2013 year in review - NSA get pwnd

 
 

Well, that was eventful. 2013 will go down in history as one of the most pivotal years in modern times. In years to come, school textbooks – or rather tablets – will contain questions about Edward Snowden, the surveillance state and Miley’s contribution to popular culture. Unless some really fucked up shit happens in 2014, in which case 2013 will become a footnote in history.

Every generation believes it is living through tumultuous times. Ours is no different. We may not fully appreciate it now, but one day we’ll look back on 2013 and, using Google Iris, transmit our thoughts directly into the bio-implants nestling in our grandchildren’s brains, informing them that, yes, we were there when shit went down in 2013. And sure, we missed most of it because we were too busy playing Candy Crush Saga and sexting selfies, but make no mistake: we were there.

2013: Dafuq happened?

Like the rest of you, I have trouble remembering what I did last night, never mind 12 months ago. Thankfully we have the internet and the internet never forgets. The following review will contain multiple instances of:

  • miley dogeMy tweets (most of which were written solely as a memory prompting device to aid with this piece)
  • Your tweets
  • Ed Uncovered references (because if you can’t link to your own articles in a review of the year, when can you?)
  • Lulz (because life’s too short for tedious content)

Are you ready to put 2013 to bed and then never speak of it again?

OK, let’s go.

January

2013 was a bad year for helicopter crashes, starting with the chopper that pranged into a building in Vauxhall, London. In other news, the worst US president since the last US president was inaugurated for a second term of stealing our civil liberties and laying the banhammer on whistleblowers.

2013 got off to a shocker when, on 11th January, programmer and activist Aaron Swartz took his life, having been hounded to death by vengeful US prosecutors – a theme that was to recur with depressing frequency as the year unfolded.

January highlights on Ed Uncovered included: Nada. That’s right, I wrote zero posts. Way to go, overachiever. In fact between January and May, only two articles were published on the site.

February

February included the Oscars, or the 85th Academy Awards as pretentious arseholes like to call them. Elsewhere, an obscure digital currency called bitcoin reached the giddy heights of $19. Around this time, I bought my first bitcoin – several hundred in fact – and then sat on them for the rest of the year while I watched the price soar.

Just kidding: I logged on to Silk Road and spent them on drugs like everyone else.

Also in February came the case of the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker who gave one of the best interviews of all time.

It was later given the autotune treatment, with hilarious results:

February saw the year’s best police chase, when slighted ex-cop Chris Dorner published an epic manifesto before kickstarting an enormous manhunt. It all ended with Dorner being torched by five-oh, neatly preventing the truth from coming out in court.

February was also the month when unflattering photos of Beyonce emerged, while in Britain there was butthurt over horsemeat showing up in Findus lasagne.

 
 

one does not simply

March

In March, the Harlem Shake became a thing which, like most things, was funny for all of five minutes before mercifully dying. Elsewhere, Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe was acquitted of manslaughter and Hugo Chavez died.

In March, I also started my bitcoin Twitter account, which kicked off with this effort, before going on to document bitcoin’s amazing year:

This also happened:

In March, notorious internet troll Weev aka Rabite was jailed for “hacking” despite having done fuck all wrong. Punitive justice (see also: Manning, Swartz, Barrett Brown) was a dominant theme in 2013.

April

The dominant story in April came from Boston, when the Tsaernev brothers detonated two pressure cooker bombs before leading police on the biggest manhunt since Chris Dorner. Reddit waded in and tried to dox the bombers, only to fail spectacularly.

During the fallout from the Boston bombing, I tweeted a link to this article in which a former FBI counterterrorism agent claimed the government captures and stores all phone calls and other digital communications. At the time, his claim was given little attention. Looking back now, it was seismic given the kraken that Snowden was set to unleash in June.

Thankfully, April wasn’t all bad news: Thatcher finally died, causing dancing in the streets of Glasgow and delicious butthurt among the political elite. April was also the month when bitcoin surged past $100, which seemed like a huge deal at the time.

May

In May Alex Ferguson – Sir, for those who care about such things – announced his retirement from football and Charles Ramsey became an unlikely hero after rescuing a girl from the clutches of Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro.

Like the hatchet hitchhiker, Ramsey’s epic interview was destined for the remix treatment. The results, as I’m sure we can all agree, were stunning.

May also saw the first 3D printed gun and the trial of Jodi Arias who killed her boyfriend and then spun a web of lies which were just as swiftly picked apart.

Other May highlights included The Onion getting hacked by Syrian Electronic Army and then writing a funny article about it.

Also, this happened:

And the singer from As I Lay Dying got arrested for paying an undercover cop to off his wife:

In May, I finally got off my arse and wrote some content for Ed Uncovered. The pick of the bunch was probably So Long and Thanks For the High Quality Entertainment – LulzSec Remembered. In terms of numbers however, May was all about 2013’s second-most popular post of the year with 50,000 reads – 50 Great Names for Penis. Thanks, internet.

In 2013, only one Ed Uncovered article garnered more reads, with 180,000: 50 Great Names for Vagina. Um…thanks internet.

June

June saw the NBA finals, in which Miami Heat pipped the Spurs in a seven-game thriller and Wendy Davis earning mad props for pulling a 13-hour filibuster to thwart anti-abortion legislation. You go, girl. After three years in detention, Bradley Manning finally went on trial, while journalist Michael Hastings died in suspicious circumstances, leading some to blame the government.

There were only two posts on Ed Uncovered in June – The 10 Best Twitter Accounts of 2013 (in which I welcomed LulzSec’s Jake Davis back to the internet after his enforced hiatus) and We’ve Got Your Back LOL: The Saddest Story Ever Told.

June was also when I joined Snapchat (whisperednothin, since you asked, but go easy on the dick pics. Bewbs and cats FTW.)

I also tweeted a link to this:


 

With 2013 being the year of the selfie, it seems relevant to include this:

 

alex salmond photo bomb

Cats, snapchat and selfies provided the entertainment, but the real story in June, of course, was the Guardian’s NSA Files, caused by a contractor named Edward Snowden catching a one-way ticket to Hong Kong. The world hasn’t been the same since.

July

The biggest story in July, for Britclaps at least, was Andy Murray winning Wimbledon. Ah, those feels.

Despite keeping busy on Twitter (mostly concerning the Snowden revelations), July was a quiet month for Ed Uncovered. I did manage one post though, my first ever movie review for The Purge. Ouch.

 

edward snowden lingerie

 

During July, an almighty game of chicken began, with one nation after another wimping out of offering Edward Snowden asylum, cowed by US threats.

In other news, I spent July the same way I’ve spent every month this year:

As the NSA revelations continued to unfold, cynicism intensified:

 

Seven months down, five very eventful ones to go.

Tomorrow on Ed Uncovered: I’ll complete my review of the year and round things off with a summary of 2013’s best songs (according to me), best Twitter accounts (according to me) and best selfies (according to the internet).

I’ll also list my favourite Ed Uncovered articles of the year (because wallowing in self-indulgence feels great) and talk about some of the exciting shit that’s lined up for 2014 on this site.

See you back here tomorrow. 2013’s not over until I say it’s over.

2013 year in review

—★★★—

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