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Re: [LAAMN] From Joan--article--"Netflix Blacks Out The Revolution"

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  • Ernest Savage
    Well done Joan! If you want peace, work for justice with dignity for all.
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 21, 2012
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      Well done Joan!

      If you want peace, work for justice with dignity for all.

      On Dec 21, 2012, at 9:22 AM, Joan Sekler <joan.sekler@...> wrote:

      > Netflix Blacks Out the Revolution
      > Thursday, 20 December 2012 15:05 By Thom Hartmann and Sam Sacks,
      > The Daily Take | Op-Ed
      > You might want to think twice about streaming that “subversive”
      > documentary about the Weather Underground on Netflix. If Republicans
      > have their way, you just might end up on a watch list somewhere.
      > This week, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the
      > 1988 Video Protection Privacy Act, which forbids movie rental
      > companies from sharing or selling their customers’ viewing history.
      > The Senate is expected to take up the amendment soon. (which would
      > allow companies to buy a customers' viewing history)
      > If this passes, what you watch on Netflix may soon become public
      > information that your friends, employers, and even the government will
      > have access to. Are you regretting streaming the latest Harold and
      > Kumar yet? Or all those soft-porn chick-flicks?
      > Netflix favors the law change because it will help them branch into
      > social media and connect Facebook customers to each other based on
      > their similar tastes in films. Unmentioned by Netflix is the enormous
      > profit-potential in selling your viewing history to advertisers who
      > can target specific demographics based on your preference in movies.
      > Also unmentioned by Netflix is just who else might get this
      > information once it’s taken out of the privacy lockbox.
      > The current version of the amendment does include a provision
      > requiring Netflix to get their customers’ consent before sharing their
      > viewing history. That’s helpful to those of us who are aware of the
      > online threats to our privacy. But the vast majority of Americans,
      > especially younger generations of Americans, are completely unaware
      > that their privacy is in danger when they plug into the Internet. And
      > it’ll probably end up being part of those notorious “terms and
      > conditions” that you check the “I agree” box for, just to get onto the
      > site.
      > The recent fiasco with Instagram, and the ongoing privacy concerns
      > with Facebook highlight how Americans willingly flock to social media
      > without considering the consequences for their privacy or the value of
      > anonymity. Today, we're sacrificing privacy for convenience and
      > interconnection.
      > We enthusiastically post our locations, our pictures, and our personal
      > information on social media networks, all of which are monitored by
      > advertisers, future employers, and even law enforcement.
      > Your web experience is now carefully compiled and examined, so
      > advertising can target you specifically. They've been collecting data
      > on what websites you go to and what you search for on hundreds of
      > websites and search engines – a blatant, but legal, violation of your
      > individual privacy.
      > Online data collection is now multi-billion dollar industry.
      > This level of surveillance would have been horrifying to previous
      > generations, including our Founding Fathers, who held privacy in the
      > highest regard: they even enshrined that right in the Fourth Amendment
      > of the Bill of Rights.
      > Yet, in the 21st Century, we become conditioned to accept these
      > invasions of our privacy as the new normal.
      > In fact, it's increasingly looking like the United States is one
      > generation away from completely forgetting what privacy means. And the
      > consequences of this will be tragic for democracy in our republic.
      > That’s because without privacy - without the ability to be anonymous –
      > our ability to plan peaceful revolution or non-violent social change
      > is radically scaled back. If big corporations or Big Brother are
      > watching, then they can block or sabotage efforts before they even
      > become public.
      > It’s no secret that a massive surveillance system has been constructed
      > in America post-9/11. We know about the warrantless wiretapping of
      > American citizens. We know about Trapwire – a law enforcement tool
      > that keeps track of our movements in major cities across the nation
      > through closed circuit cameras, facial recognition software, and
      > license plate readers.
      > And we know about the enormous spy center being built by the NSA in
      > Utah that will house all the data collected by the NSA since 9/11 –
      > including emails, phone calls, text messages, and perhaps now Netflix
      > viewing history – all of it in one source so that it's easily
      > analyzed.
      > The NSA can how hold the digital version of 500 quintillion pages of
      > text. That's a lot of data.
      > But, here’s what’s most important to remember as our privacy goes by
      > the wayside: Social change hinges on privacy, and, in some cases, even
      > total privacy – anonymity.
      > This goes all the way back to the Boston Tea Party, when an anonymous
      > activist known even to this day merely as Rusticus posted flyers
      > around Boston that led directly to the Boston Tea Party. In today's
      > America, Rusticus’ plans to vandalize the tea ships would have been
      > exposed by the East India Company, and the Boston Tea Party shut down
      > before it even started.
      > In today's America, people couldn't have "conspired" to overthrow
      > unjust laws like slavery, Susan B. Anthony couldn’t have conspired
      > with Elizabeth Cady Stanton to illegally vote, and Martin Luther King
      > and Rosa Parks may have been stopped before they could move Civil
      > Rights into the spotlight. We might even still be fighting wars in
      > Vietnam and Iraq.
      > Sure, social media was a tremendous boost for both the Occupy Movement
      > and the Arab Spring to get people into the streets. But it was also a
      > tremendous tool for law enforcement in both parts of the world to
      > squash those same movements.
      > And tragically, the day may be near - indeed, it may already be here -
      > when if you plan to protest the corporate takeover of our government,
      > drone warfare, or indefinite detention, you'll find yourself in jail
      > before you even get into the streets.
      > Remember what happened in Minnesota in 2008 before the Republican
      > National Convention? Forty-eight hours before the convention was to
      > begin, police kicked in the doors of and arrested six activists, along
      > with detaining hundreds of others, who were planning to protest the
      > RNC. The Bush Administration took them out before they could even
      > publicly exercise their First Amendment right to speak out.
      > As our privacy rights are whittled away at like this, it’ll get more
      > and more difficult – and more and more dangerous – to launch
      > successful socially transformational movements because the
      > powers-that-be, including the corporations or industries you may be
      > protesting against, will know ahead of time what all your moves will
      > be.
      > Yes, it's annoying to get ads online that reflect your previous search
      > histories, or have an embarrassing picture of you posted on Facebook
      > show up elsewhere. And it could be downright incriminating to have
      > your Netflix viewing history put on display for all to see. But
      > really, these privacy violations pale in comparison to removing
      > anonymity from both private endeavors and political action. That’s an
      > outright violation of democracy itself.
      > As people from Egypt to Burma to China will tell you, the fundamental
      > ability of "we the people" to create social change and lead nonviolent
      > revolutionary movements against unjust and oppressive forces is deeply
      > in danger when a nation loses its privacy protections.
      > The fight for privacy will be one of the signature battles moving
      > forward during these uncertain times in America. And without privacy -
      > and the ability to remain anonymous - genuine democracy will never
      > again flourish in the Land of the Free.
      > ------------------------------------
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