Big Brother Everywhere

Wolf Richter's picture

Wolf Richter

The other day, a friend of mine, who was installing Skype on a new computer, was baffled when Skype suggested all sorts of contacts that weren’t on his Skype contact list but in his address book. This weekend, the Wall Street Journal provided an answer in its article on the voluminous personal information Facebook apps pilfer from users and their friends.

“Apps are gateways,” it said. Address book info, location, even sexual preferences ... nothing is safe. And not just of the user but also of the user’s friends—privacy settings don't stop your personal data from being grabbed by apps your friends are using. Turns out, the Skype app picks up address book data along with whatever else it can find.

The app economy is big bickies, as my friends from down under might say, with estimated revenues of $20 billion in 2011. Silicon Valley and San Francisco are hotbeds for app developers, and some of them are getting funded, and a select few have successful exits, such as photo-sharing app Instagram that ended up on Facebook’s shopping list for a cool billion.

At watering holes or events where developers and entrepreneurs hang out, the conversation often bounces across the app economy and the “cloud” it relies on, that notion of amorphous servers that handle storage and processing needs off site. Yet, the cloud is not amorphous. It is composed of companies with real people, servers, and computers, and some of the people are hanging out at bars, and soon they tell you how they access data their users have uploaded.

Cloud-based services brag about SSL encryption and make you sign in with complex passwords to make you feel secure, but like banks, their employees and data-mining algorithms can access your data stored on their servers to be monetized in some way. That’s the nature of the cloud on the commercial side.

But the government, which has largely been left behind in this quest for personal data, jumped into the fray with different and most likely less efficient methods. Examples abound. The latest—and most worrisome for international travelers—is Glenn Greenwald’s story about the travails that journalist and filmmaker Laura Poitras experiences every time she returns to the US. Among her documentaries were “My Country, My Country” which was filmed in Iraq and was nominated in 2007 for an Academy Award, and “Oath” which focused on two brothers in Yemen. “Poitras’ intent all along with these two documentaries was to produce a trilogy of War on Terror films,” Greenwald writes. And that got her on a list of Americans who receive special attentions from the Department of Homeland Security.

Virtually every time during that six-year-period that she has returned to the U.S., her plane has been met by DHS agents who stand at the airplane door or tarmac and inspect the passports of every de-planing passenger until they find her.... Each time, they detain her, and then interrogate her at length about where she went and with whom she met or spoke.

They also confiscated her electronic devices, including her camera, presumably searched and copied whatever was on them, before returning them often days later. And she wasn’t the only one. During an 18-month period from 2008-2010, more than 6,600 passengers—almost half of them US citizens—had had their electronic devices searched without search warrant, according to the ACLU.

For the government, that’s a lot of work to obtain the data of only six Americans a day—considering how much information millions of Americans give up every minute by using their smartphones, Facebook accounts, Google products, and thousands of other services, or whenever they click on ads or get on the internet, or simply walk into a store with their smartphone.

It would be much more efficient for the government to automatically grab every bit of information pulsing through the networks and store it on servers where powerful computers can break encryptions, translate foreign languages, and data-mine it ad infinitum. Which, if it isn’t happening already, will be happening soon, according to Wired Magazine: the National Security Agency is building its Utah Data Center in “immense secrecy” as a “final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade” to “intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications,” even domestic communications by Americans. A $2 billion project. Perhaps one of those shovel-ready stimulus ones.

How far will the government go in trying to extract the last bit of information from its people? At this point, it appears to be lagging behind the commercial sector where big corporations and even startups that come and go obtain information because people hand it to them—eagerly or very unwittingly. And so an insidious and at once funny privacy issue erupted in France, or more precisely in a tiny village in Maine-et-Loire, with worldwide resonance. Read.... Can’t Even Urinate in his own Yard Anymore.

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Blue Horshoe Loves Annacott Steel's picture

Big Brother loves U & has your best interests at heart.

A little fascism never hurt anyone.

slewie the pi rat's picture
A New Microchip Knows Just Where You Are, Indoors and Out

Broadcom has just rolled out a chip for smart phones that promises to indicate location ultra-precisely, possibly within a few centimeters, vertically and horizontally, indoors and out.

The unprecedented accuracy of the Broadcom 4752 chip results from the sheer breadth of sensors from which it can process information. It can receive signals from global navigation satellites, cell-phone towers, and Wi-Fi hot spots, and also input from gyroscopes, accelerometers, step counters, and altimeters.

onlooker's picture

""All member states of the Anglosphere are currently high tech surveillance based police states. Human liberty does not exist in the Anglosphere. All are serfs that exist at the pleasure of their masters in the top .001%.""

