You Will Be Watched While You Read This

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Rounding a
bend in the road around a local airport the other day, I glanced
to the left and saw a cop sitting in the grass off the pavement.
The white SUV was easy to see. The guy wasn’t trying to hide,
but he didn’t need to because people love to come whipping
around this particular stretch of road – it lends itself to
speeding – and probably a few of them can’t slow down
soon enough and shoot past the cop’s position.

As I passed
him, however, I was struck by a very depressing thought: The day
is coming when your car – your very own, much loved member-of-your-family
automobile – is going to fink on you, rat you out, and otherwise
get you in trouble.

Oh, yeah. Because
eventually cars will have a communication system that by law will
have to be able to communicate with the police. This will be factory-installed
in the name of safety. It will amount to this: You’ll pass
by a cop’s location, and your car will tell the laptop in his
car how fast you’re going.

Don’t
think so? Live long enough, you’ll get to enjoy this and much
more. Rental
car companies are already letting subcontractors spy on you and
fine you
. Retailers
are tagging their crappy clothes so that they can track your movements
and spending habits
. A
respected American aircraft manufacturer, maker of one of the aeronautic
icons of WWII, is proud to offer a high-altitude, long-flying spy
drone that will undoubtedly spy on Americans
. I’ve already
written a post about the day when the Earthly landscape itself spies
on you using “smart
dust
.”

I hate all
this because I’m getting intensely beleaguered of being observed,
tracked, and otherwise spied upon in “the Land of the Free.”
I must point out, however, that at times I submit voluntarily to
observation either because I simply can’t get around it, or
a desired activity results in observation.

This blog and
also my Facebook profile are examples of that voluntary action.
Search engines survey the words I use in blog posts, and advertising
related to the concepts of those words pops up on Beaufinn now and
then. Some months ago when I wrote about wild boars in Germany,
an ad for boar hunting in America appeared on my site.

Read
the rest of the article

July
26, 2010

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