by Irwin Lengel
(Lakeland, FL)

How many of you watch the TV series “Person of Interest”? I have this theory that once we see certain things on TV, it is only a matter of time before it becomes a reality in our world. My educated guess is that much of what we see on some of our television shows, i.e.”Person of Interest”, is already in play - but just not made known to the American public.

Everyone seems to be concerned today with the fact that “Big Brother” is listening in on our conversations.

Hello, are we missing something here? Stop and think a minute about the world we live in today. How many of us have iPhones? Smart phones? Tablets? Netbooks? Laptops? And what is it we do with these wonderful little gadgets?

Better yet – did you ever stop and think what all we keep on these high-tech wonders?

If yours are like mine – there are names, numbers, email addresses, information related to social activities I am affiliated with, account information, and even health information.

Taking this thought process one step further – let’s think about what we do with these gadgets. Let’s start with our laptop or tablet – we surf the net looking here and there and in some instances filling out surveys and providing this information or that information to God only knows how many different organizations.

What is it we think they are doing with that information? Basically, since there is all sorts of data being collected on our habits, spending patterns, what we like and dislike and so forth and so on, in reality, those of us using all this new-fangled technology, have nowhere to hide. So, explain to me again why we are concerned “Big Brother is watching?”

What we as a people should be concerned about is what is being done with all this data being collected? Think about it, how many times have you signed onto Google looking for some piece of information? In doing so, we readily allow browsers such as Google to track our searches, and as eluded to above – learn our likes and dislikes and my educated guess is that they do similar searches for our friends and neighbors in an effort to sell us something at one point or another.

Once they have gathered all this information they are able to recommend where we travel , what restaurants we should choose, and so on and so forth.

A better question might be: Should Google be allowed to share our data with third parties? And then what follows begs the question – should they be allowed to share the data with governments? An even better question though is if we allow the government to use this data gathered by the likes of Google, Apple and whomever – who is to say how much data they can obtain and for how long will they be allowed to keep said data?

Personally, being what I consider myself to be “an honest person”, I would be less concerned with data that I know is being collected than what is being collected secretly.

We are continually being told about how proficient hackers have become – and the fact that some have been bold and smart enough to hack into financial institution and/or places that we would have thought were impenetrable just due to the type knowledge stored there.

We also hear stories every day about the billions of dollars organized crime is reaping as a result of their hacking know-how. And lest we not forget, we are not the only country in this world that knows a bit about computers. I am sure that many other countries are out there hacking into our data bases with the hopes and goals of gathering information that will provide them with a competitive edge over our domestic/international corporations. And you can be sure if they are involved with the hacking of their competition, they are also looking into what could be done to disable or do damage to the U.S. infrastructure which would, in and of itself, cause the U.S. serious financial repercussions.

These are the things that scare me more than U.S. government snooping.

Comments for Eavesdropping

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Watering Hole
by: Kaylee

I spent my career in information and technology security.

Facebook is what we called a watering hole where the bad guys hang out to trap the unwary and link them to botnets that spread malware and subsequently theft of personal or business information or the latest trend, ransom ware.

These criminal elements are however at the lower end of the skill range. The area where the really bad stuff happens is part of the darknet infrastructure which is many times larger than the surface web that you can access through search engines like Google. These sites cannot be accessed by search engines and are "invitation only". One of the largest darknets which was taken down was called the Silk Road which supported, for example, drug trafficking, terrorist activities, pornography, etc.

Although I am retired now, it was a fascinating and interesting career

Believe and trust
by: Donna

Irwin I think we have to be diligent with our sharing on some of these sites however, I too am an honest person and maybe too trustful?? I just think we have to trust each other. It seems it should be like, innocent until proven guilty.

I have often thought holy wow there are cameras everywhere are we not able to have ANY privacy?

Then, things like the Boston marathon bombings occur and I think thank God those cameras were running. I certainly don't know what the answer is does anybody else feel this way like I do??

Stay Away--Problem Solved
by: Tom Damron, Plano., TexasName/Location

Irwin touched the exact reason that I don't Facebook, Instagram, Printerest, or participate in any other 'social' programs.

The exposure of your personal life, activities, beliefs, pleasures, likes and dislikes to wide distribution beyond your control is really horrific when fully analyzed.

You must think through the consequences when applying to join a network of gossip. Were you aware that it's nearly impossible to actually leave Facebook? It takes a serious search to find the exact process of being totally removed from the Facebook member list.

Do you want strangers copying your data and using it on other social sites? You can't control what others do with your data. Think about that for a second or two. If you put it out there they will use it for their own purposes.

Then study the expansion of social programs into other ventures that automatically carry your membership to a new avenue you may not endorse without your permission.

Bottom line--- think long and deeply before saying yes.

Person of Interest
by: Irwin

Dolly is the same way and has the same thought process.

If it is on TV it must be real and happening someplace.

Good one Irwin!
by: Wendy

Just gotta comment here...

Facebook knows SO MUCH -- I learned we can place ads and target almost anything by age, keywords, location, and even income! Seriously!

Did you ever notice when you've looked at an item at Amazon, or a store online, and suddenly that same items (and competitors) suddenly appear on completely different sites and Facebook? They do follow you, hoping you'll click and buy... drives me batty, but that is how ads work on the internet!

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