Cloud computing will be the tragic end to the digital world as we once knew it. As we become more and more dependent on mobile internet devices we become less and less independent in life itself. Consider how much of your critical personal and professional information (digital capital) is stored via the internet and none of it is safe. With a quick series of keystrokes from anywhere in the world your digital capital can be altered or wiped clean leaving nothing but skin and bones.
If you haven’t read the “Daemon” and “Freedom” books by Daniel Suarez you should, if you dare to take a peek into what cloud computing has in store for us all. Daniel Suarez is an avid gamer and technology consultant to Fortune 1000 companies. He has designed and developed enterprise software for the defense, finance, and entertainment industries. The book name “Daemon” is quite clever. In technology, a daemon is a computer program that runs in the background and is not under the control of the user. In literature a daemon is a god, or a demon, or in this case both.
The book is centered on the death of Mathew Sobol, PhD, cofounder of CyberStorm Entertainment, a pioneer in online gaming. Upon his death, Sobol’s online games create an artificial inteligence based new world order “Darknet”, which is architected to take over the internet and everything connected to it for the greater good. The interface to Darket is a pair of virtual glasses that acts much like a smartphone does today. While the technology described in the books seem like fiction, most of it already exists and the rest certainly will. The technology speak is easy to follow for anyone who has a minimal understanding of computers and the internet, very little imagination is required.
The book’s premise is “knowledge is power” or more specifically “He who controls digital capital wins”. So you have to ask yourself, how long before just a handful of companies rule the earth (Apple, Google, Microsoft)? Look at the amount of data Google has access to:
- Internet and corporate intranet data (Google search engine)
- Personal and professional internet browsing (Chrome)
- Mobile communications (Android OS)
- Google Email-Voice-Talk
- Google Earth-Maps-Travel
And dozens of other Google products that can be used to collect and manipulate public and private data in order to spy on us and ultimately control the world.
Cloud Computing is rampant with security flaws and backdoors which could easily enable the destruction of a person, place, or thing. A company or brand name years in the making can be destroyed within a day. In the book, a frustrated Darknet member erases the liquid assets of a non Darknet member who cuts in line at Starbucks. Depending on my mood that day, I could easily do this.
It’s not like we have a choice in all this since Cloud Computing is now a modern convenience. We no longer have to store our most private information in files, boxes, or even on our own computer hard drives. It’s a digital world and we are digital girls. The question is, who can be trusted to secure Darknet (Cloud Computing)?