Technology always forces change
Always it was the same pattern: The invention, the analysis of the dangers, the attempt at suppression, and then the crushing knowledge that no invention can really be suppressed and that the present case is no exception. Invention came after invention, each with greater changes.
Vernor Vinge, Run, Bookworm, Run!
I feel the limited bandwidth of the wireless networks as a steady, dull pressure, a gritty slowness in the air. When I finally get to my office and plug in it is a release: suddenly everything springs into focus and color again. My agents update themselves, buffered net information starts to well up and everything picks up speed. I feel alive and active as my septal implant and biomonitor start up - time to really get to work.Science and technology are inherently exponential; the more they develop, the more possibilities open up. Anybody trying to dam them needs to plug ever smaller cracks, since when enough work on different areas has already been done, it is natural and easy to put the pieces together regardless of what those in power wants. Stopping the process requires ever harsher measures, and sooner or later the dam will burst. It is already cracking.
As I begin to sift through my data, one of my agents catches my mood and brings up the first movement of Beethoven's 8th symphony. Ideas, data, models and simulations sweep through my extended mind in a graceful computer aided ballet, cohering into a complex whole I cannot name. Step by step agents verify my conclusions, suggest extensions and refinements. Organizers keep me on track, while a steady background of digital knowledge supports me. Pure ecstasy. I am a verb.
There are several dangerous and powerful technologies that threaten the status quo. Nanotechnology is the most obvious: tiny devices able to remodel matter from atoms and upwards. This can completely change the rules for the economy, causing total social change. Biotechnology promises to transform life, forcing people to confront questions about themselves, nature and other life they don't want to think about. Information technology threatens traditional notions of national boundaries, openness, law and intelligence, empowering individuals to en extreme degree. Surveillance technology threatens to remove the concept of privacy, but at the same time it might enable citizens to spy on their governments. Quantum computers may undermine the whole cryptographic security of modern society. Together these technologies are an explosive mix; even the Concordat acknowledges that it is playing with fire. But as Prometheus realized, it may be better that all humans have fire than just the gods.
It should be noted that most people do not use state of the art, not even what the TU considers 'old hat' tech. The technology widely used in society is standardized, packaged and accepted stuff, even if it is inferior to much available technology. For example, the majority of computers run obsolete operating systems simply because it is too much work or too expensive to switch to something new, and besides the software companies have convinced them that there is nothing outside the "standard" - so they continue to run expensive, inefficient, bug-ridden and insecure programs, while there are cheap, efficient and secure systems out there. But since most people don't choose the modern systems, less money and time will be invested in making them easier to install and use, making them even less likely to be selected. In the same way people use cellular phones instead of satellite phones because they are cheaper and they seldom need to travel to un-covered areas anyway - which serves to keep the prices of satellite phones up, and incidentally makes it easier for FOG to wiretap locally.
Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road...
Stuart Brand, The Media Lab
I want real practicality and real simplicity. So, invisible, appropriate, and simple, simple, simple.Unlike what many think, the groups of the TU do not have hidden submarine bases filled with ultra-tech gadgets. Most groups do not have more high tech than ordinary technophiles, except for one or two sota devices. There is actually no need for it; the "ordinary" equipment is quite ultra-tech in itself, used in the right way. Wearables, agents, even memory techniques are quite powerful and can be bought in ordinary computer stores or learned from books. Still, the sota tech bought on the Market can give an extra edge.
The first thing most cells set up is a secure meeting place. It could be virtual, a cryptohardened virtual or mail discussion, or a physical place with precautions against discovery. As the cell grows, it usually acquires more security precautions and uses the place to store sensitive equipment or information. In general subtelity and stealth wins. The ideal Concordat cell headquarter should look so ordinary that even if the Chief of Police walked through it he would not notice anything amiss - fortified bunkers attract unwelcome attention. This is also why most Concordat cells do not promote firearms or other obvious weaponry.
Essential for anybody in the InfoWar is secure access to information, both personal processing and the global nets. This usually means wearables, although other portable and concealable devices are also popular. At this point information security becomes paramount - how much can others detect of what you are doing?
Most Concordat cells try to save up so they can buy a Matter Compiler. With an MC life becomes so much more easy - you can nanofacture equipment and devices in the privacy of your own home, with no need for costly and dangerous smuggling. Once the cell has an MC, it has taken the step into the world of real business.
However, having too much important gear can be a liability. In the InfoWar, the enemy might stand on your doorstep at this moment. As somebody said: "Remember you don't really own anything you can't carry at a dead run."