…and we all know where that road is headed.
If I were a genuine conspiracy nutcase I’d have no problem believing that Google is a fully controlled subsidiary of the American intelligence apparatus. I mean, the things Google are up to are just so perfectly suited for full scale surveillance of every individual on earth, it would make even the most obedient and disinformed tabloid-reading cable news-watching civilian lemming wonder if Larry and Sergey aren’t secretly on the NSA’s payroll.
Just look at the technologies Google is currently operating and/or developing. As the world’s most widely used internet search engine, Google already knows everything you type in to its search box and the websites you then choose to visit. As it crawls and indexes all these websites, it knows everything you read online.
Combined with the way that ridiculous Google+ ‘social network’ is being shoved down your throat, Google knows who your friends and family are, what companies you are associated with and in what capacity, and a whole load of demographical information you probably didn’t know you were sharing with Google in the first place.
Then of course take Gmail in to consideration; Google knows who you email and what you email about. And if you’re using Chrome as a browser (or even Firefox; Mozilla’s biggest donor is Google), even if you stay outside of Google’s enormous internet ecosystem – a nearly impossible task – Google can still look at everything you do online.
Beyond the internet, Google is developing self-driving cars. Not because of any desire to improve road safety, mind you. No, with self-driving cars Google can make sure you spend your entire commute online, so you have more time to use its services and it can show you more ads.
Of course as a side benefit of self-driving cars, Google will know everywhere you go. Not that it needs robot cars for this in the first place – that Android phone in your pocket is quite capable of informing Google about your whereabouts and your likely activities.
As one of its ‘moonshot’ ideas Google is thinking about using balloons to provide internet access to developing countries. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Even when you look beyond the obvious profiteering motive of getting more people online and using Google so it can show ads to them too and mine all their personal data. Not that people in developing countries have that much disposable income to spend on stuff Google sells ads for, so you wonder why it wants to get those people online and harvest all that information….
Altruism, you say? Pfft, stop being such a tool. No, with internet balloons (which could very easily be equipped with cameras, negating the need for expensive spy satellites) everywhere over Africa, the Middle East, and South America the NSA Google can monitor what those pesky independently-minded revolutionaries – also known as ‘terrrrists‘ – are up to. Wouldn’t want anyone to think they could escape the grasp of western capitalist imperialism, would we?
Am I in to batshit insanity territory now? Off my rockers with crazy conspiracy theories?
Well, what if I told you that Google is looking in to putting microphones everywhere so it can “respond to your verbal queries” and “bring you the information you want”? Yes, because putting microphones in every building on every street is not at all the hallmark of a maniacally obsessed totalitarian surveillance state. As if those omnipresent CCTV cameras with facial recognition software weren’t bad enough.
But it gets worse. Microphones that listen to your every spoken word are not enough – what if you’re thinking something that the NSA Google might want to arrest you for respond to? Well, Google has an answer to that too: embedded microchips in your brain.
I’m not even joking. Google’s chief engineer is apparently really thinking about this scenario.
Aside from the fairly obvious problems with a profit-driven company in a US legal jurisdiction given access to, quite literally, your thoughts, it gets even scarier when you know that with small electric currents you can influence your brain in very direct and powerful ways. In short, with embedded microchips Google can control what you think.
(Of course with Google Glass, soon to move from those unwieldy glasses to much more elegant contact lenses, Google can pretty much control what you see in the first place. Mind control is surplus to requirement when you already control people’s visual reality.)
For a truly comprehensive and entirely pervasive totalitarian surveillance state, it doesn’t get much better than that. Millions of obedient consumerist slaves, hotwired with microchips and contact lenses to Google’s Central Processing Unit, their every thought and action monitored and, if deemed undesirable, adjusted.
Now the only thing Google needs to ensure total undisputed world domination is killer robots.