Shoshana Zuboff (born 18 November 1951) is an American author, Harvard professor, social psychologist, philosopher, and scholar. She is also the author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power.
Prior to first reading her book nearly five years ago, I had never heard the term “surveillance capitalism.” But after completing it, fully understood that this was how the tech billionaires were becoming richer by the day, and that if this unregulated industry were not thwarted, it would be the end of democracy, forever; without exaggeration, the end of the world as we knew it. There would never again be any privacy for anyone, anywhere. No solitude. No sanctuary.
We may think of our data as comprising our place of birth or what kind of car we drive, but it’s much much more than that. Our most profitable data actually consists of our behaviors: how we interact with others; where we sit at church or at the movie theater; where we park in a store parking lot, which direction we go first upon entering a store; what size coffee we order; how often we wash our car; what time we walk our dog; whether or not we buy alcohol, and, if so, what brand, how much we purchase, from where, and how often.
There is no behavior you or I exhibit that is not now commodified. Not one. And this may give you a clue as to why surveillance has become so ubiquitous, with cameras nearly everywhere we go.
Most new public cameras aren’t just for “security,” they are there to serve the surveillance capitalists. The same is true for the huge TV screens that are in far more places than they should be, something I touched on in a previous NoFakeNews article, I’m Starting To Get The Picture.
Without some sort of interference in this secret world — where billionaires posing as humanity lovers, philanthropists, entrepreneur helpers, and givers of freedom were actually intentionally, methodically working together to target and enslave every human possible in order to extract our data — our God-given freedom would literally be taken from us. Thus far, there has been no such interference. In fact, it has been just the opposite, with a [technologically] clueless Congress providing billions of dollars in contracts to these tech companies with no laws, no oversight, and no accountability.
While we often point to the World Economic Forum, the CFR, freemasons, Illuminati, the CIA, FBI and Big Tech as being elitists who want to rule over the rest of us, it’s really the digerati — the Silicon Valley IT geniuses — within those groups who have striven for over two decades to surveil us, invade our privacy, take our data, trade it and make their billions.
And because the #1 goal of wealthy individuals who have made their money off the backs of unsuspecting individuals is to make more money, they have persistently schemed to find more ways to get more data.To this elitist group of digerati — considered celebrities in the tech world — we stopped being human long ago. To them, we are nothing but data. Everything about us is data. And each tiny piece is, and has been for over two decades now, stripped from us, without our consent, and traded to the highest bidder.
“Without new public institutions, charters of rights, and legal frameworks purpose-built for a democratic digital century, citizens march naked, easy prey for all who steal and hunt with human data. In result, both the liberal democracies and all societies engaged in the struggle to build, defend and strengthen democratic rights and institutions now stumble toward a future that their citizens did not and would not choose: an accidental dystopia owned and operated by private surveillance capital but underwritten by democratic acquiescence, cynicism, collusion, and dependency.”
She further states:
“The term of art was ‘user engagement,’ a coded expression for a new subject-object social relation in which commodity resources targeted for extraction just happen to be sentient human beings. Google’s inventions depended on the secret invasion of once-private human experience to implement a hidden taking without asking. Such action is normally characterized as theft, and it was on the strength of this original sin of secret theft that users’ private lives were declared as corporate property.”
Google’s company slogan “Don’t Be Evil,” was propaganda like no other, as their company’s tactics have been nothing short of evil. While posing as a safe place for dreams and creativity to flourish, they were extracting not only every bit of data we left from our searches, or the words and ideas in our gmail, but even — and this is where their real money has been made — in our “data exhaust.”
Data exhaust” is what is left over from our search/browse activities. Within that data exhaust is information about our behavior. By analyzing and aggregating this behavior they could more easily predict our future behavior. This led to the Holy Grail of learning how to predict a “click-through rate,” the computation that launched Google’s earnings into the stratosphere.
Zuboff says, “It launched the online targeted ad industry, best understood as surveillance advertising—the Trojan horse that conceals the complex machinery of secret massive-scale extraction of human-generated data.”
Surveillance capitalists like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft (and their millions of networked brethren) “compete on the power of their predictions to reduce uncertainty. This most fundamental commercial objective dictates the requirement for massive-scale commodity extraction, production, and refinement of human-generated data, comparable to tons of wheat or barrels of oil. Prediction products are sold to business customers in a new kind of commodity market that trades in human futures.”
Stolen wealth (which is what this is) begets more greed, and data being the new oil, the government-funded digerati will continue to find more efficient ways to monitor individuals in order to extract their data then sell it. (15-minute cities would be perfect for this.)
The phrase “The best way to predict the future is to invent it” comes to mind — and it no doubt came to their minds when it was discovered that nanotechnology inserted into a human being (or other animal) via synthetic mRNA would allow for remote manipulation of that individual. We know that directed-energy weapons can do the same thing.
So any digerati, hacker or data broker who had access to the technology and wanted to predict your future behavior so they could bet on it and make money, could cause that behavior via remote manipulation and no one (but them) would be the wiser.
Finally, it has been well-established that individuals within our government, intelligence agencies, etc. have been able to read targets’ minds — in real time — for decades. Today’s technology allows that on a mass scale. And those thoughts, plans, dreams and prayers are a commodity.
I don’t know how this planned dystopia could ever be stopped, but perhaps — and my hope is — there are mechanisms underway to intercede of which I am unaware. God will either allow it or He won’t.
Either way, I agree with Zuboff’s statement: There can be surveillance capitalism or there can be democracy. But there can’t be both.
This is a future (and a present) to which most of the public is completely unaware. Awareness is the key to change. As such, please share this article wherever you can.
To read Zuboff’s article about this subject, click here: journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/26317877221129290
Ashley Hayes is a former business entrepreneur, patented inventor, researcher, and writer seeking to bring attention to the clearly-organized crimes of unlawful and corrupt law enforcement and fusion center personnel against innocent Americans and citizens worldwide, as well as crimes committed by military contractors via 21st-century technology, and to the pandemic of child trafficking by those in power.