It's so easy to tune out the crazy bloggers and Alex Jones types, screaming that the NWO is watching your every move. After all, these guys are paranoid about everything, all the time, so there's probably nothing to it. Right?
Well, whether or not there is actually a massive room full of government operatives monitoring everything you say or type, you are being tracked. Whether it's done in the name of theft prevention or stopping terrorism, basically nothing you do - nothing - is a secret any more.
Who do you have to thank for that? How about...
You roll over at 10:47am to see that you've overslept and, shit, you're late for work! You spring out of bed, slather on enough deodorant to substitute for showering and hustle to catch your bus to work. After all, those fries aren't going to supersize themselves.
You just barely make the bus, plop down and start venting to anyone who will listen about how much you hate modern technology and the fact that it must be a government conspiracy that makes your alarm clock suck balls. We've all been there. Good thing the government boogeymen didn't hear it, right?
Little Did You Know...
Having decided that the rambling nonsense of people on buses is a major security issue--which it is, assuming your average bus passenger works for Cobra Commander or some shit--cities around the U.S. have installed surveillance equipment in their buses.
A study back in 2001 found 80 percent of the transit agencies surveyed had some kind of surveillance in place, including closed circuit TV cameras and separate audio recording.
Keep in mind, this was in 2001, not even close to the height of post-9/11 paranoia. Cost was the biggest factor (Chicago spent more than $3 million to put the equipment in their 300-plus city buses) and of course the cost of the technology only goes down every year.
The practice has been found to be perfectly legal (a bus or a train is a public place, so all bets are off). So everything you say to the guy sitting next to you, what materials you were reading, whether or not you picked your nose- all recorded for posterity. Even everything you say into your end of a cell phone call.
Hell, what's next? They listen in on your cell phone, too?
If you don't have a cell phone, you're probably living in a time where the Internet doesn't exist, so how the hell are you reading this? Get out of here before you fuck up the space-time continuum!
And since the entire modern world relies on these things for their voice communication, they must be nice and secure, right?
Little Did You Know...
The odds are very good that at least some of you reading this right now have already had your phone remotely tapped.
How does it happen? Covert government spying programs? Nefarious groups of teenage computer hackers? Yep, probably. But anyone else can do it too! It's as simple as downloading widely available software from the Internet. At that point, anyone who has your phone in their possession can tap it in less time than it'll take you to notice you don't have it in your pocket.
Even better, you don't even have to be on the phone for them to listen in! This software allows someone to remotely turn on the microphone function of your phone even when you're not using it.
So not only can they eavesdrop on the depressing phone sex you're having with your long distance girlfriend, they can even listen in while you bang the chick you're cheating on her with and send her the audio via text message. Awkward!
Law enforcement agencies are even developing a method of implanting this software on phones wirelessly, with the software being delivered and installing itself via text message. Because surely that's not a technology anyone would ever want to abuse or exploit.
But this is all just a paranoid hypothetical, right? After all, why would anyone even want to listen to your calls? Well, one study estimates around three percent of phones in the U.S. are already tapped, and up to five percent in parts of Europe.
If you work in an office setting, soul crushing or otherwise, you've almost certainly used a printer at some point. And if you're reading this at work instead of, you know, working, you've probably printed something less than business-like on the company dime; your fantasy football roster or a stack of fliers for that underground donkey show you're promoting perhaps. It's not like anyone's gonna find out, right?
Little Did You Know...
Have you heard of ECHELON? If not, don't worry. It's just a global network of computers. Nothing scary about that. After all, that's kind of what the Internet is, and what's scary about the Internet except fucking everything? But where the Internet is terrifying in a tentacle porn/endless stream of Pedobear memes kind of way, ECHELON is terrifying in that it monitors your e-mail, phone records and Web surfing on behalf of several world governments, all in the interest of, supposedly keeping tabs on potential terrorists and other assorted criminal masterminds.
What does this have to do with you and your donkey show, you ask? Well, whatever intergalactic team of anal probe wielding space dwellers created ECHELON also came up with a way to embed every piece of paper that goes through a laser jet printer with a microscopic code that identifies the specific printer that the paper came from.
This is fucking ECHELON, by the way.
Granted, this code can only be seen with the aid of blue lights and magnifiers, but still, someone can read it. Companies including Xerox, Dell, Canon, Lexmark and others have all begun installing this technology. So when it comes time to type up your manifesto, probably best to do it from somebody else's desk.