Monday, October 12, 2009

American Police State:
A Little Paranoia Before Breakfast is supposed to be a comedy site, which it mostly is. They also have a facility of finding those times when truth is not so much stranger than fiction than infinitely more frightening.

Today's contribution to daylight nightmares is Five Ways You're Secretly Being Monitored.
  1. Public Surveillance. Count the number of cameras in your bank and you'll be arrested for plotting a robbery. Trust me, there are a lot of them. But they are just the tip of the iceberg. There are cameras on just about every urban street corner in America and Europe now. Stare at that sexy girl in front of the federal building too long and your face will be tagged as a potential terrorist. Audio surveillance is the new growth industry. Facial recognition software (grow a mustache, go to jail) that can pick out a face in the crowd for arrest is still mostly a sales pitch to gullible police departments. It's all an amusement park for government watchers. Just like in 1984, there are very few places you can go where you are not being watched. Gotta love these Chicago artists, though, who are turning public surveillance into performance art.
  2. Cell Phone Bugs. Software to spy on cell phones is everywhere. It's so easy to track every message and GPS location. You can even turn on the iPhone microphone to listen in on your target.
  3. Printer Tracking. This is not a problem for me because I only use words cut out of newspapers and pasted onto parchment to create my hard copies. Still, it must be unsettling to know that everything you print or copy is watermarked.
  4. RFID Tags. You go to the Barnes and Noble and buy a subversive book. You pay cash, don't use your membership card, and make sure the surveillance cameras can't see the title so you figure you are free and clear. Wrong! The RFID chip is still active and wherever you go the chip is sending out it's signal leading the Feds right to your underground book club meeting. Then there is the alleged plan to use RFID chip to track the homeless or the equally believable Oklahoma plot to use RFID bracelets and police roadblocks to enforce universal Swine Flu vaccination.
  5. Total Information Awareness Program.
    There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
    Nothing you can see that isn't shown. ~ All You Need Is Love
    The key is putting it all together. TIA does that. If you thought that this program died when Dick Cheney left office, think again. That data is all there, being mined to form an image of that complex tapestry that is you. Step out of line, the man comes and takes you away. Even your Amazon Wishlist is tattling on you.

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