Former Stasi prison in Erfurt
The movie begins in the Hohenschonhausen prison which is now a memorial dedicated to the victims of Stasi repression. It is alleged that the movie director, Florian Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck, was not allowed to film there because the memorial’s administrator, Hubertus Knabe, objected to making “the Stasi man into a hero.”
Florian Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck is quoted as saying, "I suddenly had this image in my mind of a person sitting in a depressing room with earphones on his head and listening in to what he supposes is the enemy of the state and the enemy of his ideas, and what he is really hearing is beautiful music that touches him. I sat down and in a couple of hours had written the treatment” (the first draft of a screenplay).
The movie is not important because it showed how a famous actress was spied upon, her life, trials and tribulations, and the secondary sycophants who answered to the Kommunistische Partei (Communist Party). It is important because it shows the drab and meager daily life of fear, uncertainty, and horror that people from all walks of life, ordinary and exceptional, endured under the brutal and repressive socialist republics ruled by the communist party.
Like the actress in the movie, homes were bugged; all telephone conversations were recorded and listened to by underlings and useful idiots who were paid by the regime to spy upon the lives of everyone without their knowledge or a court order. All incoming and outgoing mail was opened, read, and copied by small bureaucrats whose job was to report anything out of the ordinary and catalog their daily blogs.
The King of Communism, Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania, a cobbler with only elementary school education under his belt, kept us all well-monitored and oppressed.
The secret police did not have sophisticated wireless technology to spy on citizens like we have today. They also did not seek nor need warrants to record everything people did or said in their homes, cars, at parties, or on the phone. There was no social media sites, email, or text messages. They had the oppressing power of government on their side and technology was not so advanced.
Today the spying game is much more sophisticated and does not require special agents – just a smart computer program with the right software and algorithm, mining social media, especially Facebook via innocent games that ensnare not just every information detail a user voluntarily posts on his/her wall or blog, but all the information, photos, and activities of every “friend,” relative, acquaintance, and commenter they have interacted with on a social platform or using a tech device.
Josh Bernstein, in a recent video asked a very poignant question, “Is this the end of privacy as we know it, or is it already here?” He was referring to the 31-year old Vietnamese-Australian Hoan Ton-That, who developed an app that allowed users to change hair and facial features on photographs. “But, unfortunately, he did not stop there, he shared his invention with law enforcement agencies” federal, state, and local police departments in the United States.
His company Clearview AI has developed a groundbreaking facial recognition software app that, according to Bernstein, “will soon end everyone’s personal privacy.” That’s company boasts 3 billion images that he has “lifted” from all social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other popular sites. Bernstein stated that That claims that “his database is larger than what the federal government and Silicon Valley have.”
It is alleged that the software has been used to solve crimes and to identify suspects and arrest them within hours of committing a crime. Theft, shoplifting, assault, identity theft, sexual abuse crimes, and murder cases were solved by using That’s technology.
Clearview AI app helped unravel crimes using still video shots, friends’ photos, and other social media posts, and matched the perpetrator, his identity, his friends, his hobbies, and all his media posts, including where he ate recently. So far That’s app has been used for good, to catch criminals, but in the future might this technology be misused to damage and control the innocent? https://www.patreon.com/posts/is-this-end-of-33447458?utm_medium=post_notification_email&utm_source=post_link&utm_campaign=patron_engagement
Government control under communist party regimes required a lot of manpower to spy on its people, and to inform authorities about the whereabouts and contacts of a trapped population, prisoners within the borders of their own countries.
But we now have GPS tracking in smart phones, TVs, cars, boats, appliances, robots, engines, refrigerators, cameras, social sites, credit cards, flights, and grocery shopping, just to name a few. It enables faceless individuals to track us and our lives daily. The NSA data storage center in Bluffdale, Utah is said to be able to handle a lot of zettabytes of information. One zettabyte of data is 1 (one) followed by 21 zeroes.
Satellites can take pictures with extreme accuracy. Drones can spy in your bedroom as you sleep. Smart meters, smart water meters, smart gas meters relay information to the mother ship about your electricity, water, and gas consumption.
Appliances can be remotely turned on and off and refrigerators talk to your grocery store and place food orders for you. Utility companies can turn off your electricity, dial back your air conditioning use or turn it off, change the ambient temperature in your home, turn off water, electricity, and gas whether you want it turned off or not.
Tech giants monitor what you watch, what you say, what you buy, block your access to conservative sites, take down videos that offend liberals, stifling your freedom of speech.
Academia censures by denying tenure to conservative professors and disinviting speakers they disagree with. The MSM promotes political correctness and liberal views, preventing any polite opposition or diverging guests to exercise their freedom of speech.
The more we talk about freedom (of speech, of assembly, to carry guns, religion) in the world today occupied and controlled by everything progressive, the more we hear the chains rattling. Your brothers and sisters are watching you with disdain and hate – empowered by non-elected bureaucrats, politicians, academia, plutocrats who think they know what’s best for us, and young techies who spy on the “lives of others” with gusto and the ignorance of useful idiots.