Thursday, December 03, 2009

Big Brother Is Watching

Tiger Woods failure in keeping his private life private shows just the tip of the spying machines watching us.

In the novel 1984, Big Brother watched every act of people. Except the Proles, those people too poor and powerless to bother watching. In today's jargon they would be "off the grid." In 1984 it is the government watching over every detail of peoples lives ("spying" is too weak a word). Today it is a corporate oligarchy aided by all of the conveniences of modern life.
  • Tiger's secrets were revealed by his cell phone that remembers everyone he dials. He may also have been tracked by the many available cell phone spying apps on the market.
  • Sprint gave to police customer's gps locations over eight million times in one year. We can safely assume every other cell phone provider has done likewise. Carrying a cell phone means you are being consistently tracked wherever you go.
  • Got OnStar? Everywhere you drive, every traffic law you break, is being tracked. They can, in fact, listen in on conversations you have in your car.
  • Google (hi, there) knows every search and every destination I look at. They know every product I've looked at and every embarrassing site I've visited (purely for research purposes). Information they sell.
  • My cable provider knows my eclectic (downright weird) viewing habits. NetFlix knows my even more strange film preferences.
  • That grocery discount card I use means that Vons knows my shopping habits better than I do. Same with VISA. By sharing that data they can form a complete picture of me as a customer.
  • Of course your employer probably logs every keystroke you type.
  • All those security cameras that watch you everywhere can also come with audio surveillance.
I could go on, but you get the point. You can try living off the grid - walking places, paying cash, refusing to have a fancy cell phone - but you will still mostly fail. Just like Winston Smith couldn't hide by going among the Proles, the corporate Big Brother will still be able to track you. What's worse is that the corporate spies really do believe they are a Big Brother who are tracking our every act and whim so they can "make our lives better."

See also: No Place to Hide; Google as Big Brother; eNotAlone on corporate spying; and Prison Planet on 150 Million Americans Spied Upon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

read Cory Docterow's Little Brother --- free download