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Big Brother Is Watching Your Playlists






Streaming music services such as Spotify have become ‘the Surveillance State’s Trojan Horse’, Salon columnist Andrew Leonard suggested this week, in a chilling assessment of the implications of cloud computing becoming ‘too seductive to avoid and too cheap not to afford.” (Alternet)


Describing how the ‘surveillance state is consolidating control’ with increasingly sophisticated analytics and recommendation technology capable of introducing users to new music they genuinely like, he admitted embracing cloud computing himself despite considering himself to be ‘hyperaware of how Big Data enable the surveillance state’.


“So, it’s as simple as this,” he concluded, “If Big Brother can generate a killer playlist, we’ll embrace him with open arms.”


The article appeared just days after IBM technology chief Peter Waggett told a conference that Minority Report style surveillance is now a reality of the modern world and that people should ‘embrace total biometric surveillance’.


“We’re fighting the wrong battle when we ask should we stop people being observed. That is not going to be feasible,” he said in a speech delivered at a Nesta conference on biometrics.


“I’ve been working in biometrics for 20 years, and it’s reaching a tipping point where it’s going to be impossible not to understand where people are and what they are doing,” he continued, “Everything will be monitored.” (Wired)


In more Surveillance State News, anti-microchip campaigner Katherine Albrecht discussed the biblical implications of RFID technology (microchips allowing the tracking of everything- and everybody) in an interview this week with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN)


“Whether or not you believe in Biblical revelation about a day and time when everyone will need to take a mark to buy and sell, knowing about this technology is relevant to you,” she urged.


“It has the potential to create a world prophesied in the Book of Revelation, a world that people of any faith or creed would find repressive.” CBN) (RFID Opening Doors for Mark of the Beast? “There will be a time when humanity will be forced to take a mark, and that mark will be on the right hand or the forehead . . . It is the number 666; we’re told to pay attention and look out for that, and people who do not take that mark, of course, will not be able to buy or sell.” (1984; full text: “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.


The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At one end of it a coloured poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features . . .  On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran . . .“)


Counter-surveillance machines: 













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