Anonymity in the Surveillance Age
November 14, 2012 in Technology
Those of you under the age of thirty may be surprised to learn that the 1970′s were the Golden Age of technology. While modern conveniences such as fax machines, the internet, personal computers and cell phones were not yet available to the public, the Seventies were a cornucopia of quality analog technology. It was an era of high fidelity audio systems (the 8-track tape player notwithstanding), color televisions with stereo, solid-state portable radios with FM, CB and ham radio and even touch-tone phones. While this may not sound particularly impressive to those born in the digital age, the Seventies were a time when people, for the most part, could stay connected with family, friends and the world without the all-seeing eye of Big Brother watching their every move.
Can you imagine such a thing in today’s digitally-connected world? Can you imagine talking on the phone without the fear of having your conversation recorded, parsed and analyzed? Can you imagine driving your car without the fear of being tracked by OnStar or even your own cell phone? Can you imagine sending a message to a friend without the fear of it being forwarded to a government database for key-word analysis? Can you imagine the peace-of-mind in knowing that an armed predator drone is not flying over your house and peering into your windows?
While we can’t turn back the hands of time and completely shield our personal lives from Big Brother, we can take some steps to minimize his intrusions by going back to a simpler time. Such a move would require sacrifice, the level of which I doubt many would be willing to make, but for those of you still reading I’ll list a few things that you can do to enhance your personal privacy.
1) Reduce your internet usage to an absolute minimum. This is probably the most difficult thing you could ask of a person living in the digital age (and I am quite aware of my own hypocrisy as I type this sentence on my internet-connected laptop). Instead of sending your mom an email why not write her a letter instead? She’ll appreciate it much more. Get in the habit of using pen and paper instead of reaching for the laptop. And while you’re at it, why not sell that internet-connected XBox 360 and buy a quality shortwave radio?
2) Speaking of radios, why not listen to your favorite radio programs on an actual radio instead of streaming it over the internet? Big Brother can’t track your radio usage. Alex Jones and many other radio talk show hosts broadcast on the AM band as well as the shortwave band. The advantage of the shortwave band is that you can listen to stations from around the world. I often listen to Alex Jones in the evening on my portable shortwave radio. The signal comes in loud and clear even though I’m in New England and the program is broadcast from Nashville, TN. Another option is XM Radio. With XM you can listen to a particular radio program from coast to coast without losing the signal. And it’s just like a regular radio except for the fact that it receives signals from a satellite instead of a radio tower. It does come with a monthly fee but is completely private. XM offers an online version of their service as well but obviously your listening patterns could be tracked.
3) If you must have a cell phone, buy a “dumb” phone. Both Apple and Android “smart phones” keep tabs on your data usage, including emails, contacts, and browser activity. Whether you get a smart phone or dumb phone be aware that even if your phone is turned off Big Brother can still track your position. If you want to be totally off the radar you can A) remove the battery, B) put your phone in a radio-blocking case, or C) just leave it at home.
4) If you’re near a major metropolitan area, consider watching TV with an over-the-air antenna. Cable and satellite providers track the programs you watch (and charge you for the privilege).
5) Buy a Free-To-Air (FTA) satellite system. There are hundreds of free channels on FTA (both TV and radio) and there is no provider in the mix keeping track of what you’re watching. Plus there are no monthly bills. Alex Jones currently broadcasts the audio portion of his program on the Galaxy 19 satellite. In the future he may very well broadcast the video as well.
Although it’s not easy staying off of Big Brother’s radar screen in the digital age, taking even a couple of the steps listed above will be a big step in the right direction. If you’re up for the challenge why not post an article on planetinfowars.com and share your “detox” experience?