It all started one bright and sunny morning upon arriving at work. When I pressed my finger on the luminous green laser display of the access system point, Julie repeatedly said: “Sorry, please try again” (I named her Julie because she reminded me of an American girl I once knew and had a similar flat, metallic and single toned voice). Try as I might, there was just no recognition of my 10 year service, my smile, my dedication – just a “sorry”. Most probably I rubbed some of the identifiable lines off my fingers by doing some braai building over the weekend.
Anyway, after waiting for a fellow worker to “clock” me in and hovering for an hour around the human resources dept., to get a different finger scanned, I was recognised again. Now I am one of the chosen few who can show Julie the middle finger! Now at least, if someone plans to cut off my finger to gain access, I have them fooled! Alas, maybe still better than an access system reading your cornea or pupil…
This, however, kicked off another conspiracy fear deep within me.
I have a file on my PC to help me remember passwords, access codes, user names, profile numbers, account numbers, IMEI numbers and PUK numbers (Phew, takes the breath out of you!). This became necessary as various banks, websites and work related systems do not allow me to keep the same password / access code etc. It was during a state of duress regarding my finger issues that I stumbled upon a Wikileaks article about bulk information gathering by most countries or agencies within countries, of the world today.
There are systems in operation which are capable of recording each and every sms, e-mail, phone call and internet discussion everyone makes, at any time, in any place of the world. Besides all that, they can hack your computer or smart phone, gain access and retrieve whatever is required. (Check it at: http://wikileaks.org/the-spyfiles.html - but I didn't tell you! )
Now I am no hyper personality and don’t jump at shadows, but suddenly the fear of anybody being able to see and copy my most personal information gripped me so hard around my throat, I needed a beer. Not even the house alarm going off at 3 a.m. can instil such fear and exposure, you know, everybody in the house asks you what the hell is going on, while the kids pop their heads out of the room and wife is wide eyed and spooked.
Switch cell phone on (wassat PIN again?) and wait for the call from the security firm with heart palpitations. Obviously all of us know how hectic a day can become once it starts like that. The car has an access remote, the gate opens with a remote, car stereo has an access code - I don’t even want to get into the rest of the day.
So I have this file on the PC at home and after reading all the doomsday stuff I decided to work with it “off board”. I wrote one to a CD, saved one to a USB drive and made three hard copies. The CD is with copy one in the safe, copy two I carry on my person and copy three and the USB I am not telling…If I want to make changes (that’s the only bitch!) I have to re-print and write to CD – but only when I’m off-line.
The fact that I visited Wikileaks also has me in a tizz. Who was watching me while I was watching them? Who clambered all over my motherboard while I was riding the rip-curl on the electronic waves? Who was installing “capture and transmit” software on my PC while I downloaded the Spyfiles?
The FBI, CIA, Mossad or even the underground KGB? Just using these abbreviations could probably point all sorts of arrows and flags in my direction. They will probably download my entire C drive and prohibit this article ever reaching you, the innocent ones.
By now they will possess my IP address, my blood group, my DNA and my sperm count data.
I better upload before it is too late. That knock is now probably the NIA at my door…
I probably won’t finish this article. It could ###...