[image from Facebook]
I saw this on Facebook, and it got me to thinking: There are a lot of rich sods out there who could do the same. If anyone reading this knows a multi-millionaire, tell her/him to out-do Johan by buying 500,000 acres, or 5,000,000 acres. Get the rich folk trying to go one better than their peers by buying larger plots. Until the rain-forests have all been bought for preservation. Then timber merchants can grow plantations for their commercial requirements, paper mills can start using hemp instead of wood, the richies can feel all smug and better-than-everyone-else, and life on earth can continue.
Of course, this won’t happen. It certainly could happen, I’m sure there’s enough money lying around in the wallets and piggy-banks of the super-rich. But as they say: rich people didn’t get rich by giving away their money. And the buy-a-rainforest idea goes against too many vested interests and too many greedy bastards who are never satisfied with what they’ve got, no matter how rich they are they want more more more and the human race and the earth itself can go fuck itself.
Johan Eliasch has done a good thing. And it’s certainly made him feel a bit more self-satisfied (he didn’t do it anonymously, did he?). But he’s not setting an example for his peers. Us humans are mean and greedy and selfish and we’d prefer to see the human race and the planet burn rather than give away a tiny percentage of their wealth (I bet Eliasch is still stinking rich despite spending a fortune on a bunch of trees). We’re an evil species, and probably deserve the death we’re hurtling towards.
Hopefully, most/all people know that simply clicking “delete” on your computer is not going to delete the files. Erasing a file simply erases the file system entry, leaving the actual file intact and accessible to others if they have the correct tools and know-how.
To combat this, various “secure” deletion programs have been created: eg shred and secure-delete (srm) etc in the Linux/UNIX world, and programs such as Eraser, Freeraser, Blank and Secure and DP Shredder (and others) for Windows operating systems.
Unfortunately these tools are not a cure-all. If someone has physical access to your laptop, a skilled technician can fool these programs and make the computer to spew its guts. Just look what the NSA and GCGQ did to a Guardian computer believed to be carrying details of what NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden had told them. Just check out what staff members of the Guardian newspaper had to do under the watchful eyes of NSA/GCHQ operatives to ensure no nasty ones and zeroes got out there to knock Western Civilisation down onto its knees.
Many folk in the computer security community think this was “security theatre”… the NSA/GCHQ experts did stuph that was in no way necessary, it just helped stop educated security guys from figuring out what bit of laptop needed to be trashed and what was trashed for no reason except for the daft notion of “obscurity = security”. Secirity experts will have talked with their expert buddies to find out what they thought as they watched the computer dismantled and buggered-up beyond recognition.
Anyway, have the NSA/GCHQ forgotten that mantra that is beaten into them at school “back-up, back-up, back-up”. Who says that the files on that laptop were unique? I seem to remember that a number of newspapers around the world were publishing details of this story… do NSA/GCHQ held the only copy of the intel? That is a stupid idea. If I was given a story whose details and proofs were on a disk, I would send copies to everyone, to be published if I slipped and fell horribly in the shadow or I disappeared one night never to return.
Bloody stupid intelligence service. Their #1 secret = there is no intelligence regarding their intelligence. Because they have none. Now let’s go drive off a cliff somewhere. Orders is orders, innit?