Then move, Cuba, N Korea China---- go find you better Freedom

Some of us are gonna fight to keep this a good Country, speak out, educate, vote, and teach your children ethics and how to be wary of those who have none. There is NO SHAME in saying you love your Country, the USA. The WORD is still sharper than the dagger.

CH1's picture

I love Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams. I respect George Washington.

The current US govenrment is a stinking pile of crap. They are the enemy of freedom.

I refuse to waste my life trying to reform the unreformable. I seek my freedom apart from them.

Bartanist's picture

With all of this, I am having trouble with where the ROI is coming from. Maybe it is all government funded one way or another and that is why we have a $1.4 trillion deficit. Maybe they are all losers, such as Groupon that loses $1 for every $4 it takes in; and it is just a matter of time before the investments (read debt funded capital) collapse on themselves.

They say: "low cost" models because they require few people compared to the amount of data churned ... sure the operating costs are relatively small, there is Cap Ex and infrastructure and that is all funded with debt money that will(????) be paid off at some point in the future from profits generated. (uh, what about that Groupon thing, again?)

One way or another it is all fiat funny money handed out by those who create it to those people who best use it to serve the interests of those who create it. That is how THIS world runs ...

In any event, my guess is that there is so much data that it takes A LOT to get noticed amongst the noise. And that is the problem of control. They (currently) need to employ people to make decisions and carry out actions, even if all of the data is collected, sorted and ranked.

blunderdog's picture

I've been thinking about this subject recently.  A few points I'd mention...

1) "Surveillance" is qualitatively different than "data collection." When you have a specific subject that you are watching, that's "surveillance."  When you're just aggregating as much info as you can from every possible source, you're collecting data.  Data collection IN ITSELF should not be confused with surveillance because for the most part, the collected data is never observed by a person, never acted upon, and never becomes relevant or useful.  Most of the tone of the hostility towards data collection seems to come from a confusion of these two concepts.

2) Any activities which an individual engages in "in public" is inherently "public behavior," and therefore doesn't reasonably fall into the category of private/personal information that someone has a legitimate claim to keep control over or ownership of.  In other words, if you have a conversation with someone at a bus-stop, and that conversation is secretly recorded by someone nearby, it is not a reasonable expectation that you could force that oberserver to erase the tape or delete the file.  It IS a reasonable expectation that if the recording were used in some kind of commercial activity that you could request compensation or potentially seek to limit the distribution of that information.  Basically: you have no right to force others to "forget" what they know.

3) Many recorded activities which are potentially exploitable by "badguys" (whether government, criminal, or commercial) appear totally innocuous, and people's impressions of which data they're "happy to share" vs. which data they "want to keep private" are often misguided at best.  You may think it's far more important to keep private the fact that you spent a few hours at the bar last week, but in fact when it comes time for some badguy to drop the hammer on you, it may turn out to have been far more relevant that you use your credit-card to fill your gas tank.  In other words: whatever you do to protect yourself on ONE front may be more appropriately done for some other activity that has never occurred to you, and even the actions you take to "evade" observation in one activity may turn out to be more important than the activity itself.

At the end of the day--like most people, I do some things that I know are monitored and don't worry about them.  I am not interested in fighting the completely unwinnable battle against "data collection"--it has been going on forever and it is going to continue, and there's VERY LITTLE you as an individual could do.  Legislation is inherently useless (because it's neither enforceable nor appropriate application of government power), and the vast majority of the data collection is performed by other private entities.  If you don't want someone knowing what route you drive home, too bad, because in a world in which no one else could know that information, you couldn't know anything about anyone around YOU either.  We'd ALL have to be blind to prevent people from watching you walking on the sidewalk.

Finally, the most important line to be drawn, in my opinion, is not *whether* data collection is occurring, but just how much of anyone's activity can be legitimately claimed to be "of interest" to the watchers.  Generally this question only ever gets answered after the fact--as when someone who has been accused of a crime is investigated and old/previously-captured data is found which could bear on the case.  It makes more sense, in my view, to work on defining EXPLICITLY those activities and/or pieces of information which are considered (by the people, not by the government or the business-world) to be "must-share" information.  Example: is it too much of an invasion of privacy to be required to provide your name to someone at their request?  What about your address?  Your SS#?  Etc.

