Digital Dissidents Part 2
Al Jazeera (2016)
“If It’s Free You’re the Product”
In Part 2, Digital Dissidents reminds us that Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple daily collect and “monetize” (ie sell) millions of data points about us (including records of financial transactions).
The documentary also features rare commentary by Julian Assange on Sweden’s attempts* to charge him with sexual assault. These charges mysteriously surfaced exactly two weeks after Anonymous hacker Jeremy Hammonds released hacked emails between intelligence contractor Stratfor and the US government about potential charges against Assange under the 2017 Espionage Act. Was this mere coincidence? It seems unlikely.
NSA whistleblowers Thomas Drake and William Binney also talk candidly about the devastating effects of whistleblowing on their personal lives. His career in software systems management ruined, Drake presently clerks in an Apple retail outlet.
Binney, who refers to the NSA as “the Stasi** on super steroids, calls for the total dissolution of NSA. He maintains it has too much power to be reformed.
*Sweden dropped the sexual assault charges against Assange in Sept 2017. As Assange points out in the film, neither woman filed a police complaint and one accuses the police of inventing the crimes she supposedly accused him of.
**As the intelligence/security service for the former East German Republic, the Stasi was one of the most viciously repressive secret police agencies ever.
The video, which can’t be embedded for copyright reasons, can be viewed for free at the Al Jazeera website: Digital Dissidents