Your computer microphone: a surveillance device?


Richard Moore

In Orwell's 1984, each television is two-way - they can see you whenever you are
in sight of the TV.

It seems we're just about there...


Original source URL:

Government, Industry To Use Computer Microphones To Spy On 150 Million Americans

Invasive surveillance and advertising obliterates even Minority Report style 

Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones/Prison | September 6 2006

Private industry and eventually government is planning to use microphones in the
computers of an estimated 150 million-plus Internet active Americans to spy on 
their lifestyle choices and build psychological profiles which will be used for 
surveillance and minority report style invasive advertising and data mining.

Digital cable TV boxes, such as Scientific Atlantic, have had secret in-built 
microphones inside them since their inception in the late 1990's and these 
originally dormant devices were planned to be activated when the invasive 
advertising revolution arrived - 2006 marks that date.

The advent of digital video recording devices such as TiVo (Sky Plus in the UK) 
introduced the creation of psychological algorithm profiles - databases on what 
programs you watched, how long you watched them for, which adverts you liked or 
didn't like. This information was retained by TiVo and sold to the highest 
bidders - an example being Janet Jackson¹s wardrobe malfunction during the 2003 
Super Bowl half-time show - TiVo were able to compile lists of how many people 
had rewound the clip and how many times they had replayed it.

Two way communications systems like OnStar also have the ability to tap into 
private conversations as Americans become increasingly conditioned, by means of 
the private sector, to having their every movement, web session and conversation
tracked and catalogued by big brother.

Each time a new flash application requests permission to run on newer computers,
you will notice that a privacy setting box pops up asking if the particular 
website you are surfing can access your microphone and webcam. Though the webcam
is external, the microphone is internal and is a standard feature of all new 

Now Google have gone a step further by announcing that they will use in-built 
microphones to listen in on user's background noise, be it television, music or 
radio - and then direct advertising at them based on their preferences.

"The idea is to use the existing PC microphone to listen to whatever is heard in
the background, be it music, your phone going off or the TV turned down. The PC 
then identifies it, using fingerprinting, and then shows you relevant content, 
whether that's adverts or search results, or a chat room on the subject," 
reports the Register.

Since at least 150 million Americans are Internet-active they will all be 
potential targets for secret surveillance and the subsequent sell-off of all 
their information to unscrupulous data mining corporations and government 

The report cites the inevitability that the use and abuse of this technology 
will eventually be taken over by the state.

"Pretty soon the security industry is going to find a way to hijack the Google 
feed and use it for full on espionage."

The American public has already been brainwashed into thinking that having 
snooping software record their private phone conversations on behalf of the 
government is to protect them from terrorists and the Google program is just an 
entree to the expansion of these 1984 style technologies.

The Bush administration has sold its warrantless NSA spying agenda as the 
"terrorist surveillance program," and has used its Neo-Con mouthpiece media 
organs to argue the insanity of "not listening in to Osama bin Laden when he 
calls the US," despite the fact that Al-Qaeda stopped using phones years before 
9/11 when it was publicized that all bin Laden's calls were routinely 
intercepted anyway.

NSA spying on Americans was spun as a necessary reaction to 9/11 and yet it had 
been taking place for at least a decade before.

Firstly, the Echelon program has collected information in violation of the 4th 
Amendment from American citizen's phone calls since the early 90's at least. In 
addition, a 2001 European Parliament report stated that "within Europe all 
e-mail, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted" by the NSA.

The fact that Echelon barely even merited a mention during the recent furore 
created by the original USA Today NSA spying piece goes to show how utterly 
useless our media are in recalling what has already been admitted and proven.

In 1999 the Australian government admitted that they were part of an NSA led 
global intercept and surveillance grid in alliance with the US and Britain that 
could listen to "every international telephone call, fax, e-mail, or radio 

"As you would expect there are a large amount of radio communications floating 
around in the atmosphere, and agencies such as DSD collect those communications 
in the interests of their national security," said Bill Blick, Inspector General
of Intelligence and Security and the man who oversaw the Australian government's
intelligence apparatus.

A large sector of Echelon is dedicated to industrial espionage. For example, in 
November 1999 the BBC reported that the NSA snooped on phone calls from a French
firm bidding for a contract in Brazil. They passed the information on to an 
American competitor, which won the contract.

Google's ceaseless drive to dominate Microsoft and reap untold profits has come 
at the expense of privacy as the company jettison's its "don't be evil" mandate 
and merges itself into a proxy NSA outfit, creating all the tools necessary for 
the state to suffocate its subjects under an inescapable high-tech panopticon 
control grid.

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