We all come by our opinions from our experiences. These are some of mine.
A few events that made me very watchful of the Internet and what people were doing with it.
1: The RCMP.
In the 80’s I setup a bulletin board system for the Green Party of Ontario. A BBS was an early form of telecommunication, At the time it was leading edge, way ahead of the other parties and the RCMP came to my home and trashed the system. That story here. It was a crash course in the role of our police force in Canadian Politics.
At the same time Petra Kelly, the leader of the German Green Party was killed. I had just received a letter from her in my capacity as the policy coordinator of the Greens in Canada. It all struck close to home and I decided to be a dad rather an activist for while. As well I grew up in an age where Lennon, JFK, RFK, MLK were all shot and killed. The list of assassination of people trying to make the world a better place is long
3: Hardware Manufacturer
I apprenticed as a toolmaker at a telecommunications company named Mitel and eventually worked for another telecommunications company called NewBridge. At NewBridge my job was as a mechanical technologist responsible for plastic injection moulding and worked on all sorts of “Line Card Face-plates”. For every data line in every cabinet of NewBridge data and voice networking products there was a card cover. I helped engineer them. Each Asynchronous Transfer Mode line had a faceplate assembly, a plastic cover, with copper nickel plating, EMI shielding paint on one side, a Parker Chomerics gasket, painted on the outside, pad printed and all held shut with an ultem latch.
One day the engineers came down with a new faceplate. The OS Card, or optical splitting card. They explained the NSA wanted all data so all data was split, the data went along its way to its desintation and was copied and sent to the NSA.
Then it was the DPI card, the “Deep Packet Inspection” card used by packet analysers. A packet analyser is used for intercepting traffic on wireless networks.
Then it was the Digital Collection System Network or DCS Card for the FBI where they can do point-and-click surveillance or instant wire taps on any telecommunications device in the World. The SCS runs on its own global fiber-optic backbone that everyone has to pass data over.
Another day they came down with the CALEA Card, that stands for Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) That card was a “back-door” access for the police services, of which there are many.
All this peaked my interest and the more I looked the more I found projects like PRISM, ECHELON, Carnivore, Fairview, MYSTIC, Boundless Informant, and other programs that were used for surveillance.
4: Googles Personality Test
At one point I took some career councilling and as part of the intake the firm did a series of personality tests on me. It took a couple of 1 hour sessions and lots of short questions. Things like
~would you rather sing a solo or sing in a choir
~Do you like a sunset or a sunrise more
~Would you rather go to a show with a friend or see a friend at a party.
That sort of thing. Answer quickly, go to the next question 200 questions in an hour.
At the end of the test they had a profile of me that was frightening to read, it was as if they knew every dream, hope and fear of mine and it was all written out in black and white.
My takeaway from that experience was how similar the questions they asked me were to the queries people make on goggle. And that is where I started looking into google and what it was they do.
5: Face book is not your friend.
One day I posted a rather rude comment, a very homophobic comment, directed at a gay friend of mine who was on face book. It was very funny and my gay friend thought it was funny. No harm, unless you were a woke warrior offended by every joke made between friends, fortunately that did not happen.
What did happen is that I started to get adds on my feed for the Conservative party. I had entered an anti gay rabbit hole. Because of my rude comment to my friend, the sarcasm of which was lost on the Facebook algorithm now I was grouped with a gay hating cohort.
6: I have my concerns
The police state is heavily involved in monitoring everyone (OS, DPI, CALEA and DCS access). They interfere in the politics of the Country (Green BBS). They kill thier opposition (Petra Kelly, John Lennon, JFK and MLK). Google is a giant personality test designed to sort you and face book will reinforce your biases and prejudices.
With those experiences I started to write “Monitored and Manipulative Media” A couple of years later I found the following video on line. It is by Robert Epstein. He is a Harvard University professor who has been monitoring what goggle has been doing and his conclusions are exactly as I saw it. It get boring always being right.
7: Dr. Robert Epstein
Enjoy the video. “One Search at a Time: How Google Uses Ephemeral Experiences to Control Thinking & Behaviour”