We live in suspicious times.
Professional deception used to be glamorous. It involved seduction, high living, and lots of sneaking around. The victims were largely charismatic master criminals bent on world domination.
How else do you think Fleming came up with Bond?
Now it’s pale boys in dark rooms with computers.
Hacking and cyber-crime are the front line. Money is made, data is stolen, and people are compromised. Without so much as a tap on the shoulder. We’re paranoid because we don’t know who’s doing it, and how. All the while we’re giving our data away in exchange for cat GIFs and fake news.
Name and address?
Credit card details?
“Hmmm…nice logo, smart website. Sure, you seem legit.”
Terms and conditions?
Big business hires ethical hackers to find the flaws in their security. Meanwhile un-ethical hackers evolve. A cyber war behind closed doors. Espionage and counter-espionage, crime and counter-crime.
If a man holds a knife to our ribs we lose our wallet, but we understand what just happened. If our bank account is emptied while we sleep we’re bereft. Impotent. Foolish.
We can’t process it.
We don’t know what it is.
We’re paranoid, and waiting for next time.
We pay contactless for a coffee. Even as the barista froths the milk we remember reading about criminals with apps that intercept payments. Draining our money from our phone. Mobile. Hands free. Knife free.
We look around the coffee shop. They’re all staring at phones and many of them are pale boys.
“Do you want your receipt?” asks the barista.
“No,” I say.
If I’m framed for murder today my alibi has just been crumpled into litter.
For all I know, my identity was stolen before it even hit the bin.
(Image: via pixabay.com)