George Orwell envisioned a society in which the government portrayed itself as “Big Brother” watching over citizens to make sure they kept in line, were responsible and, most of all, didn’t engage in activities contrary to the best interests of the state.
There have been such societies since Orwell shared such nightmares with the world, but none as sophisticated and super-data driven as the one emerging in the U.S. today.
No, it’s not the National Security Agency that poses the biggest effort to pry into the private lives of citizens in the U.S. in an effort to keep them in line, though it certainly bears continued watching.
It’s what I call the Internet Cartel that has far more data on our every move and is using it for profit and its own political and cultural motivations.
Facebook, for instance, seems to know just what we were talking about because our smartphones are listening to every word we say, replaying them to advertisers instantaneously. Shocking? That’s not even new. It’s been going on for years.
Google may be the all-time threat. Its founders and top execs boast about their data collection efforts that take place even when your cellphone is off – even when you remove the sim card!
Google-Facebook-Amazon, which represent a singular threat to American privacy but are, in actuality, three competitors in this field of integrating devices and platforms into monitoring every aspect of Americans’ lives to appropriate your personality and lifestyle to better target you for their advertisers.
But Google is in a class by itself.
The company has a patent since 2016 to “take control of your parenting, your relationship with your children.”
Fox News’ esteemed Tucker Carlson reports: “In one example, Google plans to track if children are attempting to interact with their parent’s liquor cabinet and infer if ‘mischief’ is taking place, before issuing a verbal warning to the child through the system’s speaker. In another example, a hypothetical child called Benjamin is under 24/7 surveillance by Google’s cameras, whether he is using electronics or playing outside. The system would aim to ‘coach’ families on ‘areas of improvement,’ and scold them if they are not spending enough time eating together.”
Are you comfortable with this?
Is it time to unplug?
Is it too late?
Does Google already have us wired? Does it already know everything there is to know about us?
More to the point, is it time for the government to attempt to save us from ourselves and our addiction to technology?
Should we really begin talking about breaking up the Internet Cartel – which now represents the gravest threat to personal freedom and personal privacy in the history of the world?
I think so.
Does Donald Trump think so?
Mr. President! Can you tweet on this question?
Is it possible Google has more on you than the Russians and Fusion GPS combined?
Might some of it even be true?
Google has become nearly all-powerful. Imagine if it added political blackmail to its long list of money-motivated offenses that include making deals with tyrants in China to block certain news sources, harassing its own employees who think differently than the Google masters of the universe think and monitoring every move ordinary Americans make during their workday and leisure time.
It’s really hard to imagine a bigger threat to personal liberty and personal privacy, isn’t it?
And, remember, Google has only been around for 20 years – total.
Where will it be in another 20? It’s scary to imagine.