Are Your Computer, “Smart” Phone and Tablet Spying on You

A few months ago my husband and I were talking about the moon and whether or not it rotates.  I think it was because earlier in the day I had read in one of the kids textbooks that we always see the same side of the moon.  We went back and forth about this for a few minutes.  I happened to be holding my iPhone and said, as usual, I’ll google it.  I proceeded to type in the search box “Does the” and before I could type anything else, it auto filled in “moon rotate”.  This gave me pause and I told my husband.  We then looked up about the moon, which, by the way, does rotate, but just at a rate so that we always see the same side.  So then we started to ponder what had just happened.  We decided to test it out.  We brought up three more topics of discussion, individually.  We talked about them for a few minutes each, all the while I’m holding my phone.  Then I would open up Safari and start to type in the google search.  We made sure it was always something that was not too specific, not something like “what color hair does my niece have”.  The search would always start with “does”, “how”, “what”, etc.  Of the three test conversations, two of them were auto filled in with exactly what we were talking about.  I had forgotten about this a few days later and the kids and I were discussing something at lunch.  I think it was something about Julius Ceasar.  We came to a fact that none of us knew so I, once again, decided to google it.  I typed in the first part of the question with the less specific words and it auto filled in the rest for me.

You may be thinking this is cool or what does this even mean?  Well, it isn’t cool and it means that your “smart” phone is spying on you.  Your “smart” phone has backdoor software that allows websites, like Google, Youtube, most likely Facebook, etc. to tap into your microphone to listen to what you are talking about.  This is done on your home computer and iPads as well.  On your computer you MUST get into the Flash player settings and deny websites from accessing your computers camera and microphone.  Here is Adobes global privacy settings page, here is Adobe’s Camera and Mic settings webpage and  here is a link that explains how to do it.  If you have more than one account on your computer you will most likely need to do it for each individual account.  This only deny’s access from Flash websites.  As you know, Flash is not even available on the iPhone or iPad.  This shows us that there are other technologies that are being utilized to spy on us.  On my computer and iPad I always keep a sticker over my built in camera.  We simply take it off when we want to use the camera.  This does nothing for the mic though.

 

I won’t get into detail about this now but all of the new “smart” appliances are set up to spy on you as well.  You might want to think twice before buying that new internet ready fridge or dishwasher.

 

MORE ABOUT GOOGLE

 

Google search engine records everything you do on google.  This is not exclusive of Google either.  This is a great resource for learning more about how every search engine except one records your data.    This one is Startpage, I use it  and have even found a plugin that allows me to make my search engine box in my web browser Startpage.   I HIGHLY recommend Startpage as everything you do is private and nothing can be traced back to your IP, your habits will not be profiled and added to the giant database.

 

WHAT ABOUT GMAIL?

 

Ditch it!!

 

Google reads the content of your email and attachments and targets you with specific ads…you can do a search for this and find many references but here and here are examples.  They don’t just read the mail you send they read the mail sent to you as well.  Here is an example of how this could be harmful:

 

“While Google brags that no humans will read your emails, the entire Gmail program will involve extensive automated profiling of you as an individual. Google will be sharing the non-identifiable portions of your profile with anyone they choose. If the ownership of Google changes, or there is a merger, the entire personally-identifiable profile will be available to the new owners or partners.”

 

While this may seem benign because you can brush it off as a creepy marketing tool, there are several reasons to be concerned.

 

1) As the quote above states Google could change ownership or merge at any time.  If that happens all of your personal habits that have been systematically documented through your emails will then be in the hands of who know who.  At the rate our economy is going and with all of the companies that have been nationalized, it’s not too far fetched to say the Government could “bail-out” Google at some point in time.  Then whoever controls the government owns a very detailed profile of you.  This could be used by liberals and conservatives alike.

 

2) The evil unconstitutional Patriot Act already gives the government the authority to look at your email without a warrant or your knowledge.  Gmail makes it easier for them to profile you.  Again, this is not a Democrat/Republican issue.  Either “side” of our false left/right paradigm could use this against you no matter what your social/political beliefs are.

 

3) Last year, Google chief Eric Schmidt, attended the Bilderberg Group meeting  in Switzerland.  If you don’t know the significance of this research it, but for starters the Bilderberg group sets global agenda and was instrumental in the creation of the EU, the Euro and has been working to set up a North American Union (which we have been under for some time, secretly, see this info) as a foundational step to one world government.

 

4)  The addition of Google + right after Eric Schmidt attended Bilderberg really gives me pause.  I’ll have to research into yahoo some more to see if it is as big of a risk as Google and Facebook.

 

WELL WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THIS?

 

On a practical note there are several things that can be done.

 

  • get off of gmail
  • switch to Startpage
  • limit Facebook use to non personal information
  • don’t ever “check in ” anywhere on Facebook
  • turn off your location services on your smart phone
  • for Catholics, don’t EVER bring your cell phone into the confessional, here is a great sermon given about this

We can’t crawl in a hole.  Technology isn’t intrinsically evil and  can be used for good.  Use this technology to spread this information to everyone you know.  Be aware, informed and educated.  Don’t blindly trust.  Some of the biggest corporations won’t allow people to take their cell phones into highly confidential business meetings for this very reason.  Just because we aren’t rich and powerful doesn’t mean we don’t deserve privacy too.  We need to take control of our own lives and stop being controlled.  Whether it’s by our dependance to a GPS, addiction to checking email, texts, Facebook, etc or individualized marketing and propaganda meant to dupe you into thinking something, we must take control back.  In your daily technological life we must constantly walk with the word “moderation” in the forefront of our mind.

 

I realize this is being published on April Fool’s Day, just so I’m clear, this is not a joke!!