In the wake of the second round of terror attacks on Paris over the weekend (the first being the Charlie Hebdo massacre earlier in the year), my thoughts have turned to all who have been affected by these senseless acts – may radiant golden rays of regeneration (physical AND psychological!) envelop those who have been traumatized and aid their healing process!
Now I try to limit my dietary intake of news for a litany of reasons I shan’t enumerate here, but suffice to say this story managed to insert itself in my consciousness nonetheless. I was struck in particular by how – in the days immediately following this tragedy – the media was quick in raising speculative concerns the Paris attacks could have possibly been orchestrated via the use of encryption apps. This flagged my radar, as encrypted messages are très Mercury in Scorpio, and with the Scorpio Sun joining with Mercury it makes astrological sense we would see a spotlight being put on this issue now. But what I find unsettling is how this conjecture could easily be used by politicians as an excuse to push for more intrusive data gathering processes, à la Patriot Act v2.0.
Therefore, I find myself compelled to point out that encryption apps themselves are neutral entities, and like any other tool it is the user’s intent and not the app itself that defines whether they are used as a force for good or evil. Before I go further, a general disclaimer is due that I am a fairly Plutonic person and the old “Those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear” adage has NEVER held resonance for me. I value privacy and appreciate having a choice of whether or not to allow a deeper level of knowing/intimacy with people I personally hand-select and trust; therefore I do not care for the idea of somebody else making (or attempting to make) this decision for me by telling me I have to put all my cards on the table up front (regardless of whether it’s in the name of national security or not). That said, I’ve also never felt the need to use an encryption app but fully understand why some people might want to – nobody wants to feel like they’ve somehow regressed back to their teen years when their parents would surreptitiously pick up the other phone line to listen in on their private conversations in secret, right?
I would consequently wager that encryption apps have enjoyed a surge in popularity largely due to people resenting things like the intrusions of the Bush-era Patriot Act and the NSA’s overreaching mass surveillance practices. And to be fair, I am sure there are people from the cult of ISIS (and that’s exactly what it is; a cult – more on that in a future post) who are indeed misusing and abusing these apps for their own ends (much the same way they’re co-opting Youtube, Twitter, et al) but I’m fairly certain there are probably going to be a few political leaders who will point to this speculation about the potential for mis-use of these apps as an excuse to push their own political agendas for tightening governmental surveillance.
Why? When the Scorpio Sun and Mercury answer to Pluto in Capricorn, Big Brother is always watching. Where does it stop, though? Should we allow the threat of terrorism to continue to be used as an excuse for more invasive/restrictive government? Because Pluto in Capricorn can very easily corrupt law; especially via mis-uses and abuses of “authority” or in the name of “protection” – I have said for many years this energy can have a very totalitarian streak to it if we aren’t careful. So instead of the subject of encryption being painted in an entirely suspicious and negative light, I’d like to see a discussion that goes a LOT deeper and that provides more balance from ALL angles; including the reasons why it seems people feel an increasing need to protect their privacy from things like wire tapping, data mining, and covert intelligence gathering. Not just from government, either – some want to keep their information safe from hackers, for example. Or from other prying eyes – do you know that I just found out (to my horror) there is actually a smartphone app that lets parents read their kids’ texts? IMO, normalizing these kinds of spying behavior is a sign that something is indeed systemically screwed up. This degradation didn’t happen overnight, either – it has taken its time in unfolding. But now the issue is: Will we address the root cause(s) and put a stop to it, or will we continue to allow the destruction of boundaries? My concern is that if we don’t check this now, things could get *really* interesting (in a bad way) in a few years when Saturn moves into Capricorn and joins w/Pluto…