PeNP?

We now know that terrorists have found ways of hiding communications encoded in financial transactions.

Never mind the evidence for the prevalence of this problem; weʼre only beginning to uncover the threat.  For now, itʼs clearly a technical possibility.  Even Paypal have done it for years.  Each single figure in an arbitrary decimal sum can represent four and a half bits of digital character information; the essential, brief command messages sent between terrorist cells can therefore easily be hidden in a few purchases between sock-puppet traders on eBay, Etsy and Amazon.  We know this sort of activity goes on, for all sorts of reasons.

But now weʼve realised that stock exchange high speed trading is also a perfect medium.  The volume of transactions is such that, with customised trading software, they can hide enormous amounts of data about targets, how to get round security systems, where to get the latest training videos and when.  And letʼs face it, terrorism is well-funded by certain interests with connections to people we know have access to a share of our oil wealth.  It might be time we did something about that.  Finish the job.

And not only stock exchanges.  Consumer-grade bank accounts can be used.  A disturbingly high proportion of the population now has these, and theyʼre all available over the internet.  Potential terrorists with no police record, no record of anything apart from walking past security cameras with abnormal features, could now be simply logging into a superstructure of terrorism command and control networks through their online bank accounts, sending a few pennies at a time in any currency, according to some master plan dictated to them by unidentified controllers.  Remember, we donʼt have total surveillance yet.  We donʼt know what theyʼre really doing in the gaps when weʼre not watching them.  Donʼt believe the naïve suggestion that the larger planning instructions can only be disseminated in the media weʼve already succeeded in monitoring.  If only it were that simple...

Clearly, thereʼs only one thing to be done if we are to give our children the secure future they deserve.  We have to take control of the stock markets. 

This shouldnʼt be difficult; we have allies there.  We have to make sure that every transaction is scanned for possible threats, and stopped when theyʼre found.  All transactions have to be correlated with every other recent transaction too, in real time, because this isnʼt as simple as one transaction encoding a whole message.  The terrorist mind is fiendishly complicated.  Messages can be split between transactions in even more different ways than between internet packets.  There is nothing to stop them hiding one part of a message in a high-speed stock market transaction and another part of the same message in an apparently innocuous payment to a supermarket for a home-delivery box of chocolates, or a donation to a supposedly “humanitarian” charity for “overseas aid”.

And that means it doesnʼt stop at the stock exchanges.  Consumer grade online banking has to be brought under control.  Donʼt forget, this new payment method has been used to fund every evil of the modern age, from drugs through illegal immigration to pornography.  Only when every online transaction is scanned, recorded, decrypted, and correlated with every other online transaction, will we be truly safe.

This decisive set of actions is being brought to fruition now, as part of what we call the Pre-engaged Neutralisation Program, or PeNP.

Now you will have neighbours and friends who, when they hear about PeNP, will react badly.  Bear in mind that theyʼre not bad people.  Theyʼre still on your side.  Some of them work in stock markets.  But they may be misinformed about the scale of the threat.  They may never have realised how easy it is, with modern technology, to disguise terrorism as innocent information – the kind you and I use every day.  So you may find they try to resist.  You need to speak with them about that.  Show them that youʼre still perfectly happy.  That they have nothing to fear.

And they donʼt, because weʼre not alone in this fight.  We have standing with us the developers and operators of the most advanced digital defence systems the world has ever seen, and if we can just be given enough time to scale up our hardware and analytic capabilities to handle the volume of transactions and correlations produced by the modern economy – which after all benefits us all in some ways, so we have no desire to threaten it – then we will be able to wipe out terrorism for once and for all.

Because once we have that level of control, weʼll be able to bring all the dangerous old forms of transaction to an end.  New, safe technologies will replace the inefficient, potentially abusive systems.  You'll still have the Pound or the Dollar or the Rouble in your pocket when you want it, but it will be smart money, that terrorists wonʼt dare to use.  This technology already exists in prototype.  Trials will be coming soon, of unforgeable RFID banknotes that can be used in conjunction with your new Citizenʼs Authorisation Card; and even better, each one will be made of safe antibacterial self-cleaning materials, that you can confidently let your children handle, no matter where it came from.  And if youʼre really worried, a simple call to the financial police to check its source will set your mind at rest.

And it may be that there is a price to be paid for safety.  Maybe the rate of online payments would slow down a little while safety checks are made.  But tell them this: whatʼs a few seconds, or a few minutes, whichever it might be, compared to the sacrifices our fathersʼ generation made, to keep our countries free from foreign tyrrany?

Remember:  The future is ours.  Only terrorists, and immigrants and other criminals, have anything to fear.  And with this set of measures, you and I will make them very afraid.

Comments

I sort of hear this in the Voice of David Cameron... But a new completely authentic leadership voice can obviously be generated for each member-state without difficulty, though it may need some tweaking while the systems bed down...  Maybe an improvement on the existing voice.