Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Hey, Siri? Ya listenin'?

Sidewalk at the Entrance of the North Hollywood
Police station...
I got a new iPad pro for Christmas. One of the new features on the current IOS is instant contact with Siri. After setting up a couple of voice pattern tests I "enabled" this function.  This morning I was able to simple say out loud in the direction of the iPad. "Hey Siri what time is it."  With no further need for my assistance like punching a button or booting the iPad up Siri said, "The time is 7:06 am, Jay." Now I admit, as amazing as that is, I could have gotten the same information easier by just looking at one of the three clocks I can see from my bed. However, since Siri is connected to the WWW I could just as easily have gotten the answers to much more complicated questions.  I found out that this hands free function is also available on my iPhone although I have never set it up and turned it on.  Supposedly, this function only works when the iPhone or iPad is connected to a charger, but the whole thing makes me wonder if George Orwells' 1984 has arrived and I should be addressing "Big Brother" not Siri. 
I am not a scientist but logically if Siri can respond to my voice any time it is plugged in and charging, that must mean it is always "listening" to the sounds around it in some capacity.  How else would it know to respond to my voice without any other prompt? Logically then, with the right wifi address or even serial number of my device anyone also connected to the World Wide Web could "listen in" just like Siri.  Theoretically my new iPad and my iPhone are the worlds most sophisticated bugging devices and I rarely leave my house without one or both of them.  Should I be worried that potentially I am allowing ease dropping of my own conversations on and off the phone? Heck no, this is America. It is illegal to do that without enough probable cause to get a Judge to issue a warrant.  Or not...

Over the Holiday's we watched the documentary "Citizenfour". It is a scary movie about Edward Snowden's whistle blowing leak and outing the NSA spying program.  Although I certainly remember the stir he caused, I never really understood what he was trying to expose until now.
This idea of "Metadata"- collecting every phone record, email, text, cell tower proximity, Google searches, sight visits and GPS coordinates of every American as well as perceived threats online is a complete invasion of my privacy. But to do that "Big Brother" would have to have to tag me with an electronic device that had the capacity gather all this Metadata and send it to Big Brother. What would some bug like that cost and how could a government get everyone in the United States to carry one. Well,  It is called a smart phone. Oh and by the way.... I paid for this bugging device myself and carry it with me voluntarily. 
We will never be conquered by a squad of jack boot brown shirts who march into our community and take away our rights.  We will gladly give up our rights to those we think are less evil than the people THEY claim are out to suppress us. We will become so scared of "the greater threat" that we will invite Satan himself into our homes if we think he can protect us. We are being ruled by the fear of "what if".  Remember this path of logical fear... What if Iraq gives their weapons of mass destruction to terrorists? We were afraid of that "what if" so much that we invaded a Iraq without provocation.  Oh and by the way... the weapons of mass destruction we were so afraid of... didn't exist.  Now we are being told to be afraid of the people who took over Iraq after we destroyed their government. When we get a handle on them we will find another "what if" to fear.  Maybe we should be more concerned about being spied on by the very people we thought were protecting us from that possibility.  
If you think smashing your cell phone, burying your iPad and dropping off the grid will keep you from being spied on, don't do it.  It's too late. Even if you don't have a smart phone on your person, the guy or gal next to you does and their GPS is on.  Oh,  and the security camera on that retail store you just passed, got a great shot of you.  
"Hey Siri...who is there with you listening to me ?"  I didn't get an answer because the iPad is not plugged in....RIGHT.   
As you were,


P. Grecian said...

Yeah. I've resisted, being an old hippie, and have a flip phone. I wear fedoras in public quite a bit, to avoid the cameras.
My laptop has a camera lens on it...but I mostly use my desktop, which doesn't.
I don't fool myself, though.
I know that, should the powers-that-be want to, they can eavesdrop on me.
And even when I turn everything off... new programmable coffee pot watches me suspiciously...and I have noticed my digital clock mumbling sotto voce to my microwave.

1984 went by a long time ago.

Ron Arnold said...

Hey Jay, Here's a movie I recently watched on youtube, you might enjoy it.