William Thien

Archive for June 2015

As you know I support legislation offering increased privacy for internet users. I tend to believe that Americans focus a lot on what the government might be doing with information gleaned from our personal use of the internet while paying little if any attention to what private concerns are doing with that same information. I came across this story, EU pushes for more privacy for Internet users, while switching between various television news broadcasts this evening. The article details the European Union’s efforts to legislate greater privacy for internet users.

Reference: http://www.dw.de/eu-pushes-for-more-privacy-for-internet-users/a-18517884

Copyright © William Thien 2015

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Now that the program enabling The NSA to collect all telephone records of United States citizens has lapsed, perhaps everyone can take a breath of fresh air.

But there are mechanisms out there (I’ve written to this effect prior in an essay titled Government Spying vs. Corporate Espionage) that are in my opinion more pernicious and more detrimental to the liberty of Americans and we are monitored by those mechanisms every day, some would say willingly. Every time you get on the internet you are being monitored. But that’s not the insidious thing, that you are surfing the internet and being monitored. What is really unfortunate is that your information is being collected and sold wholesale to anyone and any organization that wants it. Unlike the government program, the corporate program, so to speak, is not regulated as thoroughly, if at all. Any company, the media, any concern that wants information about you can get it and do whatever they want with it. There are huge companies now just waiting to sell you to the highest bidder. Your surfing habits are being run through algorithms and psychological profiles are being drawn.

It’s not just so you can see well-tailored advertisements, you are being analyzed. Corporations are reacting to what you are doing, media are reacting to what individuals are viewing, building files, simply because you are looking at a catalog or chatting somewhere. They want that information. What was once an open and free form of commerce and communication has become a sort of electronic hydra or lamprey sucking at the evolving lives of The American people and there is no effort to have it removed. Instead the focus is always on the government. I do not here say that I believe in such blanket forms of search as was being conducted, but let’s not forget what is really happening either. Let’s not be misled by all of the hyperbole.

You haven’t put up the wall of privacy like you would were you to conclude that you were being spied upon such as by an enemy government, so you are relaxed and social in a normal context when you are surfing, and so you are vulnerable. Your family members are vulnerable. Files are being created on them at a very young age. We haven’t seen the negatives en masse of such corporate behavior yet. Give it another five or ten years.

To me that is what is truly disconcerting about any surveillance going on whether it be on your telephone or the internet. I’m not saying I agree with any blanket surveillance by our government, rather I disagree with the unbridled corporatized blanket collection of internet activity, use of smartphone data, and the like. To me that is just as if not much more insidious.

Who knows who is buying your information and what they are doing with it? You don’t even know who to point the finger at in that regard. That is where legislation needs to catch up with The American People to protect them.

It makes you wonder, what’s the greater threat to our liberty?

Copyright © William Thien 2015

Don’t forget to read my books! Just click on the link I’ve provided to Amazon and it will take you right to my page. Sales of my books are how I pay for all of this. The Kindle version is only $1.00! You can buy my books at Amazon.com

Sign up to receive updates. It’s easy and safe. Just go to the upper right hand corner of this page and add your email address. Or if you don’t want to offer your email address, click on the “Follow” button midway down the page. We will never sell your contact information to anyone.


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