Facebook Users as “NSA Data Entry Volunteers”

German Secret Police logo, altered by © Michaël Van Broekhoven.

Samantha just turned her laptop to her friend Emily, ‘Check out Taylor’s dress at the party last Saturday!’.  I guess ‘m around age 18, give or take 2 years  Click.  Photos tagged, names added, comments posted.  Click. Click.  And they go about their casual chatting and exchanging ideas, music [overheard they’re listening to “Snow Tha Product, which I had never heard of],… click click… they touch on some more photos, impressions, crushes, gossip,…

Like a fly on the wall, I’m captive audience to what must be daily ritual at this busy coffee shop.  Like millions of fellow Facebook users, it’s unquestioned completely normal to share where they are, what they’re doing, photos of what they look like, what they listen to, think, feel, ponder, their plans for the weekend, who they’re dating, and so forth… ONLINE, for the massive global data surveillance apparatus to track and data-mine in ways we ordinary folks can’t even gauge.  Phone numbers linked to their accounts make ‘m even traceable by GPS.  As long as their battery is IN the phone, the phone can even be turned into a listening device (even if it’s actually turned off).

But the day they realize that the political system they live under is one of manufacturing consent, of media manipulations, gross distortions of truth, horrific deceptions,…  The day they realize they basically live a lie and decide to get organized and change things…, they’ll already be mapped in all their habits, their psychological makeup, weaknesses to be exploited, friendships to be messed with,…  The ammo the agents of oppression have readily available at their fingertips nowadays to be used in COINTELPRO-style online operations is simply unbelievable.  Add the biometrics from all those tagged Facebook photos… And you can see that, once all this data is integrated with CCTV facial recognition software on surveillance systems, it leaves ‘m recognized any way they go…  Mapped, pinned down, imprisoned in an electronic prison planet of their own making…

The possibilities to spread information may seem liberating, but in all actuality the ability of those who control key aspects of the systems to squash dissent are equally unprecedented.  In my opinion, when push comes to shove, Facebook and other electronic media are basically useless to accomplish meaningful positive change.   Mere distractions…

The medium is still the message.

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