Big Brother is Watching. Welcome to 1984.
We all like scary stories, right?
Here’s one for ya.
Whenever I use my wife’s tablet to search for something on Google, it often comes up and says precise location unknown, or asks if it can use my location in a search.
I always tell it no, if I don’t shut that feature off all together.
There is no reason that Google needs to know my precise location, but that doesn’t guarantee that the information isn’t sent to Google headquarters anyway. In fact, there are no guarantees that that your location information is not being transmitted every time you go somewhere.
There are things about the world today that we just take for granted as just being the way things are. Grocery stores gather data about your purchases through club cards so they can tailor ads to you. You bank doesn’t just keep information about your financial transactions, they keep records about when and where the purchase took place, and in the case of online purchases, your order information is out there as well.
“Metadata is information about what communications you send and receive, who you talk to, where you are when you talk to them, the lengths of your conversations, what kind of device you were using and potentially other information, like the subject line of your emails,” said Peter Eckersley, the technology projects director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil liberties group.
The government continues to claim that it doesn’t read the contents of our emails, or know the content of our conversations, but in the case of emails, that data is readily embedded in the code of the email as it is sent.
“Metadata is the perfect place to start if you want to troll through millions of people’s communications to find patterns and to single out smaller groups for closer scrutiny,” he said. “It will tell you which groups of people go to political meetings together, which groups of people go to church together, which groups of people go to nightclubs together or sleep with each other.”
In order to narrow massive amounts of data down to smaller groups, the government has to be able to read some part of the email in order to find the keywords they are looking for.
“That’s certainly enough to know if you’re pregnant or not, what diseases you have, whether you’re looking for a new job, whether you’re trying to figure out if the NSA is watching you or not,” he said, referring to the National Security Agency. Such information provides “a deeply intimate window into a person’s psyche,” he added.
So, if you have been searching for porn, the government knows it. If you’ve been searching for loopholes in Obamacare, the government knows it.
And if you bitch about the government day in and day out, the government knows it.
Well, at least DHS doesn’t have those same search powers.
That’s absolute contempt for the American people if I’ve ever seen it. In the midst of controversy and scandal about the government spying on us, DHS complains that it’s not fair that they don’t have those kinds of spying powers. Who else is going to watch those violent militias out in the middle of nowhere?
I knew Napolitano had balls. I just didn’t realize they were that big.
There is virtually nothing that is hidden from the government anymore.
Courts have ruled that we don’t have an expectation of privacy with these sorts of things, because we don’t make an effort to secure it.
Our financial transactions are done on “secure” lines, but beyond that, what are we to do, exactly? The vast majority of us aren’t programmers, so what are we supposed to do to? Not use the internet? Not have a computer or a smartphone?
Those are some suggestions that some people have made, but in the digital age, that’s just unrealistic.
You can’t even trust your gaming console anymore. Microsoft, producer of the Xbox One had entered into an agreement with the NSA to watch you 24/7.
Of course, once the story broke, Microsoft did a 180 and claims they are dropping the provision that you have to be online every 24 hours. Microsoft is also dropping the provision that you can’t play a used game on your Xbox. In other words, they are trying to put shops like Gamestop out of business, and keep people like me, who purchases used games, from playing them. What’s wrong with buying a game from someone else? Generally, once a game has been played, it just takes up space on the shelf.
But I digress.
At a hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill, FBI Director Robert Mueller said metadata obtained under Section 215 of the Patriot Act had helped authorities “connect the dots” in investigations that had prevented 10 or 12 terrorist plots in recent years. Mueller defended the collection of metadata, saying there were plenty of safeguards in place that protect Americans’ privacy. He warned against restricting or ending the program.
“What concerns me is you never know which dot is going to be key,” Mueller said. “What you want is as many dots as we can (get). If you close down a program like this, you are removing dots from the playing field.”
But not at the expense of our privacy! The government has no right to watch us like hawks. If you watch their numbers, however, they always jump around. The number has jumped from 1 to 10, to 12, to 50 or so. Everyone knows the one they missed.
No matter where you go, what you do, Big Brother is watching. It used to be chilling to us, the thought that our government would watch us, but it has become a reality. In Orwell’s 1984, there were devices everywhere that constantly fed video feeds back to the Party, and very few places to hide. The hero, Winston, had to go into a little alcove to write unseen about the evils of the government, a crime that was punishable by death.
As with the novel 1984, we are constantly told that it is for our own good, our own interest, our own safety.
So, how does the government react to this?
“Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”
This was just before the revelations came rolling out.
But the New York Police Department, home to Nanny Bloomberg, is reacting by expanding their surveillance net to fight crime as well as terrorism. And who is in charge of the NY police Departments? Ultimately, it’s the Nanny.
These programs do not have the oversight of all of Congress. They are run by a handful, a select few. There were members of Congress who were surprised when they were told all of Congress knew of these programs. There were those in Congress who were trying to tell that there was something bad happening.
Now it has been revealed that the FBI has been flying drones above us for at least the last 3 years.
Does it make you feel better to know that your government is watching you if it means you are safe?
Are you willing to surrender your rights so you can feel safer, more secure?
Can you guarantee that these will never be expanded in the future, and abused even more?
Do you really want to do that to your children?