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Episode 4 — Loss Of Privacy


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#1 July Diaz

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 08:40 PM

Jack O’Brien welcomes Executive Editor of Cracked/author Jason Pargin aka David Wong today to talk about our loss of privacy. They’ll get into why people aren’t that interested in the NSA scandal, how growing up during the Cold War affected Jason’s outlook on being constantly monitored, and the near future in which everyone will be completely fine with being recorded at all times.

#2 Shariq Torres

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 07:05 AM

I'm of two minds about this. On one hand, it is pretty disturbing that people so freely share private details about themselves online to total strangers. And the editor is correct; there are children who were born in the last five or so years, who will have had their whole lives documented on the internet in some sort of way (photos, videos, etc). I have no idea what life is going to be mean for them when they become adults. The facial recognition software is crazy scary and when coupled with consumer projects like Google Glass, it means that you can catch someone's attention and start a photo search on them and from that search get links to all of the social networking information. A person would know about your 10th birthday party without even saying "hello" to you. That's scary.

The stuff about the government for some reason doesn't scare me so much. There are built in mechanisms where people can petition to get policies changed. People can be held accountable by voters, in theory. If stuff gets too out of hand, people can let the government know. But I say this full well knowing that "out of hand" means that the privacy intrusions are used as a bludgeon against "important" people. I fully expect that there will be abuses targeted toward minorities, gays, immigrants, and other groups that the mainstream deems "undesirable."

Basically, its easier to regulate public policy than social norms. I don't expect rando creeps to be swayed by protests or petitions.

#3 Pixie4200

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 09:07 AM

View PostShariq Torres, on 09 September 2013 - 07:05 AM, said:

I'm of two minds about this. On one hand, it is pretty disturbing that people so freely share private details about themselves online to total strangers. And the editor is correct; there are children who were born in the last five or so years, who will have had their whole lives documented on the internet in some sort of way (photos, videos, etc). I have no idea what life is going to be mean for them when they become adults. The facial recognition software is crazy scary and when coupled with consumer projects like Google Glass, it means that you can catch someone's attention and start a photo search on them and from that search get links to all of the social networking information. A person would know about your 10th birthday party without even saying "hello" to you. That's scary.

The stuff about the government for some reason doesn't scare me so much. There are built in mechanisms where people can petition to get policies changed. People can be held accountable by voters, in theory. If stuff gets too out of hand, people can let the government know. But I say this full well knowing that "out of hand" means that the privacy intrusions are used as a bludgeon against "important" people. I fully expect that there will be abuses targeted toward minorities, gays, immigrants, and other groups that the mainstream deems "undesirable."

Basically, its easier to regulate public policy than social norms. I don't expect rando creeps to be swayed by protests or petitions.


Since I am from a different generation I find it interesting that you are more "concerned" about how individuals could use your info than how the government could. I am thinking that you have a lot of trust in the government.

For me... I am concerned about, if we continue to be complacent about the invasion of our privacy by the government/big business (same thing) we are opening ourselves up for a time where these type of pod-casts, articles, discussions ... will be banned or criminalized. We have seen( in the not too distant past) people put on blacklists for being suspected of being communists and people imprisoned for being Japanese (two examples off the top of my head). Once we accept all the propaganda unquestioning, we become the obedient “drones” that the unethical desire. I am of the theory that absolute power corrupts absolutely and I do not want my government to have absolute power.

I don't want to sound like a nut-job (ok...maybe I am ...a little) but, I feel it is extremely important to remember that the government is not necessarily here just for our protection but also to control our reasoning and actions. Take for example the propaganda / debate on marijuana.... Dr Sanjay Gupta after reading the government research on MMJ... classified it as a dangerous narcotic with no medical benefits. But after looking past the governments research and at independent studies … realizes that there are significant benefits for people.

We as a nation need to encourage people to have independent thoughts and be able to freely express those thoughts, without the concern that someone in power will disagree and effectively stop our rights to free speech and thought.

#4 Shariq Torres

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 12:08 PM

View PostPixie4200, on 09 September 2013 - 09:07 AM, said:


Since I am from a different generation I find it interesting that you are more "concerned" about how individuals could use your info than how the government could. I am thinking that you have a lot of trust in the government.

For me... I am concerned about, if we continue to be complacent about the invasion of our privacy by the government/big business (same thing) we are opening ourselves up for a time where these type of pod-casts, articles, discussions ... will be banned or criminalized. We have seen( in the not too distant past) people put on blacklists for being suspected of being communists and people imprisoned for being Japanese (two examples off the top of my head). Once we accept all the propaganda unquestioning, we become the obedient “drones” that the unethical desire. I am of the theory that absolute power corrupts absolutely and I do not want my government to have absolute power.

I don't want to sound like a nut-job (ok...maybe I am ...a little) but, I feel it is extremely important to remember that the government is not necessarily here just for our protection but also to control our reasoning and actions. Take for example the propaganda / debate on marijuana.... Dr Sanjay Gupta after reading the government research on MMJ... classified it as a dangerous narcotic with no medical benefits. But after looking past the governments research and at independent studies … realizes that there are significant benefits for people.

We as a nation need to encourage people to have independent thoughts and be able to freely express those thoughts, without the concern that someone in power will disagree and effectively stop our rights to free speech and thought.



I don't have too much trust in the government. In my previous statement, I said I feel that there are better safeguards in place to regulate their actions than an individual's, theoretically. But in practicality, this privacy issue won't be a big deal until people that the mainstream consider "important" or see as human beings, start getting the bad end of the stick. The mainstream will sit back and endorse privacy policies used to punish minorities, gays, and other groups it has deemed "undesirable" though.

Such is life.

#5 Homelessbird

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:22 PM

I'm under a certain age, and I certainly don't think you old folks sound amish. I just think times, they are a' changin'.

Also, I've had plenty of people around my age (20-something) express unease about the NSA or surveillance in general on varying levels of intensity. And my 60-something parents love social media waaaaaay more than I do, and could give two shits about the NSA monitoring them. I think boiling it down to a simple age difference is filtering some nuance out of the equation.

Personally, I'm of two minds: I can understand a lot of the concerns people have about these issues, and I limit my own exposure to things like Facebook, although admittedly as much out of a desire to be left alone as anything else. But I think the perspective of a lot of people I know (one that I share) is that yeah, the monitoring ain't great, but the benefit they get out of having their information out there and using these services is far greater than any percieved current or future threat. The slippery slope argument can be convincing, but it doesn't win against tangible benefits - for most people.

#6 wolfhaley

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 08:52 PM

This was really interesting. I'm not a gamer in the slightest, but the Xbox one backlash was everywhere for awhile. The kinect camera being able to spy on you definitely creeped me out and sounded "Orwellian". The NSA stuff is shocking to me as well, but maybe not as much as It would be to the previous generation since things have been gradually moving in that direction. Ive realized that anything I say online, texting, or on the phone could be monitored from a somewhat young age, so it is a little normalized. I can't speak for the rest of my age group but I kind of have the complacent attitude of, "so, what can you do?" Instagram seems to hit the biggest nerve with me because people will just take pictures sneakily of whoever or whatever and post it publicly without consent. This all makes the future seem scary but I don't see what control I have over any of it, so I just seem to reluctantly accept that this is the way it is.