i wont ever get an alexa, they'll record what you're saying says the IT professional as they walk around their entire life with their smartphone never further than two feet from their body.

theres a lot of thoughts in my mind around fear of surveillance and status in the world. When i came out, i knew i gave up all status in terms of who i was in people's minds. I am assumed to be a bad person by identity. There is nothing left on my hard drive or in what i do in my bedroom that can incriminate me more than what people assume i do in their minds.

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i am automatically such a depraved pervert by assumption, that an alexa spying on me can only find me to be far less interesting than people hope.

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fear of hackers breaking into your cloud accounts and discovering you're just like everyone else, with dull unimaginative secrets.

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techbros terrified of smart tech as if their life is interesting for anyone to care.

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get over yourself Andrew, you're a middle aged white guy programmer who works for another boring computer company, you're not Neo.

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being terrified of losing status from surveillance discovering who you really are, fear of being objectified for once in your life.

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@mxsiege Honestly I don't care if google or techbros hear me and target me with ads. I care if the NSA hears me and targets me with prison for disenting or writing an article or whistleblowing or whatever else could get me killed by the clintons let alone a foreign entity.. I don't really think that's gonna happen to me though unless I start writing like I want to. that I believe is of greater concern than Middle Brother (Big Biz spying)

@I yes, but those things can easily be pinned on you without you doing any of it right? Like, if someone with that much power wants you dead, they dont need to catch you doing anything

@mxsiege fair enough! what if a POC drug dealer selling just weed for his fam got pinned because of an Alexa recording though? Might be a better example, although not really something that happens right now. It's not something I worry a lot about but it's a side of the concern I see as valid.

@mxsiege That could also be dismissed by your argument though. I hear what you're saying though. Just offering my thoughts =)

@mxsiege middle aged white guy programmer is the *perfect* cover identity though.

@gid the cunning ruse to be so uninteresting in your entire existence that at the perfect moment you reveal yourself to have died from old age.

@elfi that one thought process that every techbro has about surveillance and gets regurgitated over and over

@MoMartin yeah, suddenly turning out he was The One without ever having to make any plans before hand

@mxsiege It sounds like you haven't seen me in my mirror shades


The thing I worry about with surveillance is that it's actually being used to manufacture individualised propaganda for fascism and/or to demoralise the left.

I'm not immune to manipulation and I don't want to make it easier.

@mxsiege I have an Alexa device in every room of my flat, and you can download all the recordings it's taken via Amazon's website. I'm genuinely considering doing that out of curiosity to see how many have, uh, carnal noises...

@mxsiege But for realsies though, I'm researching facial recognition for a project, and uh, yeah you want to talk about the surveillance state, that's where shit gets scary AF.

@mxsiege You know how people were freaking out over Clearview, the thing the NYT reported on that used facial recognition to match people to Facebook profiles and stuff? And that somehow that technology will become publicly available?

Try this. Go to, take a new webcam photo, and do a search by image. The first result will probably be your most public-facing profile photo.

@mxsiege This is stunning in terms of how intrusive it is. Say there's some creepy guy who's on the same train with you every day, and he manages to surreptitiously get a clear photo of your face. He can upload that to Yandex image search and immediately see all your public online presences, effectively knowing who you are.

@andi @mxsiege unless you take your glasses off for selfies like me, then it fails to find anything :blobwink:

also, i think that horse has already bolted wrt privacy. back in 2012 i knew someone who worked for a "web analytics" company (think automated Google stalking). the stuff this system could pull up from just an email address was stunning at the time. this face thing is just another data point such a system can use

@eject @mxsiege True, but the scary part of this is it demolishes the anonymity of large cities (creepy dude on train/at club/at work taking photo example), and can be used to connect disparate online identities (linking online properties even where you use different avatars and identities on each). The offline effects that can have with a trivial amount of effort are pretty worrisome.

@andi @mxsiege sure it's a step up, but that's my point: it's only useful because it builds upon creepy tools we already have

@andi @mxsiege

It pulled up a photo of me under red light from months ago...and the picture I took wasn’t high quality

@AudreyJune @mxsiege It's shockingly effective. It's my new party trick for totally ruining the mood of a party.

@hope @AudreyJune @mxsiege Yikes. 😬 I haven't gotten it to match a photo of me wearing makeup to one without yet, or vice-versa. I really worry that might not always be the case — a very real nightmare scenario is that this could be used to out people.

I had to try this and while it didn't come up with one of my pictures, the top results all go to "hot babes to jerk off to" and I really have deeply mixed feelings about this outcome.

@mxsiege yes! This is what I keep thinking about how many of them are terrified of putting pictures of themselves online; fear of being the ones objectified

Although they always say it's to prevent doxxing 😒

@Louisa yeah its like, welcome to living on the same knife edge the rest of us are already on.

@mxsiege I don't think just because most people's lives are pretty boring doesn't make surveillance any less terrifying

@SunSaint Hackers can get access to all my shitty nudes on my cloud if they want them, but i think of it more like the netflix model, they can have better quality ones if they pay an agreeable fee.

@mxsiege Hackers always seem more interesting than me anyway

@mxsiege hey, you can’t just call us all out like that 😅

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