This is a very strange thread I'll admit but it has been born out of a complete mistrust of companies and government.
In recent days the media has monopolized on a story about phone companies releasing records to the NSA and perhaps even phone numbers. We all know you can google phone numbers and get just about anyone's address and other information. The problem here is that I've signed a contract, that I did read all the way through, that stated my company would protect my privacy within certain limits such as being involved in a criminal investigation, etc, etc.
Now if my company has provided records to the NSA about my activities and/or phone habits they have violated their own contract to me. I must abide by the contract but they must as well or the contract is null and void. If I find that my company or any of the companies I trust with my information have violated this contract I will immediately discontinue my use of their services and I will not pay any fees since the fee is only if you violate the contract. In this case they will have violated it and thus the contract is void.
Now this brings me to another issue. What if internet companies are releasing IP's and internet surfing habits as well as a host of other information? Now I do not have anything to hide and they will find nothing of interest - save for the occasional email to my dev team about our upcoming game.....but it's the principle of the matter. This type of information could be used against all of us in very bad ways if this type of power got into the wrong hands.
Now this might sound odd, but could it be that sometime in the near future as governments and corporations become more and more corrupted by power and money that we the common citizens must utilize our own means to protect us from those who once were our protectors? I am not a computer hacker and I know most of us on this board are not computer hackers as well. I probably couldn't hack into a web site if I tried because I'm not interested in that type of activity. However we all do posess a great deal of knowledge that we could use to protect ourselves should power get into the wrong hands. I think we would be foolish not to utilize this knowledge to our benefit. It sounds like some horrid sci-fi movie but this stuff is really happening.
Some day we may have to become hackers just to live normal lives and protect our own privacy. We see it in the news and on the net time and time again. Companies using technology to spy on us, track us, and monitor us. I'm not happy about the trend. I think a very bad thing to do for these companies would be to ........ of those who can hurt them the most. It may happen someday my friends that power falls into the wrong hands and we may have to utilize our love of computers and C/C++ just to protect our interests.
We are not at this point yet, but more and more and with more viruses and idiots out there just wanting to hack into my computer....it makes we want to learn about it simply to protect myself from them and corrupt corporations who are continually using spyware and rootkits as a 'legit' means of monitoring your activities. The only way to know how to defend yourself is to understand how your enemy attacks you.
All of this crap is really making me nervous.
EDIT: This is a not a thread for idiots who think hacking to destroy is cool. This is a serious thread about the serious threat new technologies and the incorrect use of those technologies
present to the common everyday citizen.