March 2016

Clearly the surveillance state succeeded in attaching tracking devices to everyone’s body. Who needs microchips when people willingly spend hundreds of dollars on smart phones? Question. Have you ever taken a look at the user agreements in some of the apps you use? Just about all of them say that they will share your location data and many say in the fine print that they can record audio in real time. Even the most mundane apps, say a video game or strobe light feature, will track and surveil you sharing your data with corporate affiliates.

Think your phone isn’t transmitting when you’re not making a call? Think again. Your phone is constantly communicating with service towers and now with fake cell towers known as stingray systems feeding your data to police stations and threat fusion centers. Some argue that such actions violate privacy rights. But hey, you agreed to the fine print, you keep your phone on and your phone’s signal is being broadcast into public property. The only way around this is airplane mode.

Airplane mode was designed to make your phone ‘radio silent’. It was meant to prevent interference with aviation equipment, although no one seems to use airplane mode even while on airplanes. Airplane mode is the equivalent of covering your phone with solid metal—no signals go in or out. We should use airplane mode while we still have this feature. There may come a day when phones do not have airplane mode or airplane mode becomes compromised.

The fake cell towers known as stingray systems that seem to be popping up like mushrooms are used by law enforcement to gather information on every cell phone within range—essentially everyone but the amish. It’s ironic that we tint our car windows and close our blinds but we never seem to notice the tracking device with a microphone sitting right next to us. Perhaps it’s because we call these things “phones”, we assume that no signal is getting through as long as we “hang up”. When in reality we’ve become addicted to keeping imperial probe droids on us at all times. America: land of the free home of the brave and everyone is on self-imposed house arrest.

Thank you for listening to Gotham Nation, as always live short and flounder.