Death by selfie… Do you trust The Zuck?… The “Eye in the Sky” comes into focus… In the mailbag: “I feel liberated”…
First on the list is getting yourself killed while taking a selfie.
A new study in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care reveals that 259 people have died in pursuit of the perfect selfie.
Most of the victims have fallen off steep ledges (most recently at Machu Picchu, Peru). Others have been mauled to death by wild animals they were trying to get into the frame.
Dying for a selfie is hard to beat on the stupid scale.
But second on the list of dumb things to do with a camera is to put one made by a for-profit surveillance company in your home.
The company just launched a new home video camera, called Portal, that will allow two-way video chats with your Facebook “friends” from your home.
It consists of a high-resolution video camera, a tablet-sized screen, and a highly sensitive microphone.
It’s voice-activated, which means its microphone is always on and always listening for a cue phrase. Its camera uses artificial intelligence to track your movements inside your home.
And Facebook is hoping you’ll put it on your kitchen counter… or in your living room.
The Portal sales page says Facebook encrypts your video calls. It also says it doesn’t use the facial recognition software Facebook deployed on its online platform… and that it doesn’t store your calls.
But as we’ve been warning you, Facebook is a surveillance company disguised as a social media company. It exists to extract your personal data and then sell it to the highest bidder.
We doubt The Zuck is genuine about not using Portal to harvest more personal data on you…
But even if you give him the benefit of the doubt, he runs a company that gave away the personal data of 87 million users – without their consent – to political campaign strategists at British firm Cambridge Analytica… and then “forgot” to tell anyone about it.
Facebook is also the company that, just two weeks ago, admitted that hackers took control over the accounts of a further 50 million users. (We covered this here.)
These hackers also stole the “master keys” that allowed them to raid third-party websites these users signed into using Facebook.
If Facebook can’t secure your sensitive personal data online, how does it expect you to believe it will keep the data you share with Portal safe?
The original panopticon was a radical new prison design by Jeremy Bentham, a philosopher and social reformer, in the late 18th century.
It consists of a single watchtower circled by cells. The prisoners are visible from the tower. But they can’t see back inside the tower.
That’s the stroke of evil genius of the panopticon design – information asymmetry.
It takes more than one watcher to keep an eye on all the prisoners 24 hours a day. But because the prisoners can’t tell how many watchers there are at any given time, they must assume they’re always being watched…
…and always obey their prison masters, whether they’re being watched or not.
The Daily Cut mailbag has been bursting at the seams lately with readers telling us that they’re not willing to sacrifice their privacy for “free” services anymore… so they’ve deleted their Facebook accounts.
But if you still use Facebook, take a moment to think about the nature of your relationship with The Zuck and his firm.
Think about how much Facebook knows about you – who your friends are… what political party you support… what news you read… whom you vote for… what you look like… what your voice sounds like… where you are in the world at any given moment… what your hobbies are… where you like to vacation… if you’re single or in a relationship.
Facebook has gone so far as to patent what it calls “Socioeconomic Group Classification Based on User Features.” It mines – or analyzes – the personal data it stores on you to tell whether you’re “working class,” “middle class,” or “upper class.”
Now think about how much you know about Facebook.
Its algorithms are a closely guarded secret. What news it chooses to feed you – and what news it chooses to keep you from reading – is a mystery. Who it’s selling your personal data to is hush-hush.
It’s a perfect case of panopticon asymmetry.
And don’t forget… The Zuck is so paranoid about being the watched rather than the watcher, he puts tape over the camera and microphone on his personal laptop.
Far from it. As we’ve been telling you, some of the most exciting – and most profitable – trends in the world today are in tech.
But some folks think tech is benign… and that Facebook and Google have your best interests at heart.
And this idea that ALL tech is good doesn’t make sense either.
Legacy Research cofounder Bill Bonner has been keeping a close eye on the growth of the digital panopticon over at his monthly publication, The Bill Bonner Letter. As he recently told readers (if you’re signed up, you can catch up in full here)…
The revolution in telecommunications was greeted as a liberator. Free information… free ideas… social media. The internet seemed to break bars and open doors.
But no technology has ever been invented that was not eventually used by the dark side.
One of the technologies with the most potential to be used for surveillance and oppression is the video camera. Bill again…
Now, gradually and horribly, the vision of the “Eye in the Sky” is coming into focus.
Already, video cameras with the help of advanced software can tell who you are, even if you put a bag over your head. They simply identify you by how you walk.
Your gait is referenced and cross-checked against millions of samples – in seconds, of course – making it possible to pick you out in a crowd, even if your face is hidden.
This kind of technology has yet to be deployed against Americans by their government. But if you live in China, you’re not so lucky. The Chinese feds are using technologies like the ones Facebook is deploying commercially in the U.S. to create the world’s first digital police state.
As you may already know, we’re hosting the first annual Legacy Investment Summit at the five-star Fairmont Southampton Hotel in Bermuda next Thursday and Friday.
In addition to the presentations and breakout sessions, I (Chris) will be leading two 45-minute panel discussions with Bill, Doug Casey, Teeka Tiwari, Jeff Clark, and Dan Denning.
We’ll be discussing, in detail, the threat we all face from Big Tech… and what to do about it.
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to Bermuda. We’ll be livestreaming the Summit so you can “attend” from the comfort of your home. To find out more about how to get access, read on here.
Your emails keep pouring in about Facebook… and the search for a less intrusive alternative, such as blockchain-based platform Steemit…
I’m interested in anything that would be safer than Facebook and Google. The emails are endless and there is no way to delete them except one at a time. I have way over 10,000 and they are continuously coming day and night! How can I possibly delete them all?
I’ve had my identity stolen, and my Gmail is on the dark web. What can I do? And like others, how do I get my info back and erased? I can’t, once it’s out there, it’s out there forever!
– Carol N.
I am definitely waiting for Steemit to take over and bury Facebook.
– Cynthia S.
Mr. Zuckerberg saw fit to delete my account, together with my 250 friends, archive of photos, etc. I used to post to 40 sites, mainly patriotic sites, and mostly just reposting from other Facebook sites, just sharing information. So I actually feel liberated as I used to spend too much time on the net anyway.
I can feel Facebook is becoming less relevant to many people. Goodbye Facebook, you won’t be missed. I hope customer-controlled blockchain technology knocks you out forever, trashes your share price, and you go bankrupt. (And I’m in a good mood today!)
– Pete W.
Meanwhile, one of your fellow readers offers a suggestion if you’re looking to escape America…
Check out the Philippines. Many times, it is hot and humid, but the cost of living is low, people are friendly, and the dollar-to-peso conversion rate is great.
– David E.
How are you escaping the digital prison? Let us know at [email protected].
October 9, 2018
Delray Beach, Florida