If you have a Netflix account, take a look at your history. What have you watched? Is there a theme? If you look at my Netflix history you will find a lot of documentaries; specifically documentaries about corporate/government corruption, economics, social philosophy, etc, etc. There is a wealth of this material on Netflix such as Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine“, “Fahrenheit 911“, “Captialism: A Love Story“, Peter Joseph’s “Zeitgeist” trilogy, and “Ethos” hosted by Woody Harrelson.
We know now, thanks to the courage of people like former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, that Canada and the US have been funnelling our digital lives through a virtual sieve, allegedly in the interests of national security and public safety. Nevertheless, it is now an indisputable fact that everything we consume and publish online, private or public, is subject to the analysis of a virtual intelligence army. I am trying to avoid the grossly overused Orwellian analogies, suffice to say we are all being watched.
This makes me wonder … is Netflix sharing my profile? And if so, do my viewing habits expose me to the unwarranted scrutiny of national intelligence agencies?
The NSA doesn’t care if you like Bruce Willis flicks or Hello Kitty, but if your on-line viewing habits are anything like mine there is a good chance that the NSA and/or CSIS knows your name. Once we are on the NSA’s “person-of-interest” list, every web search we do, every email we send, every Comment, every Post, every Like, every Pin, every Share, and every text message we send is put under the national security microscope. Sadly, there are potentially millions of us on this possible list and next to none of us represents any threat.
This scrutiny amounts to 21st Century McCarthyism and video-on-demand services are just chunks of wonderful, aromatic cheese atop Homeland Security’s mousetraps. The flaw in the NSA’s approach is that they are using mousetraps to attract scorpions. National intelligence agencies seem to associate critical thinking with dangerous radical ideology, when in fact critical thinking is the solution to the problem of radical ideology.
(I have no proof of any of this – and hopefully Netflix won’t sue me, but I hope it makes you think about your on-line activity – GsM)