We Are Borg

Posted on March 29, 2018. Filed under: Politics, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Are you kidding me?” That was the intrusive thought as I perused the electronics store looking for home security systems. My personal privacy is one thing I treasure, and, I wanted to protect my new hermit sanctum from uninvited and opportunistic “guests.”

My sense of what to expect in the way of suitable equipment was stand-alone motion sensors, site alarms, and, maybe closed-circuit camera surveillance, all of which would be subject to my personal control.

But, the systems on display here touted such wondrous features as voice control, inter-device wireless communication, remote viewing of my hermit cave from another city, even talking to a person ringing my doorbell from 200 miles away. And, it was touted, I had personal control of the entire security spectrum through my smart phone or other computerized device. Such control would be managed over Al Gore’s marvelous invention, the World Wide Web. YES! That would be the same internet that allows our identities, wealth, and reputations to be stolen… where employers can read your thoughts on personal web sites and fire you for being non-compliant with the employer’s views.

Another thought, chilling to my personal sense of privacy and control of my life, flashed through my mind on the heels of that hype: George Orwell’s 1949 novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Its distinction was the introduction of the term Big Brother, the name of an authoritative government whose power derived from the application of thought control over its citizens, a power facilitated by confinement and brain-washing of non-compliant persons.

It was the term “internet” that fueled my spine-tingling thought of Big Brother. That net would be the same place that has stored all the formerly private information about my financial dealings, my bank information, my medical information, my comments on Facebook and Twitter, my political affiliations and opinions, my religious convictions, my familial connections; even the kind of music and movies I see and hear, and the kind of things I enjoy and purchase at the grocery store. All known to the internet.

Yes, your personal calendar, though fortified against intrusion by that secret password known only to you, is vulnerable to any hacker’s eyes.

Oh, for the good old days of real privacy. Back then, your personal information was not sold or given away by businesses with whom you contracted, and the use of cash did not announce to the world your name, your address, your description, your employer, your location at the time you made payment, etc.

Cash is a private transaction, whereas credit cards and debit cards scream out everything about you over a virtual public-address system.

I just love internet sites’ declarations of privacy toward your personal business: Because we respect your privacy, we will not sell or give away your information to others… except to our affiliates and 3rd parties who can help us make another buck, and they have not agreed to anything regarding the privacy of your personal information.

That previous paragraph was my personal summation of what that 10,000-word, fine-print declaration of respect intimates.

Once, I considered myself to be “John Q. Citizen.” Now, I have become stamped on the forehead as “Grade-A Prime Marketing Prospect.”

I resist, but I know…

resistance is futile.

I try to remain apart, but, I know…

I will be assimilated.

Though Orwell missed the bigger picture, his Big Brother has jumped into the Collective Mind of internet feet first. NSA, FBI, FCC, KGB, and a host of other alphabet soup agencies and dot-com web sites gleefully mine the mother-lode of data held within that COLLECTIVE mind of internet.

Another chilling thought from the universe of Roddenberry’s Star Trek…

Resistance is futile.

You will be assimilated.

WE ARE BORG

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