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I have been thinking about this post for over a year. First I was thinking about how to word it, then where to even post it. So, here ya go...

I have made my living in the I.T. industry for more than 25 years. I started out as a contract programmer and for the last few years I have made my living primarily writing technical manuals and flying around North America teaching corporate and government programmers the latest and greatest technologies as well as some high-level architecture consulting. Most of that time, I have been involved solely with statistical analysis applications. That is, I am NOT the guy that designs the screen you interact with when you buy a book from Amazon. (I could not design a nice looking screen to save my soul.) Rather I am the guy that designs the back-end algorithms and teaches others how to take the data from your buying that book and promote other products you might be interested in.

Until recently, I never gave much thought when folks went off on a paranoid rant about all of the data the government is collecting on us. It was simply not possible to collate and process all of the thousands of data points that every single American generates every day. Yes - the government could collect all of this data, but there was simply too much to process and track all 300+ million of us and generate any usable information on us.

Note: Definition of terms:
I use the term data to mean just a simple transaction that you participate in. I.E. The transaction you participated in to buy Nathan Hale Jefferson's new book is data. Surmising that you are a prepper because you bought Nathan Hale Jefferson's new book and your other transactions is information. In terms of privacy, data by itself is useless; information is absolutely invaluable.

Over the last 3-5 years there has been a major change in the IT industry. There is an open-source project called Hadoop Welcome to Apache? Hadoop®!
also marketed under the commercial name of Cloudera. Hadoop is basically a framework for building statistical analysis engines that allow programmers to process HUGE amounts of statistical data very quickly using off-the-shelf hardware (the kind of cheap computers sold at Best Buy and Walmart). The guts of Hadoop was developed primarily by Yahoo over 15 years ago, but it has been enhanced and expanded by Google and others over the years and is now an extremely powerful tool. Within the last few years it has become a mainstream backbone for most major corporations and government agencies.

This is not to say Hadoop is bad. On the contrary, this is an exciting technology that will allow all kinds of fast-paced advances in all manners of study from medicine to space exploration that were simply impossible a few years ago. But like any really powerful tool, it can also be a negative as well. For example, the boys out at Ft. Mead have been dumping a TON of money into getting their programmers up to speed on Hadoop over the last few years. I turned down a very lucrative contract there about a year ago because I cannot ethically be involved with what I think (but do not know for certain) they are building - even if it does involve sometimes killing bad Muslims (shout out to Paul! :grin:).

This is NOT meant to be some paranoid diatribe suggesting that we all go and live in cardboard refrigerator boxes under the overpasses along I-90. Rather, it is meant as a wake-up call. You cannot avoid having data collected on you. Even if you could, you would not want to since having no data collected is even more suspicious. Pay attention to the websites you are linking to, what credit cards you are using and where, who you are paying cash and who you are paying with a check card. - I am sure this website is not on the radar now, but it will be within 5 years and anything we have written so far will be analyzed by some algorithm. That is no big deal. But if you are researching something you want to keep truly private, use the Tor browser. (It is slower than hell, but it does give you anonymity. - DO NOT set yourself up as a Tor server site however; that brings way too much liability! - PM me if you want a horror story)

In short, we are living in a different world than we lived in even 5 years ago. Do not try to prevent all data (or information) about yourself from going out. Just control what data and information you make public. I also suggest you check out the book One Nation Under Surveillance by Boston T. Party. One Nation, Under Surveillance -- Privacy From the Watchful Eye: Boston T. Party, Kenneth W. Royce: 9781888766110: Amazon.com: Books The information in the book was outdated by the time it went to print in 2009. But it does put you in the proper privacy mindset.

Sorry this post was so long.
 

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Big brother is watching! Thanks for the post. I always figured that at some level on the internet, the government was tracking us. Where I work (in government) every e-mail, instant message and phone call is tracked. It is also a secure location requiring security checks and codes to enter. It is only a matter of time until a program is developed which will allow the government to categorize, track and locate persons based on a set of words in a computer. For all I know, they already can. Something to think about.
 

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The more data that they process the more "information" they can deduce.
Is that pretty much what you are saying?
 

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If my computer ever crashes Inor I'm blaming you!

Haha

I have decided to pick my battles (not unlike marriage) and stand my ground when it counts. To that end I'll speak my mind and trust God has a purpose for me in the end.
 
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This is not to say Hadoop is bad. On the contrary, this is an exciting technology that will allow all kinds of fast-paced advances in all manners of study from medicine to space exploration that were simply impossible a few years ago. But like any really powerful tool, it can also be a negative as well. For example, the boys out at Ft. Mead have been dumping a TON of money into getting their programmers up to speed on Hadoop over the last few years. I turned down a very lucrative contract there about a year ago because I cannot ethically be involved with what I think (but do not know for certain) they are building - even if it does involve sometimes killing bad Muslims (shout out to Paul! :grin:).
Oh c'mon now, that NDA isn't really a big deal i'm sure you could share a piece! haha...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
The more data that they process the more "information" they can deduce.
Is that pretty much what you are saying?
To some extent that is what I am saying. But with these technologies, they have made a quantum leap forward in how much data they can process. Up until recently, the government (or anybody else) collecting data on me really meant nothing, since there was so much data they process and they could not effectively process it unless they had a suspicion. Now with the latest advances, they can throw a very wide net and catch a lot of people that are doing nothing wrong. I.E. You took a withdraw from your bank and got $100 bills with serial numbers X,Y, and Z. Those bills were deposited by a known dope dealer, so you obviously were fulfilling your cocaine fix - even though you used the bills to buy a side of beef from your neighbor who bought a big screen T.V from ...
 

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Honestly, I had second thoughts the day I joined this site, because I figured I would be entered onto some government list. I do not list nor even mention what weapons, if any, I may have. Maybe paranoid, but I figure anything we post is being read, by someone other than people interesting in prepping.
The way I have it figured, there are many people fighting hard so we don't have to register what weapons we own, I'd be darn if I am going to give that info freely.
Inor, thanks for your post, very good info.
 
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