FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Dilemmas of an Online Film Watcher

by JOE GIAMBRONE

I clicked over here and over there, looking for something watchable. Site after site, they want more and more information about me. First it was my email address. And my birthday (which they never got accurately). And my name (ditto). Now I’m the subject of numerous databases, and they demand my Facebook login, with assorted “apps” siphoning up whatever data they can access.  Some even want permission to “post” to my Facebook account … post what?

Hey online film-streaming websites: Fuck You.

I’m the customer here. This is my decision. You don’t get to have my personal information to store forever and aggregate and analyze and sell to third parties, and try and sell me crap I don’t want for the rest of my life, and hand over to governments, or organized crime, or pornographers, or anybody else. What movies I watch are my business. What websites I peruse are my concern. Suck on that.

These marketing whore scum, who’ve taken up hipster style cubicle residences across the Interwebs, think that because they dress differently, speak in newly-coined jargon, and pretend to be different than their Madison Avenue forebears, that people owe them something. Wrong. Nor should anyone tolerate invasions of privacy under any pretexts (Cue the honorable Bill Hicks).

These next-gen marketing gurus would have you believe that access to your entire personal life is a good tradeoff for some convenience. They play to the basest instincts of their targets in these predatory schemes. Mostly they want one thing: MORE. More information. More money. More sales. More leverage, over you. More integration with other businesses — and with the government, of course. In this case, more for them is less privacy for you. Your life is an open digital book to be exploited by savvy carnivores with goatees and laptops.

Facebook is Big Bro’s central hub today. Combine with Google search capabilities, and your private life is probably no longer in existence. These private for-profit corporations have infiltrated peoples’ personal spaces, and their machinations are insidious and in the background much of the time. As Facebook has repeatedly demonstrated, it can simply change its legal boilerplate, its Terms of Service, any time it wishes, and few of the hundreds of millions will actually close out their accounts. These boiled frogs continue divulging all the most intimate aspects of their lives to a greed-centered corporation, which is surveilling them 24/7.

Google was in the news recently for allegedly standing up for gmail users’ privacy and requiring “cops to get a warrant.” Of course the plot thickens down deeper in the article, where: “It’s unclear how many of the subpoenas or warrants Google complied with—the company has only said it complied in part or in full to 88 percent of total requests from American authorities.” (Ars Technica) A subpoena is not a warrant, and it has no judicial oversight.

Dark Empire MicroSoft is in on the game too. My own email is apparently being read by their marketing robots. I’ve used the Hotmail account to back up a new novel I’m working on, by attaching the file and sending it to myself. But recently, on the intrusive side-bar advertisements forced on me by the Hotmail/Outlook website, I’ve noticed some odd pitches. Am I in the market for a crossbow? Perhaps a bow is relevant in the novel, which MicroSoft has stored on its servers, but I do believe the digital empire has tipped its hand.

But, of course, these are the infant stages of a “Total Information Awareness” society. People have essentially given over to private corporations what was the National Security Agency’s unlawful wet dream under Donald Rumsfeld.

It doesn’t take a highly-paid screenwriter to ponder over the implications of having your entire life splattered up on web servers. Your past, your associations, your future movements, everything just sitting there for software to piece together in the background — is no one concerned about the abuses that are surely coming?

Generation Mindless-Tapping doesn’t seem too concerned over much, unless their drunken nude photos end up at a job interview. The political repression of dissidents has never entered their inane streams of monosyllabic gibberish. Perhaps they’ll grow up in a couple of years as social conditions here continue to deteriorate under bi-partisan “austerity.”

Ah – but then it will be too late. Techno-Fascism is something I’ve been talking about since the mid 1990s. It’s here. It hasn’t gone full-blown yet, but everything required for turn-key totalitarianism is developed, tested, proven and in use pretty much all over the developed world. Thus this widespread turn to “austerity”, as the common rabble cannot credibly fight back. We are under complete surveillance and disempowered as a result.

