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The Madera Tribune

Watch out for the watchers

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webmaster | 06/11/13

It comes as no great surprise to find out the government is recording all our emails, phone calls and Internet surfing. However, that doesn’t mean the government minions listen to those calls, read those emails or trace those surfacings. There are not that many people in the country who could stay awake long enough to do all that.

Besides, if you were hired to listen, or read, or trace, you would have no time to do your own emailing and surfing.

What the government can do, though, is look for patterns. Let’s say you take one look at an Internet site that tells you how to build a bomb in your shoe. The government already will have identified that site as one with potential for mischief, if for no other reason than it is likely to result in a lot of people going around blowing their own feet off by accident. If you are serious about building a shoe bomb, though, you might contact the shoe-bomb site several times, to make sure you get it right.

”I see this guy in Madera is continually logging into this shoe-bomb site,” a watcher working for the government might tell his supervisor. “Maybe we should send a S.W.A.T. team over to keep an eye on him.”

In the used-to-be-private sector, look how many of us use those so-called rewards cards at stores when we make purchases. You may have noticed by now that those cards don’t provide much in the way of rewards, but they do record everything you buy. That, in itself, isn’t particularly creepy, but the stores sell that information, and pretty soon anybody who wants to pay for that data can know what you have in your house.

Yes, we used to have something called privacy, when what we bought was nobody’s business. But that was yesterday. We’ll never have privacy again, so watch what you say, and do, and even what you think. Somebody always will be watching.


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