posted by Joe Anaya on August 11th, 2014

Anyone who spends enough time with me will eventually notice that I’m generally paranoid about Big Brother.

My wife mocked my piece of tape covering my computer cam lens until it was revealed that hackers and the CIA could turn on your web-camera remotely without turning on the green light indicating that it’s in use.

I was lectured by a friend on how much money I was losing by not using the grocery store “rewards” card until I sent her a link to an article reporting on how a man, who was trying to sue a big grocery store for negligence, had his shopping habits scrutinized in court. (Apparently, he bought a lot of beer, every day.)

A fellow paranoid and I often stir each other up with links to news of Big Brotherish activities or developments. “Did you hear about the military experimenting with implanted dog tags, like a pet chip?” we would lament.

We developed a saying that explained the citizenries’ willingness to give up their privacy rights. “For your safety and convenience.” It’s a saying not actually in the Orwell’s classic 1984, but it fits perfectly with each gleeful step towards Big Brother.

The London police put cameras on practically every street corner. It’s for your safety. They can find criminals more easily, although they can’t stop a crime before it happens or as it’s happening.

Apple apps track your location via your phone. It’s for your convenience. They can help you find things nearby, even when you’re asleep.

The credit card company creates algorithms based on your shopping habits. It’s for your safety. They can more quickly discover credit card fraud, except they didn’t catch the crook who bought BBQ in Texas, but they did prevent me from buying a gift while in New York.

Google tracks your internet visits. It’s for your convenience. They can send you more appropriate ads. That’s pretty obviously awful.

Well, you get the idea.

My paranoia goes so deep that whenever I shop online, I use my wife’s name. Currently, Big Brother thinks she ordered a Seahawks foam finger and not me.

But of course, if I really wanted to hide from Big Brother I wouldn’t blog on the internet. But I can’t think of a more convenient way to spread the word. So, there’s that.



File Under Mr. Cool