Since I can remember, from childhood, I was aware that possessing information played a primary role in life. I don’t think I was a gossip person, but I clearly can recall that if somebody knew anything embarrassing or a secret about someone, I like everybody else was desperate to know what they knew.

Although I was a child, this was probably a bad human habit inherited from many of ancient civilizations.

Of course, I did not understand it then, but now it’s crystal clear for me. Judas sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. In the romantic period of music, when homosexuality was taboo, any envious composer who thought Tchaikovsky was a competitor for him would have done anything to enquire about the virtuous musician’s doubtful sexual orientation, in order to ruin his artistic career.


Nowadays, things haven’t changed that much, and with the unstoppable flow of information over the web, a simple misunderstanding could lead to a cyber war — Or even a real one!

IBM Selectric: the first electromechanical hacking

Indeed, no one is safe with organizations like the infamous WikiLeaks, which publishwa anonymous reports and sensitive content about subjects of public interest.

Recently, it was announced that the CIA, one of the largest intelligence agencies worldwide, was spying on people through their iPhones. Followed by a list of other appliances that allegedly make us vulnerable, from computers to smart TVs.

However, the history of espionage is quite wide, and back in the 1980s the top gadget for ‘messaging’ was the typewriter.

Highly sophisticated bugs went undetected on IBM Selectric typewriters for eight years during the Cold War. The Soviet army, using radio devices and magnets installed previously, could detect which keys were pressed, and thus get the full content that North Americans were sending.

The Internet: A place for outlaws!

For the daring typewriter hacker, infiltrating far enough to put those magnets inside the machine without being uncovered must have been very stressful; a matter of life and death.

IBM Selectric II (1971-1981)

Today, though, hackers make it look like it is not that complicated. At least they don’t need to get into their enemy’s iPhone in their hands. Just making a few clicks over here, typing some codes over there, and that’s it (or so it seems)!

Sadly, this makes it more scary for us. In this sense, is technology evolving to make us feel safer than before? I doubt it. Sometimes it feels like those famed connected cities will only be outlaw places. Even artificial intelligence wants to make presidents, or whoever you want, say whatever your wish.

You shouldn’t believe all they say about the iPhone 8

After the WikiLeaks accusations, Apple reinforced their iPhone security systems and announced that “they were fixed.” Still, too late, because WikiLeaks already seeded and fed the doubts.

How could an unknown person break the digital control on one of the top tech companies on Earth? There, even leaking information about what they are creating is super hard, according to an ex-employee in the interview below.

Isn’t it ironic? Makes me wonder if the only way we have to protect our content is taking it off the Internet. I have nothing to hide, but I nevertheless enjoy my privacy and relative freedom.

Reader: Do you feel safe and secure online?

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