Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Big Brother is Watching You

The resources listed below aid in that cause in that they discuss a range of examples of mediated and restricted information exchange. They also reveal that the surveillance state is functioning internationally, as seen in recent revelations that malware is embedded into PC firmware and cell phone SIMs at the point of production and in the revelation of our country’s surveillance of leaders of even “friendly” nations. Most important, these resources show the overlapping uses of mass information collection for corporations and government.
~Jesse A. Lambertson, "Careful, You're Being Watched: Surveillance and Privacy"

Laura Poitras, director of the Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour, says "People are starting to understand that the devices we carry with us reveal our location, who we're talking to, and all kinds of other information." We already know that Google shows you ads, and that you can edit your settling to "control the ads that are delivered to you"; your Facebook NewsFeed also has ads targeted for your specific interests or demographic, and on January 26th Facebook announced that their Audience Network (FAN) would be expanding. Every time you download a new app for your phone, you give the app permission to access a lot of information from your device, and do you even know what the app is using the data for? Have you heard about the "Google Security Princess"? Her job is try to hack Google, to find flaws in the system before "blackhat" hackers do. There have been so many hacked sites in the last few years, from the Target fiasco of 2014 to the infamous Ashley Madison debacle last year - when you give sites your information, seems like you are always taking a risk.

What are you doing to protect your privacy and secure your information online? How is your password strength? PC World recommends controlling your digital footprint by checking your settings on social media and being careful about what you post; using different identities on different sites; and browsing privately. Also, the library has many items of interest, whether you want to know what the issues are right now or want to find out more about the history of surveillance.

Current titles

I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy by Lori Andrews

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance by Julia Angwin


How do you feel about surveillance, be it done in the interests of national security or by a corporation? Laura Poitras also says, "There are people who are always going to try to engage in activity that is illegal and they're going to try to subvert surveillance. But everyone should not give up their liberties and rights to privacy because some people are going to [do that]. We shouldn't stop or limit our basic liberties because some people are going to engage in criminal activities." The Pew Research Center has done a study that found "that there are a variety of circumstances under which many Americans would share personal information or permit surveillance in return for getting something of perceived value." Let us know your opinions in the comments.

For more books on this topic, try a subject search of "Privacy, Right of" and "Electronic Surveillance".

Recommended by Library Journal

Aside from listing several technological open-sourced projects built with privacy and anonymity at the core, this site is also a reference for research related to Internet freedom.



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