Save for maybe cat videos, conspiracy theories are the bread and butter of the Internet. But what about conspiracy theories ABOUT the Internet? There are plenty of scary theories floating around conspiracy circles that have major implications for the ever increasingly digital lives we lead. These conspiracies about the Internet, hacking, and other forms of digital crimes will have you seriously considering ditching all your tech gadgets and moving to an isolated cabin in the woods, once and for all.
Whether it's a governmental takeover, massive censorship, Internet-enabled devices being taken over, or giant data storage systems meant to track everything you look at, there are plenty of conspiracies simply about the internet to keep you awake at night - and away from your smartphone. Edward Snowden to high level government officials around the world, plenty of people are worried about these Internet conspiracies, and soon you will be too!These conspiracy theories are all related to cyberspace, data storage, smart phones, and who actually controls the Internet. Be sure to read them on an old desktop that the NSA can't possibly hack into and upvote the scary Internet theories that have you most frantically clearing your browser history.
Anyone creepy enough and at least somewhat technologically minded could remotely turn on your laptop’s webcam, giving him or her the ability to record you doing whatever you’re doing. A Remote Administration Tool (RAT) can be introduced on a computer through a phishing email or malware, giving a hacker the ability to move items around on your desktop, close what you’re working on, or open your DVD drive.It also gives creeps the ability to watch women working at their computers through their webcams, which they won’t realize are on. RAT-ers conspire to find “slaves” they can hack into, determine which laptops don’t have lights to indicate their webcams are on, and generally say and do creepy stuff. Makes you want to turn your computer off and live in the woods.
Utah Data Center
A gigantic data storage center designed to track everything you do in cyberspace, located in the middle of nowhere with a creepy name and an officially classified mission? Sounds like the stuff of conspiracy theorist nightmares – but it’s a real place. Officially named the Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center, but better-known as the Utah Data Center, this million square foot complex cost over $2 billion to build, and can store as much as 12 billion gigabytes of information.What information does it store? If you believe the Edward Snowden disclosures, everything you do on the Internet and a log of every call you make or receive. Reactions to the sheer size, scope, and creepiness of the Utah Data Center have included protestors flying drones over it and Utah lawmakers proposing bills to cut off its water supply – all activities that are no doubt being logged and stored in the Utah Data Center.
Personal information, such as addresses, social security numbers and private pictures, is put on the Internet so often that there’s a newly coined word for it: “doxing.” Often done as a way to take revenge, or as a simple prank (for the LOLz, as the kids say), doxing first became a serious issue in 2011 when the hacker group Anonymous put the identifying information of 7,000 law enforcement officers online, as a response to a crackdown on their activities.At other times, doxing has been used to identify Ku Klux Klan members, gun owners, prolific Twitter trolls, women in video game development and journalism, and even the formerly anonymous creator of bitcoins. Piss off the wrong person online, so the theory goes, and they’ll dox you.
The TV That Listens to You
February 2015 brought a chilling revelation from Samsung – that their new, Internet-enabled televisions come with a voice activated system. But in order to get it to work, the TV has to hear whatever you say – and that the information can be recorded and downloaded to a third-party server. This innovation brought to mind the telescreens from 1984, where government officials could watch and listen to the proles, ensuring no thoughtcrimes were committed.Samsung insisted that they weren’t collecting or selling data, and that the TV had an icon that indicated the voice feature had been activated. But it seemed like yet another blow to privacy and information security. It also confirmed that Yakov Smirnoff joke about how “in Soviet Union, TV watches you!”