The Data-stream

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The Data-stream is an abstraction of the flow of data between entities and individuals. Its nodes range from corporations to governmental institutions - from charities to black market businesses as well as perfectly legal and ethical enterprise etc. It is not to be confused with The Information-stream.

Differences from the Information stream

As opposed to The Information-stream, which is the open flow of information within a society, The Data-stream would be the more private and secretive transfers of data between companies/corporations and governmental agencies. An important distinction to make between the Data and Information streams is that unlike The Information-stream, the Data-stream is encrypted and private. Not open to observation by the public eye like the Information stream is. The Data-stream can only be accessed at privileged points of entry such as certain protected servers at a company or network. The only people capable of seeing into the Data-stream would either be permitted members of that node; insiders involved in their corporate workings, or skilled hackers/hacktivists who could break into those servers to snag certain datapoints of interest.

If two friends were messaging each other through an encrypted medium such as Signal messenger, the messages are sent from one recipient to the other, but once they arrive in the recipient's inbox, the messages are decrypted. While the messages are in transit, they are encrypted. As long as they are encrypted, their meaning cannot be extrapolated. Information flows within the Data-stream when its meaning cannot be extrapolated as without meaning, it is by definition, data and not information. All encrypted communications flow through the Data-stream and only enter the Information-stream when the meaning behind them can be communicated, entering the mind of a recipient. If a datapoint is extracted from the Data-stream, it is done so by being "decrypted". In this sense, the term of "decryption" refers to its meaning now being made available for transfer into another mind/it can now be read and understood. Under this definition, any unknown piece of information is "encrypted" and in the example of the Stratfor email hacks, their internal emails being leaked is an example of private data, which to any outside observer would have been hidden, being extracted from a private information-stream which would be, to the outside observer, a Data-stream. And once that data is extracted, it is transformed into a piece of information and thus has formed an, albeit unintentional on the part of the sender, Information-stream between the sender and the Data-breacher.

Real world examples of the Data-stream being breached

The hacks of HBGary & Stratfor and the glorious 50 days of lulz all serve fine examples of outers, externals, breachers etc. (anyone who gains access to somewhere they shouldn't be granted access) gaining access to points in the Data-stream and extracting important data which when given the context of being extracted from its private network, is in a way, decrypted from the void of the unknown (Why yes officer, I have my poetic license right here...*rummages around*) and turned into useful, important information that helps shed more light onto reality than were it never extracted. (Like how Team Themis were planning on smearing numerous journalists and undermining activist movements in secret while being employed by the US government).