These are not small issues and represent tectonic shifts in the power relationships between the people, the corporations, and the government. A corporate-state partnership is better known as fascism. Cozy alliances where corporations exercise unrestrained power in society by manipulating government and laws in their own interests, and government continues to acquiesce to the demands of powerful corporate lobbies, is fascism in action. The rights of the people are diminished, as has been the clear pattern year after year. Citizen rights, liberties, freedoms, are under a wide assault from many pieces of corrupt legislation and from shadowy, secretive power grabs by the “national security” state. None of this bodes well for you and me, or for the next generations to be born.

So, do I want to give more access to my personal information to some movie website? Do I want more of my personal life stored, analyzed, bought, sold, handed to the National Security Agency, the CIA, the Mossad, Xe or McDonalds?

I don’t think so.

When I travel over to the cinema, and I buy myself a ticket to watch a film, the theater doesn’t get access to my entire life and my personal information. Why should it? It’s none of their fucking business.

Joe Giambrone is a filmmaker and author of Hell of a Deal: A Supernatural Satire. He edits The Political Film Blog, which has published articles by more than 60 fine writers. polfilmblog at gmail.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 20, 2017
Bruce E. Levine
Humiliation Porn: Trump’s Gift to His Faithful…and Now the Blowback
Melvin Goodman
“Wag the Dog,” Revisited
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima: a Lurking Global Catastrophe?
David Smith-Ferri
Resistance and Resolve in Russia: Memorial HRC
Kenneth Surin
Global India?
Norman Pollack
Fascistization Crashing Down: Driving the Cleaver into Social Welfare
Patrick Cockburn
Trump v. the Media: a Fight to the Death
Susan Babbitt
Shooting Arrows at Heaven: Why is There Debate About Battle Imagery in Health?
Matt Peppe
New York Times Openly Promotes Formal Apartheid Regime By Israel
David Swanson
Understanding Robert E. Lee Supporters
Michael Brenner
The Narcissism of Donald Trump
Martin Billheimer
Capital of Pain
Thomas Knapp
Florida’s Shenanigans Make a Great Case for (Re-)Separation of Ballot and State
Jordan Flaherty
Best Films of 2016: Black Excellence Versus White Mediocrity
Weekend Edition
February 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Rogue Elephant Rising: The CIA as Kingslayer
Matthew Stevenson
Is Trump the Worst President Ever?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Flynn?
John Wight
Brexit and Trump: Why Right is Not the New Left
Diana Johnstone
France: Another Ghastly Presidential Election Campaign; the Deep State Rises to the Surface
Neve Gordon
Trump’s One-State Option
Roger Harris
Emperor Trump Has No Clothes: Time to Organize!
Joan Roelofs
What Else is Wrong with Globalization
Andrew Levine
Why Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban?
Mike Whitney
Blood in the Water: the Trump Revolution Ends in a Whimper
Vijay Prashad
Trump, Turmoil and Resistance
Ron Jacobs
U.S. Imperial War Personified
David Swanson
Can the Climate Survive Adherence to War and Partisanship?
Andre Vltchek
Governor of Jakarta: Get Re-elected or Die!
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Destruction of Mosul
Norman Pollack
Self-Devouring Reaction: Governmental Impasse
Steve Horn
What Do a Louisiana Pipeline Explosion and Dakota Access Pipeline Have in Common? Phillips 66
Brian Saady
Why Corporations are Too Big to Jail in the Drug War
Graham Peebles
Ethiopia: Peaceful Protest to Armed Uprising
Luke Meyer
The Case of Tony: Inside a Lifer Hearing
Binoy Kampmark
Adolf, The Donald and History
Robert Koehler
The Great American Awakening
Murray Dobbin
Canadians at Odds With Their Government on Israel
Fariborz Saremi
A Whole New World?
Joyce Nelson
Japan’s Abe, Trump & Illegal Leaks
Christopher Brauchli
Trump 1, Tillerson 0
Yves Engler
Is This Hate Speech?
Dan Bacher
Trump Administration Exempts Three CA Oil Fields From Water Protection Rule at Jerry Brown’s Request
Richard Klin
Solid Gold
Melissa Garriga
Anti-Abortion and Anti-Fascist Movements: More in Common Than Meets the Eye
Thomas Knapp
The Absurd Consequences of a “Right to Privacy”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail