Saturday, April 19, 2014

GOOGLE vs. the NSA






In the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance.
George Orwell: 1984

My wife and I have been gone from home for a number of days.   Today, after a five day hiatus, I turned on my computer and within minutes my disk drive started to whirl and I had a pop-up notice from Norton showed that a download was in progress and was deemed safe.  

I clicked the info tab for more information and found that GOOGLE was downloading something named ‘widevinecdmadapter.dll’ into a folder with other GOOGLE downloads that I didn't know existed. 

Every other program asks for permission to update or modify its existence on my computer; but GOOGLE does it totally without my knowledge (if it weren't for my Norton virus program.)  

This has happened before: perhaps when we download Google Chrome on our machines the permission for shadow downloads is in the fine print of the agreement that we never read but all accept.

Just think of the information that GOOGLE can collect on us: it can read our G-Mail, our Blogs, see our map searches and know our travel plans, catalog our searches, identify our banks and financial info, see our income tax submissions – and have programs running on our cell phones and computers that we are not aware of.   Why are we worried about the NSA: our info is out there – much of it hosted by GOOGLE. 

Conspiracy theory?   No, just a fact.   Government information gathering tied in with all the major communication companies is, like global warming, a fact of life.   And, like global warming, it has gone too far to be reversed.  Our information is out there. 

This is the new world we live in that has resulted from global technology.    We are in the big brother world and for the most part we remain unconcerned and apathetic.
  
The similarities to 1984 are startling.   But fuck, I am too old to worry about it: my major concern is how I am going to afford new tires for my motorcycle.


 The two I value most.

the Ol’Buzzard  

10 comments:

  1. I think most of us are apathetic because we know it is too late to do anything about it. Maybe if I was younger. I'm not and my main concerns are how to pay the rent and feed my dog. I figure this country has maybe another 20 years left before everything falls apart and then maybe, people will stand up. Hopefully, I'll be dead.

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    1. We have little control - only on our own psyche.
      O'B

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  2. Oh yeah, beautiful wife, beautiful bike, beautiful country. What more does a man need?

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  3. Your assumption about the details in the fine print of the google chrome acceptance agreement is totally correct. I checked. When it comes to passively accepting things like this, if you are using this stuff, there is not a lot you can do about it. I don't worry too much, I try to keep tabs on what is going on in my hard drive, but hey...most of what I do on line is pretty boring to a surveillance system monitor. It's hard sometimes, but I try not to write anything too incriminating. I worry more about what I write about French politics, because if our government goes right wing, they have the same tools and work with same networks. Plus the French Security system is pretty efficient. I have been reading a lot about how the giant software companies are building off shore islands that are out side the authority of governments. Google is doing this among others. This is way beyond the scope of Orwell's 1984 type of surveillance. This is the next step, who owns who? Outside the jurisdiction for tax purposes and the boundary of any legal authority but them and if say, The USA tried to destroy google, it would be a sort of act of technical mutual assured destruction. I try not to give into apathy or despair, the best thing we can do is talk about it and expose it. These are the new parameters of surviving in this brave new world...the future is more a mix of a little Orwell and a lot of JG Ballard with a hallucinatory mix of Huxley stirred in...
    I love seeing the pic of your wife and bike and the beautiful world you live in free of snow! It's raining here for the first time in 3 weeks...yesterday I planted potatoes!

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    1. Maybe ignorance could be bliss. So many problems - so little life: so little time. I miss my garden.
      O'B

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  4. Lovely photo.

    I don't worry about the government much. I'm a retired federal employee; I know how incompetent we are -- I worry more about what NSA or one of the other agencies might do accidentally than about anything they'd attempt on purpose. As for the private sector, the one thing we should all be concerned about there is credit card or bank card fraud. It's a good argument for going back to dealing in cash locally as much as possible instead of shopping online.

    It's odd, though, the way everyone freaks out about privacy and wanting to keep the government out of our lives but most people don't think twice about telling the whole world all the minutiae of our lives on Facebook.

    What always puzzled me about the updates, especially the Microsoft ones, was how or why they were being run at times when my computer was not physically connected to the Internet. What did they do? Slip it into the software to self-activate 6 months later? Very strange.

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    1. My concern exactly. But what can we do?
      O'B

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  5. You've got a hot biker chick, OB! Let the government have your secrets and just keep her happy.

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  6. A lovely lady and a sweet ride. You are a lucky man!

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  7. Great picture, though I notice you did not say in what order. Google doesn't bother me as from a commercial perspective, lack of money limits their ability to influence me. NSA information can and will be used when Big Brother decides it is time to sort wheat from chaff. I am sure that if Putin includes Dnipropetrovsk in Novorossiya, that my days as a resident here are numbered. I was happy I got a Russian visa last fall already.

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COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."