Everything is spying on you
Jan 10, 2013
Bloomberg today carries a report that details how seemingly innocuous electrical appliances such as rice cookers and refrigerators are now being manufactured with Google’s Android operating system and an internet connection.
Of course, the article suggests this is a good thing, a helpful, innovative technological leap. The truth, however, is that gadgets have now become tools for spying on you in your own home.
George Orwell was merely scratching the surface with telescreens – the 21st century home as a surveillance hub will outstrip anything you read about in 1984. From dishwashers to light bulbs, so-called “smart homes” will allow industry and the government to spy ubiquitously on every aspect of your existence.
Google long ago announced it will use the ambient background noise of a person’s environment, via their cell phone or computer microphone, to spy on their activities in order to direct targeted advertising at them. Everything from X-box to Verizon TV boxes also has the same technology, enabling industry to literally peer into your home and analyze your actions, conversations and relationships.
In addition, CIA director David Petraeus has said that the rise of new “smart” gadgets means that Americans are effectively bugging their own homes, saving US spy agencies a job when it identifies any “persons of interest”.
Speaking at a summit last year for In-Q-Tel , the CIA’s technology investment operation, Petraeus made the comments when discussing new technologies which aim to add processors and web connections to previously ‘dumb’ home appliances such as fridges, ovens and lighting systems.
Wired reported the details via its Danger Room Blog:
“‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,” Petraeus enthused, “particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.”
“Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing,” Petraeus said.
“the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.” the CIA head added.
Petraeus also stated that such devices within the home “change our notions of secrecy”.
Petraeus’ comments come in the same week that one of the biggest microchip companies in the world, ARM, unveiled new processors that are designed to give practically every household appliance an internet connection, in order that they can be remote controlled and operated in tandem with applications.
ARM describes the concept as an “internet of things”.
Where will all the information from such devices be sent and analyzed? It can be no coincidence that the NSA is currently building a monolithic heavily fortified $2 billion facility deep in the Utah desert and surrounded by mountains. The facility is set to go fully live in September of this year.
“The Utah data center is the centerpiece of the Global Information Grid, a military project that will handle yottabytes of data, an amount so huge that there is no other data unit after it.” reports Gizmodo.
“This center—with every listening post, spy satellite and NSA datacenter connected to it, will make the NSA the most powerful spy agency in the world.”
Wired reports that the incoming data is being mined by plugging into telecommunications companies’ switches, essentially the same method the NSA infamously uses for warrantless wiretapping of domestic communications, as exposed six years ago.
Former intelligence analyst turned best selling author James Bamford, has penned a lengthy piece on the NSA facility and warns “It is, in some measure, the realization of the ‘total information awareness’ program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.”
Since most people have already taken the decision to sacrifice their privacy for convenience, so called smart gadgets will be used to spy on individuals and harvest data which will then be sold to big corporations. The vast majority simply do not care. They value the novelty of a fridge being able to tell you when you’re out of milk and automatically ordering more via the Internet more than they do their own privacy.
Whether they will begin to care about the fact that they are broadcasting everything about their private lives and allowing governments and corporations to harvest that data when it actually begins to blowback on them in negative ways remains to be seen. The fact that some employers are now demanding Facebook passwords from their staff is perhaps the first sign of how this could all come crumbling down.
Paul Joseph Watson contributed research to this article.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.