By Chris Lowe
The Daily Cut
Facebook is the world’s biggest digital snoop… And it’s selling access to your private messages… End 2018 with this defiant act… In the mailbag: “Distance from the failing empire will be important in the years ahead”…
That’s how Legacy Research cofounder Doug Casey put it earlier this month.
And he’s right…
Facebook is a for-profit surveillance company disguised as a social media company. Once you invite it into your life… it will suck as much data as it can from you.
If you’re on Facebook – or if you use Facebook-owned WhatsApp or Instagram – you’re sharing the most intimate details of your private life with advertisers and political campaign strategists.
If that doesn’t alarm you, consider that Facebook is also an unofficial arm of the Deep State’s surveillance apparatus.
Leaked documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) revealed this back in 2013. As the result of secret court orders, Facebook – along with Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo – routinely hands over users’ account details to the U.S. government spooks.
Mark Zuckerberg, its 34-year-old CEO and founder, doesn’t want you… and billions of other Facebook users… to know the company as the world’s biggest digital snoop.
That’s a mortal threat to Facebook’s data harvesting power and reach.
Instead, The Zuck wants you to believe that Facebook is all about “connecting people” and – crucially – that he and his employees respect your privacy.
But as Daily Cut regulars know, that’s hogwash.
Along with fellow for-profit surveillance company Google, Facebook exists to harvest as much data as possible on you… your family… your fellow Americans… and another roughly 2 billion people around the world.
Facebook has become a leaky ship. Dozens of employees are lining up to spill their guts to the press about life inside the world’s largest social network.
The company was already caught earlier this year handing over private user data to Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultancy firm.
That didn’t go over well with shareholders. Since the scandal broke in March, Facebook shares are down 28%.
And now, thanks to sources inside the organization, Facebook has been caught sharing the personal data it harvests on its users with some of the world’s biggest corporations.
Here’s The New York Times, which broke this story…
Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages.
The social network permitted Amazon to obtain users’ names and contact information through their friends, and it let Yahoo view streams of friends’ posts as recently as this summer, despite public statements that it had stopped that type of sharing years earlier.
Facebook shared details on hundreds of millions of people this way. And it did so without their direct consent.
And it gets worse.
The company didn’t just let companies read users’ private conversations.
Internal Facebook documents leaked to the Times reveal that The Zuck also allowed Spotify, Netflix, and the Royal Bank of Canada to write and delete your Facebook messages.
Stop and think about that for a moment…
Government spooks eavesdrop on your calls and emails… supposedly to catch the bad guys and keep the rest of us safe.
We don’t approve of government spying… but at least there’s some attempt to justify it.
Facebook is eradicating your privacy… and shattering your trust… simply to make a dime.
Roger McNamee was an early investor in Facebook.
In 2004, he co-founded private equity firm Elevation Partners with U2 lead singer Bono. And they invested in Facebook when it was still a privately held company.
McNamee not only knows Facebook inside out. He also knows The Zuck personally. And his verdict on the news of the privacy breach is damning…
No one should trust Facebook until they change their business model.
Simply put, if you’re using Facebook, you are volunteering to be spied on.
To try to piece the big picture together, we reached out to Dan Denning, who’s been tracking the growing Surveillance Society over at The Bill Bonner Letter…
Bill and I chatted about all this surveillance business yesterday. It really is coming on faster and much more ominously than we expected.
It’s all about – and always has been about – people who want to control you. In early America, you could simply own other people by way of slavery. You owned their body, their labor, and their output.
Technology and morality ended that. But for some people, the war to control you never ends.
It’s why we’ve been urging you to delete your Facebook account.
Deleting your account is not only a blow to Facebook’s bottom line… and a repudiation of its surveillance business model.
It’s also the most important thing you can do right now to shore up your privacy online.
That’s why Dan made deleting Facebook step one of his guide to going dark.
Don’t forget, Facebook isn’t harvesting your data for the fun of it. It’s a lucrative business.
Interactive Advertising Bureau, an advertising research firm, says that U.S. firms will spend $20 billion by the end of 2018 to buy and process your personal digital data.
Why? Because it gives them an unprecedented level of control to influence your behavior.
Knowledge is power. The more these organizations know about you, the more power they have over you. By contrast, we know relatively little about what goes on inside Facebook, Google, and the NSA.
Here’s Dan again…
We think we have to be connected all the time. But by staying on the platform, you’re sharing massive amounts of personal data about yourself with the world. You can’t be a private citizen and be on Facebook.
So why not end 2018 with a defiant act?
Find out how to permanently pull the plug on your Facebook account here.
We’d love to hear how you get on. Send your stories and comments to email@example.com.
In our discussion of the autonomous electric vehicle (AEV) revolution on Tuesday, reader Janice M. warned:
One need only add the Social Credit System to self-driving vehicles to see another huge chunk of freedom destroyed.
And it got your fellow readers thinking…
Oh my gosh. Thanks to Janice M. for her comments on self-driving vehicles! It never occurred to me how completely widespread this concerning issue will become in such subtle packages (or not-so-subtle, really).
– Sandra P.
Janice M. raises some great points when one considers the amount of data information about our personal lives that is going to be generated by these AEVs. One may say “they” would never restrict our AEVs on the basis of who the driver is but, the fact that it is possible is scary. Who’s to say that some Type A megalomaniac wouldn’t want to get even with his adversaries be they political, business, or otherwise? I think I’ll stick with my self-driver until I’m no longer physically/mentally able to drive.
– Phil U.
AEVs will be just like any other new capability, tool, or technology. Just like the cell phone, AEVs will have many wonderful advantages and really great applications, and just like the cell phone, the Surveillance Society will take full advantage for their own devious, freedom-destroying purposes. One difference with an AEV might be that the day the spooks decide you need to be silenced, instead of tracking you down by using your cell phone, they’ll just use a back-door to take over the AEV you get in (no matter where you are) and force that AEV to drive right to their “retention facility.”
My interest is well beyond “going dark” as you like to say. That’s easy but insufficient. My interest is in leaving the U.S. altogether as soon as I can manage that. Distance from the failing empire will be important in the years ahead, I suspect.
– Shawn S.
Are you ready to turn your car in for an AEV? Or are you worried about losing the privacy you have left? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.