I must admit I’m terribly flattered. I mean, here I am, enjoying what’s indubitably my last respite from Fame before she’s about to catch up with me too—when, lo and behold!, turns out I already have more stalkers obsessed with the intimate details of my life than swanky superstar Sylvia in La Dolce Vita ever had. No mere Paparazzo chasing mugshots for this superstar—no siree!—I have a million digital paparazzis working round the clock recording every intimate detail of my fab life!
OK, so I’m not that special. We all have our own private paparazzi these days, who follow us … err, whom we carry around ourselves in our smartphones and browsers and apps, with more exclusive access to our lives than Paparazzo had in his wettest dreams.
It’s already a truism that Facebook knows more about me than my own mother. Not only does Facebook know you, me and everyone we know—it knows what we say, like, think, and when and how we do it. The Google knows a whole lot too: they’ve got my emails, my Youtube history, my every Google search, and who I hang out with on Google+ (just kidding, nobody hangs out on Google+). And my iPhone is updating Apple on the who, when, where and what of my every move . This information, stored for eternity, is then analyzed and cross-referenced ad nauseum in data centers larger than small nation-states, all for the flattering reason of getting to know your everyday superstar: me.
But I must admit—when I wake up in the morning and SnapChat myself in the mirror, I have moments when I find it puzzling why someone would be that into me. I mean, why are they obsessively recording and storing every intimate detail about my life when I’m not actually famous (yet)? Why these armies of Ph.D’s spending billions of dollars on data centers, just to know—oh, everything?—about so-not-famous me?
The answer is simple: these companies that we love so dearly have basically one product to sell, and one product only: me (it’s all about me). They’re not selling me to me — that would be silly indeed, and in fact, they’re not selling me anything; Gmail, Facebook, Google are all free services.
What they sell is simply everything they know about me to the highest bidding Mad Man out there. The rest is simple math: the more they know about me, the more advertisers will know about me – and the more likely they are to divine what shit I’d might buy. Advertisers apparently pay big money to get to know me. Feels nice to be wanted.
“Big deal, who cares about advertisers anyhoot?!,” I hear you complain, dear imaginary reader. “I never click on no ads —in fact, I use AdBlock and haven’t seen an ad on the internet for years!”
Well, it’s cool that you use AdBlock, I do too. But if you thought loving Big Brother was kinda working out for you, boy, do I have news for you! The rabbit hole is not just deep, my friends, it’s abysmal. Big Brother’s actually got a much Bigger Brother. And Big Brother’s Bigger Brother — well, he’s a different wizard altogether.
Turns out Bigger Brother, none other than the National Security Agency (NSA)—aka the mukhabarat of the Land of the Free, the US of A—just got his curtain pulled aside and has had certain dirty secrets of its own revealed. It’s called the biggest leak in the history of American whistleblowing—depicting an unfathomable depth of spying undertaken by the NSA around the world. I was gonna write about how darn-awful the NSA is—but then the shit really hit the fan with these leaks. One of many programs they got going is called #PRISM, under which the NSA got direct access to all your data from Facebook, Google, Microsoft (Hotmail, Skype), Apple, AOL, and dozens of other companies. Yeah, no shit.
Anyway, Edward Snowden is basically as articulate as they come, so let’s just hear it from him.
Until next time, when your levels of paranoia and fear of fame have reached a fever pitch, we’ll talk about what you can do to protect your privacy online.
— as Nobel Prize winner Obama visits Stockholm beggin’ for Bombs For Peace
It seems no matter where 2famous.TV sets up HQ, our dear Syrian friends are hanging out in the neighbouring country. While in Lebanon, we were delighted and rather humbled to have Syria and its beautiful land and people just an hour’s drive away across the Bekaa. Now, as some of us have relocated to Oslo, Norway, our Syrian brothers and sisters are being granted a second home i... [more]
Activists: Your Twitter login credentials are at risk! Beware & change your password!
Thank God that #Marte is free!
But what about her less #Famous sisters?
#Marte flew safely back home today, and we are very happy for her. Thankfully her ordeal is over, at least the worst of it. Her case—when inspected beyond the screaming headlines—is much more interesting than it appears. This is not just about Marte, however—and a lot has already been said&mda... [more]
It’s still a demonstration even if it’s just YOU!
—It’s a divide and conquer war against activists!
—Join the boiling debate on the internet right now!