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They Are Spying on You

Jeffrey Tucker

Posted September 16, 2022

Jeffrey Tucker

Remember the old days when Facebook had just opened its doors? It was only available to the elites at Harvard, then Yale, then Princeton. People could post their mugs online and report on their lunches and spring break adventures. You could make friends and chat with others. 

Oh, how the masses envied those lucky people who had privileged access! So fancy. 

Then it got rolled out to anyone with a .edu email address. I’m embarrassed to say that I finagled to get one only for the purpose of signing up. Only a few months later, the service came to be rolled out to more people and finally to everyone. 

Now anyone in the world was free to give Mark Zuckerberg access to your private life. In fact, Facebook proposed that we get rid of our private lives entirely. We should all live entirely in public and thereby have some kind of glorious influence over each other. The platform redefined friendships, gave us all a public diary on which to post daily, garner likes and comments, and feel part of something larger than ourselves, our families, and our proximate communities. 

A new world was being born — one of connectivity, no more loneliness, constant learning and access — and Facebook was the center of it all. Together with Google, a new and better world was being born. 

What an amazing delusion it all was! It’s a mystery how it is that most of us went along with it. Zuckerberg came to own all our information and gladly sold it all to advertisers who pushed products on us. Hey, it’s not so bad, we told ourselves. We are only being pitched things we might want and about which we might otherwise not be aware. 

Then Came Government 

The sheer naïveté of it all astonishes. Do you know who also might be interested in our data? Yep, the government itself. Bureaucrats suddenly had easy access to our locations, trips, belongings, views, likes and dislikes, and friend circles. It was a stalker’s dream come true, and there is no greater stalker than government itself. Then Facebook became the central point of access. 

Following the 2016 presidential election that confounded the wishes of the whole of the ruling class in media, government, and technology, the spying got out of control. Four years later, Facebook became extremely useful in ensuring that such an outcome would never happen again. 

Facebook distributed mail-in ballots by the millions. Thanks to location services, they could target voters wherever they happened to be, even in the course of their travels. Laws were changed because voting in person was far too dangerous in the midst of a “pandemic.” These ballots made the difference, and swept the Republicans out of the White House and Congress! 

We now know more than ever about the cooperation between government and Facebook. FOIA requests and court discovery have unearthed hundreds of pages of correspondence between the CDC, Facebook, NIH, Google, DHS, and Twitter. They worked hand-in-glove to keep the population in a permanent state of fear. 

Further, the latest reports are more than obvious: Facebook itself spied on Instant Messenger to ferret out political rebels and investigate them. The latest reports in the New York Post are supplied thanks to whistleblowers but they are hardly necessary. You would have to be completely asleep not to have known this has been going on for years. 

These days, posting to Instant Messenger is like sending messages to the FBI itself. Now we know, too, why Facebook bought WhatsApp which used to advertise itself as a secure platform. It’s not anymore. 

When the Post contacted Facebook for comments on their report, they responded by saying it was false. They quickly revised that word and replaced it with “wrong.” This is what is called a non-denial denial. Essentially, Facebook confirmed that the whole thing is true without actually saying that. 

Protecting Privacy 

There are private messaging platforms around but you have to take active measures to find and use them. The two most popular are Signal and Telegram and I’m a fan of both. But the vulnerability here is that both rely on your phone number, which is likely issued by companies like T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T. All these companies gladly cooperate with the authorities. Run afoul of them and your accounts can be deleted at any time, cutting off your access to your entire network. 

Or they can take the old-fashioned route, as Mike Lindell of MyPillow found out this week. He was in his car picking up some fast food when his car was surrounded on all sides by government cars packed with FBI agents. They took his cellphone and mirrored it, all in the excuse of finding out what he knows about the dispute over the 2020 election. No question at this point that the FBI is a heavily partisan bureaucracy. 

It should make one cautious about traveling with cell phone access. The tragedy here is truly unspeakable. These tools and services were supposed to be about human emancipation and empowerment. They were going to grant energy to our free speech rights. In fact, the opposite has happened. Sadly there is no going back. We were all snookered. 

What To Do 

Just knowing about the problem is half the battle. Most people naively use these deprecated and compromised technologies without any awareness at all. But once you do know, you can be more careful, and work to develop new patterns of living that reinforce privacy and freedom. None of us can go back and erase the extensive records that the ruling class already has. But we can be smart about what we do in the future. 

What’s true for Facebook is true for bank accounts, video calls, emails and all the rest. It’s a sad reality and makes the point; it’s time to take steps to protect ourselves the old-fashioned way. There are private email services for which you have to pay (Posteo and Proton) and there are ways to protect wealth from prying eyes (precious metal ownership and cold-storage crypto wallets). 

In the long run, George Gilder is correct that all these now-dominant platforms will be deprecated. It is already happening as new media is displacing old, as services like Rumble become more informative than Youtube. But this transition will take time, perhaps another ten years. The race is between those who hate you and technologies that love you. We need to choose wisely. 

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