Wednesday, June 13, 2012

HEY THUMBO! GIVE US ALL YOUR INFO



June 13, 2012

Kayokay. I’m a pleasingly plump girl still in high school and I enjoy bright pink lipstick, short skirts and Lady Gaga. I especially like the Smurf fingernail designs. I’ve listed my friends on my Facebook page. I have a couple thousand friends, all dear, close ones.
To save them the trouble, I’ve also thumb-typed in lots of stuff about all of us - all the things we all like. Isn’t Facebook fun?
Maybe. But the joy you feel is nothing compared to the smug satisfaction Facebook oligarch Mark Zuckerberg has been experiencing since he launched the site in 2004. You smile, he sniggers. Zuckerberg’s yukkin’
He’s been selling your private information to corporate, political and other interests. To the Communist Chinese government as well? Who knows! In Europe he’s being reined in, but not here.
Folks think they’re sharing only with their “friends”. No they’re not. They think when they close their account or quit using it that’s an end to the matter. No it’s not. Facebook’s big cheese has already admitted publicly that any personal details you already posted are out there for good. No way can you erase that stuff: it stays on the main database. Say goodbye to your privacy: we’re Zucker’s suckers.
Same with the other social networks. MyLife, YourLife, everyone’s life, concealing folks who make it their business to poke their nosey noses into our business. Just like the Roach Motel, once you’ve Linked yourself In you can’t link out. And anyway you’ve already been gotcha’d by once-trustworthy Google that revealed in March they tracked everything. They know more about us than our families do. Switch to ixquick? Sure, until the day they compromise you too.
Here’s a young lady’s online whimper: “I tried deleting my account but MySpace won’t let me. Oh well.”
Most troubling here is the final two-word give-up. It says: (sigh) this outfit’s too big to tackle so I’ll just roll over and hope they don’t do anything bad to me. Should we trust them?
No, but we do. You can tell people they’re surrendering their souls to Government spies, Big Business and criminals and they don’t care. Ooh, it’s so-o-o cool having so-o-o-o many friends out there.
Johnnie Popular, whom  I know, boasts of 1,400, including many able young men in Atlanta, where he was stranded when his pickup packed up. Not one friend responded to his texted S.O.S.
Some shadowy people will have noticed, however, that the 22-year-old had a truck and added that to his profile. But who cares, right? It’s just those marketing types; they only want to know what your tastes are in clothes, music, food maybe and then they’ll offer you products and services they think you’ll like. It’s all harmless stuff...
Is it really? Write the word “smart”, even in a joke, and it’ll be picked up by NSA, the National Security Agency, already spying on all of us. Illegally, as it turns out. In 2002 President George W. Bush broke the Fourth Amendment and the law when he signed an order allowing that agency to intercept all our phone calls and e-mails. President Barack Obama perpetuates this crime.
But it’s not just the government that’s prying and it’s not just the NSA. Insurance companies employ teams of peeping toms to build dossiers on those garrulous ninnies who post health, employment, an abundance of assorted data on their pages that can end up biting them in the butt.
“Coverage denied for your brain tumor, Brandi. Pre-existing condition. On May 11 last year you tweeted you’d been getting blinding headaches for months but never saw a doctor.”
The childish photo of you holding a hidden hose so it looks like you’re super-urinating could be why you didn’t get that job you wanted.
These are the “benign” disadvantages. But it’s pointless warning today’s thumbelinos, relentlessly punching their iPhones and Androids, about the pedophiles, the identity thieves and assorted predators chasing information and opportunity.
Hackers got into the Pentagon, CIA and NSA. And last week we learned both LinkedIn and the dating site eHarmony were compromised: a total of eight million passwords stolen.
Fame for everyone isn’t the 15 minutes Andy Warhol predicted: it’s lifelong and once attained it can’t be extirpated.
So for me it’s solong Twitter twits, tweeting their tiresome twaddle. Goodbye LiveJournal, Tagged and Orkut. Adios to the ning-nongs of Ning and to CafeMom, the virtual garden fence over which  housewives now gossip endlessly and vacuously about their ‘DH’s’ (dear husbands).
And a fond toodle-oo to all the gabfest networks that seduce you into donating your private information for the sharks to buy or steal.
Newsflash: Cloud computing is here. But is it secure?
Oh well.
Bob Dylan had it spot on: You can give away your privacy but you can never buy it back. Zuckerberg knows that: he guards his personal life jealously. He conned friends and family into believing they’d been invited to his girlfriend’s graduation bash last month. When they got there they found out it was his wedding.
Meanwhile, still illegally spying on Americans in America, the NSA recently fought (and failed) to keep its own information secret. The words they flag in our correspondence are contained in an Analyst’s Desktop Binder they were forced to release under the Freedom Of Information Act.  
To bamboozle the succubus Zuckerberg, our nefarious NSA and the whole snoopy-snoop world of merchants and politicians and authorities and assorted villains I pretended here that I was a 14-year-old schoolgirl. Pretty good wheeze, huh.

ENDIT

© 2012 Fred Wehner is a journalist formerly with the Daily Mail in London, who then founded and ran the New York News Agency before settling in Monroe 21 years ago.