Friday, November 7, 2014

Big Data Might Tell on You!

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Air/wireless television and radio are losing ground and in their place are a host of services that come with strings attached. If you pay a subscription fee, like Hulu on cable or HBO on satellite, then there are strings attached to your viewing preferences that ultimately lead to someone or something.

Of course, agents of Uncle Sam have better things to do than to sit around and monitor what you watch. But in this world of Big Data--where government and corporations seek to intercept, gather, collect, save, and analyze any and every type of available data, whether it resides on metallic, fiber, or radio waves--it's all there long after you turned that set off and gone to bed.

The other day, Linda, my wife, asked me to look into an air/wireless antenna for local channels as we've gone exclusively to Internet-based programming. Despite the fact that I, personally, was trained by Channel Master, not to mention two electronic trade schools and a techie father, I had to give some serious thought as to 1) where I might find such an animal these days, and 2) how/where we'd attach such an antenna to our house as we live on a lake in an association that may very well forbid outside antennas.

Is it all that important that no one know the television and radio stations you tune into? At first glance it would appear the answer is "No, not really." But in a nation such as this that is increasingly losing it's footing on Christian values and traditional American culture, no one can say for certain who or what the political climate will one day be. If all the authorities have to do to ascertain if you're a Christian is go back and review your viewing/listening preferences on cable/satellite television/radio.... well, I'm sure you see where I'm going with this.

So, what's the answer to the progressively hostile, police-state mentality we now see unfolding before us? Isn't that the underlying reason why we would even worry about our viewing/listening data? The problem isn't the data, and it's not even the fact that someone might collect all that data. The problem is what government will do with that data when the wrong people are in power--like the current administration.

Let me give you a little example by way of recent revelations about the NSA spying on Americans. All the while the press is telling the American people that it's the NSA, here we find out that the NSA has an accomplice--the President of the United States.

The Obama administration quietly got a court to undo U.S. surveillance limits on the use of intercepted phone calls and emails, The Washington Post reported.

The 2011 reversal of a 2008 restriction let the National Security Agency search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, the Post said, citing newly declassified documents and interviews with government officials. (read it)

So when you turn on pornography, or you turn on a Christian station on an Internet TV/Radio station, remember that someone someday may decide to use it against you, and it will be right there in Big Data indefinitely just waiting for them. Do you have to change that dial? Nope, but you at least deserve to know what the possibilities are. However, for those who might like to change their viewing habits, like how they get their TV/radio programming, you might want to look for an air antenna. Try looking at

Happy watching.

For the serious researcher:

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