As is often the case, when I mention a film in one of my articles I get the urge to watch it again. So last night I sat down and re-watched Enemy of the State, the Extended Cut version. In the special features they talked about the making of that movie and there are a few points they made that I would like to add to this as an addendum.
One of the first things that caught my attention was the fact that they said that, typically, whatever sophisticated spyware tech you see in a Hollywood film is 10-15 years BEHIND what they are actually capable of. What that means is that whatever you see in a movie they are 10-15 years more advanced in real life.
The next point they brought up came when the technical experts began talking about the capabilities of the spy satellites orbiting the Earth. These spy satellites orbit at an altitude of about 150 miles they said, yet they are capable of reading the license plates on cars. Think about that for a minute. Even with a good pair of binoculars you probably couldn’t read the license plate on a car from a mile away; yet these spy satellites can provide real time video images that show you the license plate number from 150 miles above the Earth’s surface. That’s pretty damned impressive if you ask me, impressive AND frightening.
Next the technical experts were talking about how the FBI has a file on each and every American. One of them said he even saw his own file; which consisted of over 4,000 pages of documents. He said he got a chance to look at Will Smith’s file, the character Robert Dean in the film, and it was even bigger than his.
Imagine that for a minute. Will Smith is just an actor, yet he has more than 4,000 pages in a file dedicated to his activities. Can you imagine how many pages MY file is; or yours if you have spoken any anti-government sentiments? And this is just the FBI; there’s no telling how much data the NSA has accumulated on me.
And speaking of my good buddies at the NSA, did you know that their budget is 4 times the size of the CIA? Did you know that they have 18 acres of supercomputers buried underground that accumulate and store data on you and I? Do you realize how big 18 acres is? That’s 784,080 square feet; which is more than ten times the size of an average NFL football field. That’s a hell of a lot of room for computers; computers that your tax dollars purchased to be used to spy on you.
And next off, the film Enemy of the State was made in 1998, or 21 years ago. Think about the advances in technology that have taken place in those 21 years. Hell, 21 years ago a mobile phone, or cell phone as you call them now, was the size of a brick. Now they pack a hell of a lot more technology into that razor thin thing you can slip into your back pocked of your skin tight jeans. Just think about the resolution of the camera in your smart phones, and then ask yourself if they can put that high a resolution camera into such a small device, what are they putting in their spy planes and spy satellites? What kind of surveillance capabilities do they have now compared to what they show you in that film.
I think that we truly do not have any freedom of privacy anymore. The moment we speak aloud or type something on our computer keyboards or phone keypads it is recorded and stored somewhere to be used against us should the time comes when our government deems us a threat to their existence. As they say in the movie, the only safe place for your thoughts is inside your head; for once you express them they are property of the NSA.
Think about the last scenes of the movie the Dark Knight where Batman uses the cellphones of every citizen of Gotham to track the location of the Joker. Imagine that scene when you pull out your cell phone, or go somewhere and see all those people walking around staring down at their cell phones. Imagine how easily those phones could be turned into listening devices; not to mention that most of them have GPS trackers installed in them.
After you’re done thinking about that, think about the movie The Bourne Legacy, or the Captain America film Winter Soldier. Think about how the government can track a person and target them using GPS locators or algorithms which identify them as potential threats. Our government already tracks and targets foreign targets with GPS and drone strikes, and will only take the right conditions for them to use that same capability right here on US soil.
How safe do you feel…honestly. You are a target, each and every day of your life. Your life is collected, stored, and analyzed by a multitude of governmental agencies, and so long as you don’t rock the boat you are left alone…aside from the theft of your income known as taxes and the loss of your privacy. But the moment you rock the boat, speak out against your government, your name gets a red flag attached to it and you become a ‘person of interest.’
I can only imagine how many times my file has been viewed and how many Watchlists I’m on. The thing is, if you’re not on a watch list of some kind, there is something wrong with you. I say that because if you aren’t on a watch list you are asleep at the wheel; oblivious to the fact that your government has become your enemy, and you have become their slave to be watched and kept in line through a multitude of surveillance capabilities and tyranny enforcers we call law enforcement and government agents. And if you can’t see that, then either I’m not a very good writer, or you’re just plain stupid. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one is the case.