Something to Think About

From an Atlantic piece on what the technology can do to spy on you:

“We also know that the FBI has been intercepting cell-phone data, all but voice content, for the past 20 years without a warrant, and can use the microphone on some powered-off cell phones as a room bug — presumably only with a warrant.”

I think of things like “how will this be used in the confessional” when people tell me of the unalloyed good of “citizen journalists” running around secretly recording people.  Because it seems to me to be an open invitation to creating a sort of Youtube-powered regime of mutual fear and suspicion.  We’ve seen whole civilizations descend into regimes where every neighbor is informing on every other neighbor.  Not exactly the Christian vision of a civilization of love.

And with the technology described above it can (and will) mean that some bright “citizen journalist” (or even hundreds of them,  or even agents of the state) will start listening in on (and posting to Youtube) the contents of confessions–as in “sacrament of reconciliation” confessions.  And it will be sold as cutting moral corners for the Greater Good and Saving the Children and all the rest of it.

Be careful what you wish for.  You may well get it.

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  • S. Murphy

    Yeah. At certain government workplaces, cell phones have to be left in little lockers in the lobby, lest classified information be compromised by such techniques. We made need phone lockers in church lobbies. (car break-in in church parking lots will spike if we just ask people not to bring them in.
    But at leat put it in airplane mode while in the confessional. Brave new world. Maybe the unabomber had a point. ;-/

  • Chesire11

    Interesting, the IRA used to believe that MI-5 was able to eavesdrop through cradled land line phones (obviously the only kind there were back then). Accordingly, they adopted the practice of unplugging the phones in any room in which they were discussing plans. It has always been dismissed as an impossibility, the product of paranoid superstition, but maybe there was something to it after all?