Terms And Conditions May Apply is a documentary featuring interviews with technology thought leaders and futurists examining the erosion of privacy in the digital age. It provides lots of information about what we give up when check that little AGREE button at the end of the Terms & Conditions of any service. I and millions of people have honestly never read any Terms & Conditions. Thing is, you can’t do much on the Net unless you hit the “Agree” button, and most webpages won’t let you on unless you agree and permit ‘cookies’. We get a lot of valuable free services from Google, Facebook etc., and in turn we unknowingly allow a lot of our personal data to be used for their purposes. In Europe customers can find out how much information a company has collected on them, and one Austrian found Facebook had 1200 pages of info on him, a pile of papers five inches high (and he only posted once a week). This is more info on any one person than the FBI or CIA could assemble in the past, and this is all supplied voluntarily, so it is permissible and easier for them to get it from third-party companies than via wiretaps. The National Security Agency (NSA) watches and saves everything digital. Nothing is hidden. An international surveillance industry is selling spying systems that affect all of us. Most alarming are stories told in the film by people who were put on “Watch Lists” because of some innocuous searches or comments they made online. A writer for a television show episode about someone planning to kill his wife had researched related topics online, and could be “red flagged” and as a result stopped and dragged off in airports because of his misunderstood online searches. “If I said I was going to paint the town red, would they have me down for graffiti?” Another fellow settling in to watch the movie “Fight Club” quoted a threatening speech from the film word-for-word on his Facebook page, and before long went to answer a knock on the door from the NYPD Swat Team in bullet-proof vests who tore his apartment apart, all because of what he seemed to say on Facebook. A seventh-grader concerned about Obama’s visit to Tacoma who posted that the president should be careful and watch out for suicide bombers was called upon in his classroom by men from the Secret Service investigating him as a potential threat because he has been “red-flagged” by their spying system, which didn’t take into consideration his age or the fact that he was registering concern for the president, not voicing a threat. The machine just determined that based on a series of words he used, he was a potential threat. And stories involving PREVENTING Protests. “We May Use Your Data To Prevent a) Protest.” Surveillance being used to silence protest before it even happens. Pre-crime arrests, in the belief that you might cause a crime (like in the movie “Minority Report”). In England four party-goers dressed as zombies for a flash mob wedding picnic far from the Royal Wedding were preemptively arrested for “potential breach of the peace” to prevent them from getting anywhere near the other wedding, the Royal Wedding, even though they had made no move to do so, and had no intention of doing so. The same thing happened to a group of 50 in a street theatre troupe miles away from the Royal Wedding arrested and locked up for 25 hours until the Royal Wedding safely was over. For the first time in English history, people were arrested for simply thinking about protest, in this case in the form of some street theatre (about the public cost of this lavish Royal Wedding display.). So surveillance measures are being used to silence protests before they even happen, jailing people for even possibly thinking about protest. People don’t need to commit any crime, just text or email or call each other about potentially protesting. As a student of computer science, I find that most of this material is accurate. This is an informative documentary that doesn’t go to extremes about what must be done to protect our privacy. It successfully explains what privacies are being abused in the digital world, and proposes solutions that are realistic for the American people. If you really want your information private (emails, documents, etc.), I suggest using PGP encryption software. As far as social media websites, well, you are on your own — don’t post things you may regret. I now feel I need to really begin to disconnect electronically from the world and become very selective of where I go online, whom I communicate with, and for what purposes I use this technology. The issue is knowing that in life you have a small portion of privacy that remains “for your eyes only”, much like a diary. Do I believe I have a large amount of personal data stored on company servers that is within ready access by the government or highest bidder? Absolutely. Do I think the NSA and CIA care about what I’m doing online? Doubt it. The movie is a little heavy on “Big Brother is watching.” The only chance we have at fighting this is voting. Since this film was completed, a whistleblower (Edward Snowden) revealed more details about the NSA, including a program called PRISM. This exposed Facebook, Google, and seven other tech companies that are granting the NSA access to their systems. Very informative on how companies’ Terms and Conditions have changed over the last fifteen years as far as what data they retain. The technology is available, and government has no fear of overreaching. The one day you mistakenly put something very private out electronically, it’s out of your hands forever. No take-backs. Deleting embarrassing pictures from Facebook doesn’t mean they are gone, far from it, everything digital is there, forever. Nothing is really deleted, because anything ‘deleted’ can be recovered. This film gives great insight into how social networking, government data, and our privacy are now interrelated. Sadly we see how our basic privacy rights are being taken from us and digitized for government profiling. Writing this review I’m already monitored and documented for whatever reason they feel suitable to profile me. For those of you who thought Minority Report’s PreCrime division was only science fiction, think again. If you want to know a little more about how user privacy information works, then this is a good documentary on that. This movie rounds up a gaggle of industry pros from both sides of the question, and the answers they come up with only seem to lead to more questions. This is a film that everyone with a Facebook page, or a smart phone, or an email account should see. Everyone should take some time out of their day and watch this. This is a must-watch documentary and should be shared so everyone can wake up and see what has happened to society. I hope you recommend this movie to all your friends and family. To the producers of this film, thank you, truly. Highly recommended. THE GOVERNMENT KNOWS THAT I WATCHED THIS MOVIE AND THAT I WROTE THIS REVIEW. AM I CONSIDERED A THREAT? WATCH THE MOVIE TO FIND OUT. Documentary 2013 NR 1hr 20m.
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