Stalking is Against the Law; Except When Governments and Corporations Do It



By Cheri RobertsChallenging the RhetoricCheri Speak

Somewhere along the line, between the secretive NSA spying and the in your face data mining by corporations, we have become blase` about being tracked and having our privacy infringed upon at every turn. Have we become numb or accepting or both? We seem to have acquiesced and our waning high-horse rhetoric is falling flat in the face of our stalkers who intentionally prey on the human vulnerabilities and vanities that make us weak to their ways and wares.

Who Are You?



Social Media has turned us all into mini-celebrities with followings; having a stalker, any kind of stalker, is par for the course, right? Who cares if it’s intrusive, unconstitutional or just plain unethical? Who cares if it’s kind of creepy or if people are getting ridiculously rich off of our postings of YouTube videos, kitty memes and outraged [or just outrageous] comments? Who cares that we have zero say in the vetting of who is doing the spying stalking? Who cares that millions of dollars are spent each year studying how to ease more and more information out of us and millions more are spent implementing those findings while we willfully play along in the name of ‘progress’. And, while they’re making all of that money on a brand called ‘you’, ‘me’ and ‘we’, where exactly is our piece of that American pie?

Either way, it’s important to remember or remind that stalking is against the law. Unless of course it is being done by the United States Government or top tier corporations. Make no mistake rationalizing, it is stalking. When you look at something online only to be shown ads for the same person/place/thing on the sites, like Facebook, you log into afterwards, you are literally being stalked. Your stalker follows you online as real as if they were following you in person.

It’s Literally In Our Hands

Facebook’s ToS makes it clear you are receiving ‘cookies’ on your computer and says you can opt out of their advertising endeavors however, a new report in The Independent says that even if you delete your page, Facebook is still tracking your online activity and selling your data without your knowledge. Samsung admits their Smart TV’s record both video and audio in the fine print few ever read. Hertz has cameras in rental cars. Nearly every kid over 9 has a smart phone, tablet or computer equipped with built-in web cams and audio recording hardware/software. People are buying personal drones making ‘drone boning’ videos and don’t even get me started on the robot balls, butterflies and ants. Cell phone Apps are tracking our locations and use on average once every 3 minutes. Toy maker, Matel, has equipped Barbie with Wifi and voice recognition as as well as an audio recorder that records your children [and surely anyone else in the room].

Well, Duh, But …

We know all of this … and yet, we keep purchasing the products we bitch about; thinking that somehow, magically, we won’t be spied on; we will be the exception. Fat chance my friend and fatter chance that any Congressional hearings or public outcry is going to reverse the damage done when we opened the Pandor’as box labeled technological advances. That cat is out of the proverbial bag, and if you have ever tried to chase a cat that doesn’t want to be caught, you know how futile the effort can be.

Gandhi taught us, ‘it just takes one’, but it really takes all of us.

What CAN We Do?



In order to keep up with everything and everyone in life, the devices and entities that spy on us are almost necessary evils. It’s like the environmentalist complaining about mining the earths raw crystals and minerals as they type out their indignant message on computers that run off the very crystals they are concerned about. Tech giants are just as far under the cover with Washington as the Pharmaceutical companies. It’s a vicious cycle.

When we think of propaganda we mostly look to government tactics used on any given populous in order to move a political agenda forward, but propaganda comes in many flavors and it’s coming not just at us, but right to us, at a rate like never before. The consumer driven industry that is the Corporation is what drives the world and enables the 1%’ers and it too is rife with it’s own relentless propaganda aimed at brainwashing you — both the consumer and brand, with psychological ploys geared to make you buy, switch, play, like, share, subscribe, give, love and yes, even hate.

How do we keep up and participate, without participating? Well, for starters, we need to really get involved. The only way we can make change is to force change and here are a couple of places to start …

  • H.R. 1466 or the  Surveillance State Repeal Act is a new Bill, introduced by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), that would repeal or end the NSA’s unconstitutional domestic spying program and say bye-bye to the Patriot Act. Reps. Alan Grayson (D-FL), James McGovern (D-MA), and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) are the original co-sponsors of the bill.

It’s a pretty significant piece of legislation. You can read the full text of the Bill here or download a PDF here.

  • The Executive Order (EO12333) that allowed this great intrusion to happen from the legal standpoint is currently open for public comment and you have up until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on June 16, 2015 to log your comments.

Remember, a citizenry that doesn’t heartily participate hardly has room to complain.




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