be illegal?). Well, sadly, I gave it to PayPal. I thought it'd satisfy their hunger for a “true and correct identity.” Then I could get on with my life and provide for my family. Not so fast! What a foolish move. At least I didn't give them any other personal identifiers of mine.

Within minutes my activity was flagged as 'suspicious' and all features were frozen. I was informed by a bot that until I provided their “team” with gang-issued photo ID, my account privileges would be suspended indefinitely. Here's the kicker. I just said fuck it and decided to close my account. Ah, not so fast there, private eye. Wanna close your account, do ya? Send us that ID. We'll review it first. Then maybe we'll close your account.

Well stuff me in the KYC.

I can't believe I even bothered. All things considered, I did it with my family in mind. Noble though that may be, I compromised integrity and now I feel like I have to do damage control, which suxxx. Those stasi motherfuckers have me flagged. Great. I don't even get any work out of it! A raw deal [I recently learned that the organization accepts any PayPal account as long as I invoice them!]. The parasite class will always try to leverage our families against us. Never forget that. That's how this/a mafia works.

Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies are evidently trojan horses for the expansion of the corporate surveillance-state. I'm discovering how troubling this is in real time. I remember the days when a signup took two seconds and an email address. Now its like your applying for a fucking mortgage.

The crazy thing is, the functionaries writing and peddling these KYC + AML standards literally work for the organized crime establishment. Have you read the Paradise Papers? How about the Panama Papers? These conmen want to know how to con you better. They're using big data for that. Just look at Palantir.

Us mutineers better start putting our heads together, or we're gonna find ourselves living in an open-air prison faster than you can say “end-to-end-encrypted.”

That said, there are people are out there, both underground and on-the-ground, doing really tremendous work to preserve privacy and freedom in the digital age.

This report is dedicated to them.

Agorism.blog. Right on. Let the pine bough sway.

Anarchism. Libertarianism. Abolitionism. Privsec. Natural Law. Yeah. Whatever you wanna call it, the spirit is free. Like I tell my daughter from time to time: Different Word, Same Meaning.

Some days I feel like ~ If it ain't free, it ain't worth shit.

The web is still the wild west as far as I'm concerned. Shootouts aplenty. Yee. Fucking. Haw. Saddle up partner and so forth.

Basically, I just wanna use this pretty instance right here to candidly share the stuff I done learned about taking responsibility for my word and my deed. I'm not a rookie nor do I be a veteran.

Figuratively speaking, I'm a learning machine. There is no practical way I can reasonably share a fraction of what I manage to learn in a week, so I'll have to distill what I can muster, load the bazooka, aim, fire, and SPIT.

Big into the privacy/opsec movement these days. The ecosystem is a wild ass, magikal place. Clearnet stuff alone is really impressive. Just one look at privacytools.io or privacyguides is enough to keep a mate occupied for the next year alone.

Gettin into KeePassXC, Fawkes, Veracrypt. Librewolf, OSINT. Infosec training. Coding. Privacy frontends. You name it! Wintertime is always a high time to absorb new juices. Spring equinox will be here lickety-split baby. Dial it up.

What does it all amount to?

Can't say, bud. But for the time being, the silent war on privacy is being fought on several fronts and the general public is characteristically clueless/careless/apathetic. That said, the fight is on and it is a fireworks display. I am not in the bleachers; I have a roman candle.

Stay warm, fuzzy peaches.