We've never tried to find out what people think about this stuff.  The laws have already been passed, and no one ever bothered to ask whether their premise even makes sense.  I personally don't believe the law that an individual *must* provide his name to a requesting police officer is a justified or legitimate claim, but if it is the case that 99% of the citizenry feels the other way, I'd very much want to know that.

(Meanwhile: note to the trigger-happy types--if you destroy someone else's flying-camera, you might be expected to pay for it, and your claim about wanting to be left unobserved is not likely to help you, regardless of your personal philosophy about privacy.  Property rights reign supreme, remember.)

Element's picture

So if the west German STASI were just collecting and storing data on people ... that's ok then.


You're incredibly naive blunderdog.



Controversy of the Stasi files

With the German Reunification on 3 October 1990 a new government agency was founded called the Office of the Federal Commissioner Preserving the Records of the Ministry for State Security of the GDR (BStU).[56] There was a debate about what should happen to the files, whether they should be opened to the people or kept closed.

Those who opposed opening the files cited privacy as a reason. They felt that the information in the files would lead to negative feelings about former Stasi members, and, in turn, cause violence. Pastor Rainer Eppelmann, who became Minister of Defense and Disarmament after March 1990, felt that new political freedoms for former Stasi members would be jeopardized by acts of revenge. Prime Minister Lothar de Maizière even went so far as to predict murder. They also argued against the use of the files to capture former Stasi members and prosecute them, arguing that not all former members were criminals and should not be punished solely for being a member. There were also some who believed that everyone was guilty of something. Peter Michael Diestel, the Minister of Interior, opined that these files could not be used to determine innocence and guilt, claiming that "there were only two types of individuals who were truly innocent in this system, the newborn and the alcoholic". Other opinions, such as the one of West German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, believed in putting the Stasi behind them and working on German reunification.


"there were only two types of individuals who were truly innocent in this system, the newborn and the alcoholic".


Relax, it's just harmless data collection by and for the sole usage of a an elite criminal traitor-class of duel nationals who are also neo-slavers, in charge of a criminal-controlled turn-key POLICE STATE.


What could possibly do wrong?

blunderdog's picture

   it's just harmless data collection by and for the sole usage of a an elite criminal traitor-class of duel nationals who are also neo-slavers, in charge of a criminal-controlled turn-key POLICE STATE.

Who said anything like that?  Sheesh, it's like you folks can't comprehend anything more subtle than "ooga booga GOOD" or "ooga booga BAD."

So OK, I agree with all you guys.


Let's see if I can make the point so that even the dimmest bulbs may be able to understand:

As bad as you think this all is, you're not going to be able to DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

The points I mentioned above are an effort to advance our ability to discuss the subject, because if you DON'T want all these tools to be used for "evil," you're going to have to be a lot more articulate than "OOGA BOOGA BAD!"

Once someone invented the firebow, it became possible for ALL HUMANS EVERYWHERE to start fires with a few minutes of preparation.  I'm certain there were people back then who thought the firebow was going to be the end of society because it was in the "wrong hands," but some people probably believed the development of the firebow was a good thing, and it *certainly* had a huge impact on the development of our civilization.

Same thing. 

Now stop kneejerking and start THINKING, because the world is a place of constant change, and you ain't always gonna get what you want.

AnAnonymous's picture

Made me laugh. More kicking the can. More denial of the reality at hand.

You are the one ascribing good or bad to surveillance.

Some other comments only report the basic observation that data collecting is surveillance.

With usual US citizen strawsmen like end of society etc...

Side note: the invention of firebow certainly spred that quickly.

More fantasy.

Man of Peace's picture

You state: "The laws have already been passed, and no one ever bothered to ask whether their premise even makes sense."


Therin is the answer to the question of it's relevance. These laws are passed as ammendments to pending legislation, and are usually burried deep within the legislation explained in politicaly uncomprhendable gobbly gook and double talk. They are usualy just a kick back deal, or a sweetheart deal. These laws are sneaky bastards for sure.  It's always the same though, people don't start to question these laws until the instigators have pushed them past the point of no return. I have been reading zero hedge here for over a year, but due to "surveillance issues and watch list insecurities, i always resisted the urge to create an account. But those concerns were subdued to the fact this could be one of the greatest sites online, and i have to be a part of it and interact with the great minds on this site.  These sites are great for counteracting the surveillance tactics mentioned, because they unite like minded people to exchange their perceptions of issues they are concerned about, such as this issue at hand, and through these exchanges we can get compelled to act.

