Do you remember a few years ago the US Government threatened Microsoft under antitrust laws?
Funny how that interest sort of faded. But only for a while. Like they were regrouping somewhere in the cellars of the Pentagon or the NSA or the White House. Down there in the dark among the lizards.
Then the Government came charging back with a fury and threatened to dismantle Microsoft into three separate companies. They feared Microsoft had way too much power because of their monopolistic position in the computer market? That is bad, they said.
But wait, someone might have exclaimed, wouldn't a monopoly be a GOOD thing if a government could use it to control people and identify where they were and what they were saying and doing and thinking? And the road was headed to everyone owning a computer? And wouldn’t those puters most likely have the Windows Operating System? Isn't Windows on 98% of all computers with XP, Vista or now Windows 7 OS?
Have you noticed that when you go to a website, and then delete or clear all your cookies, and then go back to that website some time later, they seem to know who you are?
Didn't Microsoft put a unique number into your operating system under the hype that it was a good thing to control piracy of their software? Then under waves of protest from the public they said they wouldn't TURN ON that unique identifying number? Or at least YOU could turn it off? And doesn't your hard drive have a unique number too? Did you know that even your CD burner imprints a unique number onto every CD you burn identifying the actual burner? And your digital camera does the same thing. Even if you steal it from the web, someone can find out who TOOK that picture. And when and where?
Didn't the FBI come out with a sneaky computer spy system called Carnivore a few years ago, that could read the contents of any computer it wanted through your server? Then they changed the name because it seemed too ominous and scary and 1984ish? Funny how the past can scare us.
Carnivore could see every single email you sent to whomever and every word you typed into your hard drive or internet browser? Mostly Microsoft’s Internet Explorer of course.
Including every password and user name you ever used in a chat room or discussion forum? And didn't all this happen at about the same time as Microsoft introduced Windows XP? And didn't the US hold these server companies hostage by threatening to shut them down unless they installed Carnivore into their systems without telling anyone? Without telling their customers? You.
Sorry for all these rhetorical questions, but ….
Doesn't Homeland Security and the Patriot Act give the government pitbulls the power to do anything they want without telling anyone about what they are doing? To fight terrorism they say? Hmm.
Isn't Microsoft starting to add things now to updates of its software without making it clear to technical people exactly what those updates are or what they are supposed to do? In Windows Media player some technicians have compared the guts of Media Player 9.0 with Media Player 10.0 and can't find the differences? So why the update?
Would the US government and Bill Gates have made a secret deal somewhere in the shadowy bowels of the Pentagon with all those Gila Monsters to allow Microsoft to continue as one company, so long as the Justice department had access to the Windows Operating System? Wouldn’t proud papa Bill Gates have done anything to avoid the Sophie’s choice decision about his company? His precious family. His birth child.
After all, we all know that starting a company becomes your googly baby, your loving family and you nurture it along the way until it becomes something to be proud of like your son growing up to be famous? And wouldn’t any worried parent have done what he had to do to keep it all together? Bill Gates being no exception?
I don't know ... wouldn’t he?
Er ... would the US government be that sneaky as to threaten Bill Gates into a deal that allowed them to monitor the masses through the most used computer system in the world? Oops, sorry for yet another rhetorical question, but I was there in the sixties.
I have not lost faith. I still believe in the sneakiness of certain humans who want their way. And I understand the vulnerability of parents who fear for their children. And I still know that stealthy power-mongering forces attempt to run the world from the dark side.
They say that when a venomous Gila Monster bites you, he doesn’t let go until sunset. I may even start believing in reptilian shape-shifters.
As the poetic prophet Bob Dylan once said, ‘It ain’t dark yet, but it’s gettin’ there.’