Monday, December 09, 2013

Watching the Watchers

We seem to be living in an ever increasingly overt world of surveillance these days ...

Everybody is watching everybody else but most of all, they're watching us.

It's scary isn't it ? If you believe the hype and scaremongering, there's computers out there going through everything we send, store or comment on over the internet looking for ... I dunno what. Lots of stuff. There's even spying happening on the data that wings its way between all those places where The Cloud and its data centres live.

We have the NSA and GCHQ getting caught doing their job (looking for terrorists) and we have other assorted people trying to get as much information as they can about us so they can sell us either advertising or actual products.

(And yes, I'm betting that this post will be one of those that gets a "Hey ! Buy My Stuff ! Read My Review !" - yep, they do capitalise like that - that you don't see because I delete and report them as the spam that they are).

They're all at it. The only difference between them is how honest they are about it and how they can justify it. While I can agree with the security people (heard of a bomb go off in the UK lately ? no, didn't think so) spying on us, it's a whole different story with the gang of 8 that's bleating at the moment.

Here's a Register story about it (link). The alliance of 8 includes :

AOL - don't know much about them
Apple - who have just enabled spyware on iPhones that bleats an advert if you go past something in the shop
Facebook - trust these guys with your info ? hell no !
Google - see Facebook. And they're not honest about the that will be spying on this blog without admitting to it on the Google hit counter. Or the Next-Blog button which I disabled a while ago, which still apparently works.
LinkedIn - assume they're looking for advertising
Microsoft - Kinect + always on. Nuff said, although there's much more from Microsh$ft.
Twitter - I avoid this like the plague. Cos it is. A plague of illiterate offensive idiots that is.
Yahoo - see Google.

Oh and most of the above don't pay their taxes like the rest of us. I'm kinda surprised Amazon haven't made it a gang of 9.

(I appear to be working my way into a rant - muahahahaha)

Yes. State sponsored surveillance is a Bad Thing in our modern liberal world. So are bombs and terrorists and people who get away with fraud that breaks banks and wrecks the lives of thousands. It's a Bad Thing but the alternative is much worse.

You can't justify surveillance in the name of advertising or commercialism like that. I can guarantee that everything I've posted online is stored and analysed by people like Amazon so they can target their ads and attempt to sell me stuff.

The offensive thing is that both groups are spying on everyone. They're doing it as part of their core business, however one group is honest about it whereas the other group says "Hey ! No fair !" when they're not allowed to have their own way. It just happens that the group that's bleating is the group that owns the news.

Do you get the feeling I hate advertising and everything associated with it ?

The answer is to limit your online exposure. This blog is written under a pseudonym and there's only one post here that says directly what I work on. The sitemeter counter is private because it would give clues for who I work for. I don't declare who I work for on Facebook, although it's guessable.

Be careful what you put online, it may be incredibly difficult to remove it when it hits the internet.

And .... a shift to the left !

I've been struggling over the past few days. Part of that is being desperate for the Xmas break (I'm shattered and running on fumes). Most of it is putting a hole in my tongue ... Think of a big tongue ulcer. And then think it's bigger than that.

Ouch !

I didn't eat much over the weekend, which isn't as bad as it sounds because I've put enough weight back on that I can miss a few meals and get away with it. Not for long though. It's improving now though. I've been ok with eating again, although it's been very difficult to talk at work today. Hopefully it'll be easier tomorrow.

On the other hand ... skin's improving ! Despite me "helping" it ...


  1. Oh, I think that there's a world of difference using legitimate spying to protect us from the bad guys out there and spying on everyone on the off chance that something juicy might turn up at some point - which is far from legitimate. I would love to hear a coherent explanation from someone in power how spying on *me* makes me safer from terrorism!

  2. Actually that's another group that I didn't mention above - the newspapers who will spy on us for the juicy stuff because they think they can get away with it ...

  3. ....and it's not only the newspapers that do it. The Government should be protecting its people from unwarranted intrusion into their lives - not enabling and sanctioning it!


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