I don't think there's much distinction between surveillance and media in general. Better media means better surveillance. Cams are everywhere.  --Bruce Sterling








blunderdog's picture

I like Sterling, but I'd say he's wrong on that.  He deserves credit for coining the term for "spimes," but he's missed the boat in that he doesn't seem to recognize they already existed, in MANY forms, before he did so.

Man of Peace's picture

For sure they existed, but i'm not sure they existed in the technical or omnipotent form they exist in today. It was more "monkey see, monkey do" in the past. But i suppose it's only a matter of time, this surveillance is just the beginning, before they merge man and machine, being the next step of universal eveloution.



Everybody calls everybody a spy, secretly, in Russia, and everybody is under surveillance. You never feel safe.

Agnes Smedley

l.hauri's picture

Maybe it is real what you said. I will try to adapt it for my cloud computing anbieter site

AnAnonymous's picture

"Surveillance" is qualitatively different than "data collection." When you have a specific subject that you are watching, that's "surveillance." When you're just aggregating as much info as you can from every possible source, you're collecting data. Data collection IN ITSELF should not be confused with surveillance because for the most part, the collected data is never observed by a person, never acted upon, and never becomes relevant or useful. Most of the tone of the hostility towards data collection seems to come from a confusion of these two concepts.


Really? So when data is collected by an automated process, it cant be surveillance whereas when it is collected by a person, it is.

That is unsubtle can kicking. Mere technology eluding.

It grows even funnier when one knows that data are destined to be analyzed by automated processes.

Collecting data is supposed never to become relevant. Then useless to collect them. It will save resources.

Hearsays have the same weight as accurate, documentated data collection by an automated means?

So when an eye witness says they see this or that person at a bar around x hour, it is the same as being recorded by a video cam...

It has to be different. US citizens could not be associated with the establishment of a total society.


blunderdog's picture

   Really? So when data is collected by an automated process, it cant be surveillance whereas when it is collected by a person, it is.

Is that what you think I said?  What's your native language?

The method of collection isn't the issue.  The *heirarchy* of collection is what makes it "surveillance" or not. 

Hey, anyway, if you still can't see the difference, consider the delightful "fact" that Congress in-session is under virtually constant "surveillance" by C-SPAN.  Pretty cool, right?

AnAnonymous's picture

The hierarchy of data processing is established after collecting data. Establishing a data collection hierarchy before collecting data is one sure way to miss relevant information.

A surveillance cam collecting data 24/24 from all angles provides better surveillance material than a cam working on a pre-established hierarchy of collection of data.

Nothing more than kicking the can.

Congress sessions are under surveillance. Which do not mean congress personal and the decision making process is under surveillance. When discussing anything mattering, those US citizen elected personal move outside any surveillance means capacities to discuss quietly.

Congress sessions are just for the show.

l.hauri's picture

that will be an issue for sure in the near future. cloud providers

blunderdog's picture

   The hierarchy of data processing is established after collecting data.


    A surveillance cam collecting data 24/24 from all angles provides better surveillance material than a cam working on a pre-established hierarchy of collection of data.

No--the omni-angle camera's data heirarchy is defined by where it is placed, what sort of light it captures (infra/visible/color/etc), the frame-rate, and the resolution.

I don't understand much else of what you wrote.  In English, "kicking the can" is an idiom that refer to buying time--delaying the inevitable. 

Human beings CAN evade cameras and microphones for some purposes.  Those who understand the operations of data-collection technology have an advantage in this regard. 

(At least you understand the difference between data-collection and surveillance, even if you're not so great with English.  You're several notches up on that rwe fella.)

AnAnonymous's picture

Your little stories are kicking the can stories, everything to deny that what is performed is surveillance. Buying time. Delaying the inevitable: the admittance that data collection is surveillance.

Poor attempts at offuscation. Cheap US citizen propaganda. As good Us citizen propaganda has to be.

blunderdog's picture

    Delaying the inevitable: the admittance that data collection is surveillance.

That's not inevitable because it's not true. 

For a moment I thought I'd understood something you had to say, but obviously not.  I recommend working on your English if you actually want to communicate something to American Citizenists. 

All I've ever seen from you is repetition of a word you've never defined, and you don't seem to have anything else to say.

I'll try to remember to ignore you in the future.

rwe2late's picture


Data collection IS surveillance, regardless whether all the data collected is "used".

