There is a part of me that completely agrees with Melissa Dykes, her dystopian view of the real point of the Vault 7 release.
By way of illustration, here’s what “happened” to me three days ago when I needed to get a new modem for our wifi internet hookup here.
The modem suddenly went completely dark, after sporadic outages for a few days. I called AT&T, and was told that yes, the problem was the modem. They would send me a new one via Fed Ex. It would get there within 24 hours! Wow! Okay!
The package arrived as scheduled.
When I opened it, I discovered that I had been charged $70 for this replacement modem. This was the first I had heard of this charge. (Or was it? Did I get an email referring to that fact that I ignored? Possible. Too much info flowing too fast.)
The modem had a weird name: WI-FI GATEWAY REPLACEMENT.
I was instructed to send the old modem back to AT&T within two weeks or incur a large fine. ($250 I think. I can’t bear to go back and root through the packaging to find out.) Postage and address for this task included in the package.
Wow! I notice that this “replacement” modem is about one-third larger (taller, wider) than the old one.
Okay, so here’s what happened next:
Somehow, all this info combined to turn me paranoid. Hmmm. Does AT&T remotely switch off old modems, then make it easy to get the “replacement” modem, which happens to be one-third larger than the old modem, and tell you under pain of a hefty fine you must send the old modem back to AT&T within two weeks — for a reason? Might that reason be that this new “gateway replacement” modem is a much better surveillance tool than the old one? After all, if it’s the very modem that’s infected, then any device all over the house will be infected.
Note that had I not become slightly familiar with Vault 7 info on the CIA’s spying methods, I wouldn’t have lapsed so easily into that paranoid mood.
Now notice something even more creepy: my paranoid mood was abruptly cancelled when I switched on the new modem and discovered that its connection to the internet is at least twice as fast as the old one. WOW! EXCITING!
This story, rather than negating what I think to be Melissa Dykes appropriately paranoid point of view, reinforces it:
Notice how quickly I was pacified. And notice why.
FASTER AND FASTER AND FASTER, we excitedly stumble blindly towards the cliff.