Big Brother Surveillance – It Is Not Just For Governments Anymore

Big Brother Is WatchingEnd of American Dream – by Michael Snyder

Traditionally, when we have thought of “Big Brother technology” we have thought of government oppression.  But these days, it isn’t just governments that are using creepy new technologies to spy on all of us.  As you will see below, “Big Brother surveillance” has become very big business.  In the information age, knowledge is power, and big corporations seem to have an endless thirst for even more of it.  So it isn’t just governments that are completely obsessed with watching, tracking, monitoring and recording virtually everything that we do.  Corporations have discovered that they can use Orwellian technologies to make lots of money, and this is likely only going to get worse in the years ahead.  Below, I have shared a few examples of this phenomenon…  

Private Companies Are Using Automated License Plate Readers To Spy On You

Did you know that people that work for private companies are driving around scanning our license plates?

I never knew this until I came across an article about it the other day.  The following is an excerpt from that article

Few notice the “spotter car” from Manny Sousa’s repo company as it scours Massachusetts parking lots, looking for vehicles whose owners have defaulted on their loans. Sousa’s unmarked car is part of a technological revolution that goes well beyond the repossession business, transforming any ­industry that wants to check on the whereabouts of ordinary people.

An automated reader attached to the spotter car takes a picture of every ­license plate it passes and sends it to a company in Texas that already has more than 1.8 billion plate scans from vehicles across the country.

These scans mean big money for Sousa — typically $200 to $400 every time the spotter finds a vehicle that’s stolen or in default — so he runs his spotter around the clock, typically adding 8,000 plate scans to the database in Texas each day.

Your Cell Phone Is Spying On You

If you carry a cell phone around with you, then you are willingly offering up a whole host of information about yourself.  This is something that I have written about previously, but I never realized that some private companies are now setting up sensors in businesses to purposely capture information from the cell phones of anyone that walks in.  Yes, this is actually happening according to the Wall Street Journal

Fan Zhang, the owner of Happy Child, a trendy Asian restaurant in downtown Toronto, knows that 170 of his customers went clubbing in November. He knows that 250 went to the gym that month, and that 216 came in from Yorkville, an upscale neighborhood.

And he gleans this information without his customers’ knowledge, or ever asking them a single question.

Mr. Zhang is a client of Turnstyle Solutions Inc., a year-old local company that has placed sensors in about 200 businesses within a 0.7 mile radius in downtown Toronto to track shoppers as they move in the city.

Entire “Big Brother Housing Developments” Are Now Being Designed

Would you live in a housing development with a sophisticated “video surveillance program” and that uses automated license plate scanners to monitor everyone who comes and goes from the community?

In a country that is becoming increasingly obsessed with “security”, these new kinds of housing developments are surely going to be quite popular.  The following is an excerpt from an article about one of these communities that is being built in California

A new, scenic development surrounded by winding waterways is billed as a safe haven.

Only four bridges lead in and out of the area with security checkpoints and a fiberoptic video surveillance program. Every license plate scanned on those roads will be cross-checked with a DMV database for stolen cars.

The first homes are already going up at River Islands, and the people who move in can expect to be part of a new era in policing.

Disney Implements The “MagicBand” Tracking Device

Would you wear an RFID tracking device that allows you to buy stuff and that monitors you wherever you go?

Well, Disney actually wants their customers to willingly use this technology.

They are calling it the “MagicBand”, and perhaps you have already watched one of the new Disney commercials about it.  You can see what Disney has to say about “MagicBand” right here.

In the video posted below, activist Mark Dice discusses this troubling move by Disney…

Our “Smart Televisions” Are Spying On Us

How would you feel if I told you that your expensive new television is actually spying on you?

You probably would not be too excited to hear that.

Well, depending on the actual brand, this is really happening.  In fact, one brand of television actually sends information about every button that press on your remote back to corporate headquarters

An IT consultant called Jason Huntley, who lives in a village near Hull, uncovered evidence that a flat-screen television, which had been sitting in his living room since the summer, was secretly invading his family’s privacy.

He began investigating the £400 LG device after noticing that its home screen appeared to be showing him ‘targeted’ adverts — for cars, and Knorr stock cubes — based on programmes he’d just been watching.

Huntley decided to monitor information that the so-called smart TV — which connects to the internet — was sending and receiving. He did this by using his laptop effectively as a bridge between his television and the internet receiver, so the laptop was able to show all the data being sucked out of his set.

He soon discovered that details of not just every show he watched but every button he pressed on his remote control were being sent back to LG’s corporate headquarters in South Korea.