The purpose of the data collection is surveillance.

The use of the data collected will be to suppress dissent, in prosecution of whistle-blowers and critics, and in creating fear that anyone could be "investigated" at any time for anything deemed "suspicious" by the ever watchful authorities. "Inflammatory" statements? The second-hand spreading of "classified information", knowingly or not?

At best, you are naive to believe the Homeland/NSA Frankenstein is innocuous. 

Wake up and smell the dead roses.


blunderdog's picture

At best, you have a poor comprehension of what I wrote.  I assure you there's nothing naive about my understanding of the DHS/NSA "Frankenstein," but I've actually been involved in the industry for decades and the fact that you don't want to distinguish between data-collection and surveillance suggests to me that you have extremely limited understanding of the mechanics of this stuff.  You are not "under surveillance" because you swipe your credit card or walk past a security camera.

The government will *never* achieve the level of sophistication that has ALREADY been attained by Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Comcast. 

While you're absolutely correct that many of these data-streams will be used by corrupt individuals and institutions (including governmental ones) to further aims that you may call "tyrannical," the simple fact is that the knowledgeable individual is HIMSELF far more powerful today than he was 20 years ago because he has access to similar (or identical) resources. 

Gunpowder was only a strategic military advantage when the enemy didn't have it, too.  With regard to data collection, the tools that were previously only available to governments and large businesses have become available to virtually everyone.  The weapon itself is not the issue--the issue is the direction it points, and each brick in "TIA" is another liability when you consider the implications of a massive gummit data repository.

rwe2late's picture


Your rationalizations for being employed in the surveillance industry are idiotic. Your arguments by analogy and appeals to alleged "authority" are illogical and ridiculous.

"Data collection" on individuals by the government and private industry



(Regardless how much of the data is therafter "used").

The government Homeland/NSA/and myriad agencies will contract the private sector to install advanced systems. The "private sector" Google, AT&T, etc will also supply the government with  "data" they collect.


blunderdog's picture

OK, let's take your kindergarten-level assertion as true for a moment: who are you to pretend that you're anything other than another spy?  You think you're going to FOOL us? 

You've looked out your window.  You've watched cars on the road.  (I even know about that time you ate dinner watching the people on the street nearby.)

Why do YOU engage in these acts of surveillance all the time?  You could be even MORE dangerous than a business or a government because few would ever think to suspect you, granting you far greater opportunity to commit your atrocities.

AnAnonymous's picture

For a US citizen working in the surveillance business, once again, you equate eye testimonies with an automated recording of somebody's moves and acts?

How many people in the world can remember what cars pass by whenever they look at the road, the hour, the driver etc?

The fallacy here is to claim that anyone recorded is eligible for consequences of surveillance.

When actioning an ATM, you are under surveillance which does not mean that some consequences shall happen.

blunderdog's picture

I'm playing out rwe2late's assertion. 

I DON'T equate collecting data with surveillance, but I DO equate "witnesses observing things" with collecting data.

  The fallacy here is to claim that anyone recorded is eligible for consequences of surveillance.

At face value, assuming you mean what you wrote, this is dead-on correct, and exactly the point I've been unable to communicate to rwe2late.

Renfield's picture

Blunderdog, great comment. There are a lot of good comments on this thread but I think your attitude of level-headed and realistic assessment is the most practical. Outraged and terrified as we may be, it comes down to this is our world now, and we must learn to live in it. So we need to assess, moral implications aside, what is really the level of threat to us day-today. Your comment reminds me of "Don't fight the tape."

But, when you say "Property rights reign supreme", that does go both ways. I would regard an unauthorized drone on my property as an illegal trespasser, who may or may not cause harm to me or my family. I can't be expected to assume that some machine flying in through my window is not there to hurt me. In fact, that's probably what I would assume first. I'm not saying that with a cynical laugh. I'm saying that on seeing a robot come swooping in through my window or hovering around my door, my first reaction would be to blast it down before it shoots out a cloud of poison gas or something.

Absent a "warrant" or some kind of obvious police/government indication of due process, the borders of my property should be my own to protect, I think.

(Setting aside for a moment that the government owns your property, not you.)

blunderdog's picture

   I would regard an unauthorized drone on my property as an illegal trespasser,

Sounds fine to me, as long as you can prove or demonstrate that it was "on your property," if you take my meaning.

At least half the US population can't clearly delineate their "property," so you may run into a real problem with that justification.  The places where people live in houses spaced far apart probably AREN'T the places where you'd encounter drones.

