Just How Closely is Big Brother Watching Us?

by James Rubel
(Lemont, IL, USA)

Documentary Idea: Huge data miners are tracking our every move, just how closely are we being watched? I think it would be interesting to begin with some highly sensitive Google searches which should raise red flags, perhaps purchasing sensitive books such as bomb building or child pornography, next make purchases of related items with a credit card and so on...

See how far you'd have to go to raise an eyebrow and spark an investigation. How closely are we being watched? What will happen if I type "kill the president" right here? Someone somewhere is collecting this email, just how far would I be able to get before I arouse suspicion?

If anyone is interested in this idea:

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Feb 27, 2013
Total Commitment NEW
by: Scott

This is a great idea. I would love to WATCH this. But I'm not sure I would have what it takes to make this film. You would have to be totally committed to seeing this through. And by "through" that would covering your time in Guantanamo. Even if you had very qualified lawyers and other reps set up prior to filming, I think, in the end they would only serve to help demonstrate that you were never really a threat. But the forces that you would be up against would probably want to make an example of you so that others don't play around with their system. If done, this could be one of the best docs ever made. Maybe approach CNN, BBC, Fox, New York Times etc., to see what they think.

Feb 24, 2013
Interesting but scary NEW
by: Julca

This woul be a very interesting documentary but somehow I feel you'd be taking quite a risk doing any of these mentioned scenarios.

Feb 21, 2013
Caution NEW
by: John M.

Hi, Please proceed with caution if you are considering threatening the President even if you intend no harm. Thanks!

Feb 21, 2013
by: Anonymous

Excellent proposition. If I used a credit card to purchase a book on bomb making or meth cooking, used the same card to purchase the supplies, researched using my very own computer, would big brother notice? We all know we're being watched and this post itself for instance will be monitored somewhere, at what point would there be an unmarked car sitting on my street?

Of course this documentary would have to be somehow known by someone who knew what was being done. For instance, how hard is it to get a gun on a plane? What if a documentary crew attempted just that? It would be interesting to play the terrorist and see how safe we are.

Kudos, great idea.
Prof. K. Whitten

Feb 21, 2013
intriguing and scary NEW
by: Desktop Documentaries

This is an intriguing idea, James. My initial reaction was "yes, cool idea!" After a quick bit of research, my enthusiasm quickly began to fizzle.

Turns out that making threats, even in an e-mail, can get you put in jail. And threatening the United States President is a class D felony.

In order to really do this kind of documentary justice, you'd need to get maybe 10-20 people to do the experiment with you and document their process on camera as they went along. It could take months or years to get any kind of reaction from authorities. In addition, everyone would need to be willing to go to jail and risk their reputation for the cause. I'm sure authorities wouldn't be excited by the idea of someone wasting their time and resources on a hoax/experiment.

My guess is that you would have to make the threats in a bit more public way, such as on Facebook or in a blog to raise red flags. But who knows!! The imagination can go nuts with this one.... especially if one doesn't understand the laws and how police investigators do their work. Conspiracy theory to the max!

You've definitely hit a nerve.. "Big Brother" and "Internet Privacy" is something we all think about at one time or another. Just do a Google search for "Is big brother watching us" and you'll find some great articles and food for thought to explore this idea further.

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