I hung up from a long phone call with a friend in which we talked (among other security-related issues) about alternative communications for these censorious, tech-whim times.
I poured myself a new cup of tea, hit the button to download mail, and in comes a message from another friend with the above subject line: “Communications in the Purge.” The entire (bcc broadcast) message was nothing but alternate email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses that could be used to reach him if our tech overlords switch off standard avenues of communication.
We’ve gotten so used to the Gods of Tech banning, suspending, deplatforming, delisting, algorithm-screwing, and otherwise meddling in communications that don’t further the ever-shifting party line that it’s become as routine as it is alarming. But Amazon’s “disappearing” of Parler this weekend signaled a new threat level.
Sure, the techocracy did something similar to white supremacist sites a few years back and nobody fretted (“When they came for the …”). But wiping an entire and relatively mainstreamish social network off the map of the Internet? At an arbitrary flick of a switch? Simply for … reasons? And this in
concert collusion with Apple and Google kicking the same social network out of their stores, as they already long ago kicked out Gab? And Google’s announcement that they would no longer allow any videos questioning the validity of election results? And much talk of “reeducation” or even “cleansing” of the 75 million deplorables who v*ted for Trump? And allegedly “responsible” people in government and out of it talking seriously about impeaching (again) a president who’s only got a few days left in office?
This is it, folks. The nation is officially governed by madmen. And not the pleasantly eccentric kind. If we were waiting for some audible alarm signal to go off, we’ve just heard it, loud and screeching.
I’m not ready to share personal details to the extent that my emailing friend did this morning. But I’m actively deciding what I will share, and with whom. It would be wise for us all to do the same.
In the upcoming days:
- Make sure that key people including those outside your political networks have multiple alternative means to reach you, including non-electronic means.
- Get the same kind of information from those contacts and keep it safe, on paper, on a keychain USB stick, or both.
- Try to exchange and store the above information encrypted if you possibly can, and if not encrypted, then offline. But do the exchange however you have to.
- Keep a file — and print it out — of both the URLs and the IP addresses of websites you particularly rely on, and if those sites have email lists that aren’t complete junk, make sure you’re on those lists so the sites can notify you if they swiftly have to relocate. (For us non-techies: your computer may already be set up for the file in question.)
- Make sure the rest of your preps are as up to date as can be.
You’ve heard the bitter joke: “How did you go bankrupt?” “Slowly at first, then very fast.” Friend and sometime co-blogger Silver points out that the same can be true of politically caused disasters (hyperinflation is his classic example, but the death of open communications could slam us equally fast).
There will be — there already is, of course — a revolt against the tech giants. If they keep this BS up, the technotyrants will fall, and fall hard. But it may not happen fast enough to save us.
Good luck to us all. We’re gonna need it.