Renfield's picture

heh - ironically, just a few comments further up "Wang" linked a story of the first US arrest made using drones, which was on a rural farm property so large that the authorities coudn't assess the risk of threat if they went in, so they sent in the drones first. (The issue was whether the guy could keep some cows that had wandered onto his property.)

I see your point overall though. And I don't think delineating "my property" would be as difficult for most of us as you do. But we can agree to disagree on that...overall I agree with what you had to say.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

deibold voting machines ( sure I trust the numbers lol)..soon a world wide digital money system ( as trust worthy as on line poker lol) energy rationing food & water rationing..the elite NWO reptiles need computer data to trend where the problems with resistance are and hit them early. the destruction in trust in gov and media and social institutions has worked. paronoid people are easy to bleed dry. 

CvlDobd's picture

George Carlin on your rights.

BTW Carlin said this country is finished in Oct. 2007 on Olbermann's show.
Visionary guy.


Man of Peace's picture

"They don't care about you at all, and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Thats what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that's being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth: It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it"

My favorite Carlin quote of all time

krispkritter's picture

Carlin: "If you were born, you were given a ticket to the freakshow; but if you were born in America, you were given a? front-row seat."

Bartanist's picture

George had the opportunity to speak with people who knew what was going on ... and would have assumed that being who he was, he would also be a part of it.

A reasonable amount of success can come from brains and hard work, without selling ones soul, joining the right "clubs" and giving up one's free will to those who will "take care of" you ...

The sorting process used to determine "assets" is good, but not perfect. Heck, Goldman supposedly goes through up to 23 interviews to find the right kind of psychopath before making a hiring decision. Finding brains that are so intelligent and yet messed up that they are willing to pledge their allegience, sell their soul and give up their free will for "fiat money" and the illusion of future power is not a perfect process ... as we found out a week or two ago. And yet, the cone of silence is near perfect. How could you explain to others what you DO TO people on a daily basis and for whose benefit. It might be much better to take the money, drink heavily at strip clubs with other fallen souls and tuck away the knowledge and guilt somewhere behind massive walls of rationalization and defense mechanisms.... psychopaths, all.

VelvetHog's picture

Zerohedge is probably draining all of our hard drives right now.

Element's picture

Get this, this is what happens to you now;

If you buy a mobile phone with an Android (Google) operating system when you first initialise it, it asks for a Google Gmail account to link with, and while it does this it is also automatically taking the names, phone numbers, email addresses, and home addresses etc., from your phone's simm card, and uploads it into Gmail's 'contacts' page in you gmail window.

Where upon it is now a part of Google's archive of 'your' data.

And when you delete it, it doesn't go away, they still have a copy of it.

Google is beyond the pale, they just strait out steel the information from you while pretend they were just doing you a helpful favour and convenience.

Forget about dumpster-divers, steeling your information and ID via google is right in your face.

Do not buy an Android phone if you don't want your information stolen.
"Don't be evil"?

Google is a POX on the modern digital world.

SilverRhino's picture

Got a better solution?


Element's picture

A better 'solution' ... a solution to what problem ... google being an untrustworthy thieving arsehole corporation

Or are you insinuating Google has struggled valiantly to 'solve' a non-existent problem, via the imposed 'solution' of just outright steeling personal information?

blunderdog's picture

Google's just another successful business.  It's not like you need a smartphone or an Internet connection, anyway. 

If your priority is being secure in your privacy, don't use the technology.

It's pretty simple.

CH1's picture

Learn to use PGP and Tor or buy Cryptohippie.

And just say No to google.

covert's picture

people run for office to enslave others, not to serve. belief control and therefore stealth censorship is the key to enslaving the world.


wang's picture
wang (not verified) Apr 10, 2012 7:25 AM

The Coming Drone Revolution: What You Should Know

Element's picture

Which means people will obtain or develop a means to detect, JAM, hi-jack or destroy such in flight.

AnAnonymous's picture

The good news:


The cost of flying a surveillance airplane or helicopter is several magnitudes above that of a battery-powered drone.


Ah, US citizen governments are looking to cut down spending, see.

Mr. Lucky's picture

It only cost 2 billion?

Boxed Merlot's picture

My thoughts exactly.  If that's all it cost, why hasn't Zuckerguy snapped this one up?

Uh, well...

Joe Davola's picture

Add several more zeros if it had been solar powered.