Sunday, August 11, 2013

Rape and Privacy

In light of the Edward Snowden revelations, which ended up forcing the hand of President Obama and the NSA (indeed, "a victory of sorts" for Snowden) -- and in fact, because of the acknowledgment and now, legitimization, of the government's dumpster diving on not only American but global citizens -- there should no longer be any expectation, reasonable or otherwise, of privacy in human existence.

We have crossed that bridge, and there is no looking back.  Data mining, marketing "preferences", "targeted" advertising being "served" ... cameras everywhere (and in every hand): mounted on dashboards, hanging from street lamps, hidden in ceilings, hats and eyeglasses ... capturing, then "sharing", our every pain, our every shame, our every vainglory, assigning blame ...

Photo(s) by Jglo

In many ways, we've become a much better, cleaner, safer, more responsible world:  all performing as model citizens now, caring Samaritanism, the norm - No longer every man, woman and child a solo act, but performing with our best stage voices and collective foot forward, because all of us know that the cameras are on.

Of course, banks still get robbed ... identities stolen, people get assaulted on quiet streets still.  Nigerians and others still try to get over, and handbags and gladrags still get heisted (recently, from directly beneath an ostensibly upturned corporate nose).

In many ways, we're stalled the same.

Perhaps the most discernible difference between our world pre-1984 and now, is that in today's world -- our world of the hard sell; of crass and obnoxiously mass consumerism ... a world where Christmas "season" begins after Labor Day and "Back to School" is already being shoved down our throats in July (mere weeks after the kids are set free from one school year, they're told to start saving and spending for next!) -- it's not surprising to see every website I visit demanding I "join" it; or being instructed on every website to "follow", "share", "like" (or see what my "friends" like) ... or "log in using Facebook" or some other "service" ...

We don't care what you use to log in, just LOG IN.  So we can mine your data, target your preferences and know where you go online, what you do, so that in the end, we know what to do with you!

Go ahead, "opt out" (if you can find how to do it) - it doesn't matter:  we still know you've visited youporn before coming here, and we appreciate your business!  Or "Yay" ... or "Let's have some milk with those cookies" (or "Don't be evil") ...

See what we did there?  We just allayed your valid concerns about privacy with a cute little word thing, and lulled you into a soft zone of comfort.  Dropped a roofie in your browser refreshment, so now you'll give it up to us.

In the real world, offline, the identity of rape victims is shielded.  In the privacy-sucking world of the wide web, there's no such protection.  We're all exposed, subject to further penetration and perpetual abuse.

But wait ... It's consensual.  We're giving it up, and giving in.  There's no such thing as consensual rape (Is there??) ... In the real world, offline, it may be poor form to blame the victim.  But for most of us, online, we ask to be raped.

And we're getting exactly what we deserve.