The Shit Hits the Fan - Solas Tempus Spying

News reports begin to circulate that a fully operational Solas Tempus Communicator got into the hands of some industrious engineers from Starfleet Academy who promptly disassembled the device and hooked its Encapsulated Computer Core up to a simulated environment in order to monitor what it did.

The first stories that come out, talk about how Solas Tempus is accused of using its communicators to spy on people and they talk about how the devices have become more common since the inception of the Serenity Concord.

Just after the first stories start to really circulate, an order comes down from the top for the Mark 2 model of the communicator to be issued and all Mark 1 devices to be collected. Of course the official word is that this is a routine equipment upgrade, but one would notice the fact that the device no longer comes standard with a HAL system built in. Of course, Solas Tempus / Serenity Concord personnel have the option to use the HAL system or use other computer interfaces such as the ALICE Interface or even a simpler scaled down LCARS interface. These two options are the primary options for civilian use.

The second set of stories are about confirmations that the devices do indeed phone home with detailed information, mostly metadata is talked about first and the moral issues on if this is spying or not. The question splits most political segments down the middle, there is a lot of talk defending the Serenity Concord and Solas Tempus during this period. There are also stories that there could be political ramifications for this.

In response, command issues a statement warning all those who have not upgraded to the Mark 2, that the Mark 1 devices will be disabled in 24 hours and that the upgrade is now mandatory. Teams are also sent out to replace existing devices in civilian hands with the new models as well.

Finally, it comes out that Solas Tempus devices were, in many cases, sending real time full transmission data, including voice prints, commands used, locations, and details about the content of communications. Starfleet Command is furious and there is a lot of saber rattling about cutting the Concord off from Federation trade. The Romulan Empire begins to talk about having to renegotiate their position on “many things”. The Klingon Empire threatens to cut all ties with not only the Concord but the Federation, seeing this as a human initiative to undermine the empire.

Strangely, a few days into this new cycle, talk dies down. It is as if the news agencies dropped it entirely. Rumors circulate that the Fleet Admiral himself “brought them to heel”, and stories about how he did this range from the mundane of negotiating, threatening to pull temporal protection, and the like to him actually killing the Klingon ambassador for insulting his honor. Official reports on the issue are classified. However, new treaties are soon signed - entirely too soon signed - with elements of the treaties classified as above top secret.

An astute conspiracy theorist would, with enough time, be able to put some of the pieces together. Most governments are ok with surveillance that they have control over. Though it is reported that devices indeed are not spying on anyone anymore, there are numerous upgrades to the default computer core of the communicator, these device upgrades are never directly tested. Someone can choose to upgrade the device, agree to its terms, and then use the device with the upgrade. It certainly seems like the surveillance program is still somewhat intact, just in a different form. With so many governments having reversed positions and signed new treaty addendum’s that are largely secret, there is a lot of room for paranoia.

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