Data Mining – Your Personal Information Is Big Business

There are huge companies that most people have never even heard of that do nothing but buy and sell our personal information.  The collection of this personal information is called “data mining”, and it is extremely profitable.

In fact, there is one company called Acxiom that made a profit of more than 77 million dollars in one recent year by collecting and selling info about all of us.

In case you were wondering, yes, Acxiom almost certainly has a profile on you too

The company fits into a category called database marketing. It started in 1969 as an outfit called Demographics Inc., using phone books and other notably low-tech tools, as well as one computer, to amass information on voters and consumers for direct marketing. Almost 40 years later, Acxiom has detailed entries for more than 190 million people and 126 million households in the U.S., and about 500 million active consumers worldwide. More than 23,000 servers in Conway, just north of Little Rock, collect and analyze more than 50 trillion data ‘transactions’ a year.

As long as these technologies are legal and businesses can make money this way, they are going to keep doing it.

So even if we stopped the rapid expansion of “Big Brother surveillance” by the governments of the world, the reality is that private corporations are going to keep pushing the envelope.

We live in a world that is rapidly changing, and unless a miracle happens we soon will not have very much privacy left at all.

Big Brother Surveillance

8 thoughts on “Big Brother Surveillance – It Is Not Just For Governments Anymore

  1. I have been telling people about govt. surveilence now for years and they get all defensive with me every time and they always say ” you have nothing to worry about if you are not doing anything wrong”.
    Yea, these dirty little surveilance tricks that they use are signs or just how untrustworthy they are that use these tactics on the individual and society.

    1. and the fact that they do it without our knowledge. I remember about 10 years ago saying to a Very Smart friend of mine that I was uneasy that the grocery stores were grabbing data on my shopping habits, what I chose to buy, etc. and could develop a profile on me. His reply was dismissive and basically along the lines of, “look, they collect so much data on everyone, there is no way they can zero in on a single individual, and besides why would they want to? Your shopping habits are not that interesting to them. This is just to keep track of inventory and what *people* buy — not what YOU buy.” his basic message to me was that I was being paranoid.

      Well, now. 😉

      1. Yes EE, that is what they all said to me too.
        Too bad they do not at least think about what you and I said instead of just dismissing it all off as just being parinoid.

        1. diggerdan, I do wonder what they are REALLY thinking these days. I wonder. I ask point-blank questions and get very shifty responses. I think maybe underneath it all, they are now uneasy too, but afraid to admit it. But you know what, they no longer call me paranoid. I don’t even share half of what I know, though. The little I do share is scary enough and they shy away from it. I don’t understand this cowardice!

          1. Yes EE, I know exactly what you are sayin` for sure.
            I am very carefull of what I share with people in the comunity of about 1000 people that I live in too – well actually I live about 5 miles out of town :). Actually, sometimes I think that that is worse for me though living out side of town like I do ya know.

  2. Well diggerdan, I’m not sure I know exactly what you mean about living outside of town. I live in town and it is a mixed thing. I like my neighbors, they are pretty cool. But it is less free, and by that I am referring to the loneliness of the self-censoring I do around most people in order to maintain working relationships with them. 🙂 So I think living in the country would have its benefits — grass is greener? 🙂

    1. Oh yes EE , it is nice to not have immediate neighbors, but what I do have is people moveing out here and they are trying to change it to what they think is right like a lot of traffic comeing in from the big cities, Lots of partying with brings in a lot of surveilence – which was never before, in fact now I have a cop that lives across the street from me and about 500 feet on the other end I have a police training accadamy for instance. I still have my privacy in so far as 5 acres but they got me pretty much surrounded with that kind of neighbors ya know. If I have any company at all they know about it just that fast. Tell ya the truth, if my ex`s name wasn`t on my property title I would sell out and move – she didn`t put a dime in my place but she would get half if I sold out and I haven`t the finances or the energy to fight her for it in the courts.
      That is kind of what I meant ya know. It is realy nice if it wasn`t for those kind of neighbors if ya know what I mean especially when they know that I do not like cops. They are the wrong neighbors for me if ya know what I`m sayin`.

      1. definitely, yes, I get that. Ugh. I think it is an out of balance thing, and kind of like what we have going on with the immigration (and also yes what must have happened with Colonial America and westward expansion and stuff). When the newcomers outnumber the current residents and impose the new culture and terrain manipulation (roads, houses, “improving on” nature) it is frustrating to see the changes that you can’t stop, and them noticing you and your ways, maybe they would like to change you, too. I wouldn’t like having those kinds of neighbors infringing on me either, diggerdan.

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published.