I watch a lot of really obscure programs, documentaries, and reality TV. I’m sure the Netflix algorithm is a bit freaked out when trying to recommend things to me based on past habits.
Why do I do it?
Part of it is because I’m interested in nearly everything. Another part is because you never know where the next book idea is going to come from. For instance, I learned how to poison folks in a shelter by watching an episode of Rocket City Rednecks (one of my favorite shows). They didn’t mean to teach me this fun twist in an upcoming apocalyptic novel. They were building an air scrubber for a submarine:D
But I apply what I learn in unique and fun ways.
Plus, I believe in getting even.
So I look for crazy things to watch. Things where items and built and destroyed, forensic shows, documentaries on ancient life, NOVA and space. Pretty much most reality things that don’t involve voting folks off, people acting petty, mean and stupid (I have my own PMS thank you) or other talent based shows.
Basically anything tech, space, alien, conspiracy, or what-are-they-on kind of things. And for the most part my reading material goes along with it.
So it was with interest that I came across a little documentary called Terms and Conditions. It was about the erosion of privacy in a digital age.
Now I know that the government can find out my reading habits via my library card. After all, a library is part of the government. I’m under no illusions to how many people have access to my personal information via my social security number and my trash. And all the stuff I do on social media is pretty much public. I know that when I start looking for certain things, banner ads about those things appear in the ad space on my computer. I get coupons based on purchased at the grocery store as well as for products like those I’ve already bought.
In a technoworld, privacy is an illusion.
Now, don’t get me wrong I value my privacy. I know that just my search history alone could get me into serious trouble with Homeland Security. After all, in order to create a believable fictional apocalypse, I like to have facts. Lots of facts.
I also need to know how Victorian women cleaned their floors. What goes into turn of the 20th century furniture polish. When the Coast Guard was established in Mackinac Island.
In other words, I need to find the Devil and put him in the details.
So what does this have to do with the 4th Amendment?
This is the 4th Admendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
You see when you click that you agree to the terms and conditions to use anything from Google to WordPress, to your cellphone, you are in effect waiving your 4th amendment rights. Apparently, your rights aren’t yours when a 3rd party is involved. And no warrant is needed for the government to get access to them.
In fact most of the service providers state that in their terms of service and they don’t have to let you know someone’s been poking around in your cyberbackyard.
And this isn’t just in the US. I think there was 1 country that protected the user’s privacy. 1. Any safeguards to user’s privacy was abandoned after September 11, 2011. Now the government considers it their right to see what you’re doing and any attempts to subvert it, makes a body suspect.
I’m sure other governments feel the same way.
As the saying goes, you’re not paranoid if someone is watching:D