The Watching Eye

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Imagine sitting at a computer and every picture, video and text that you had ever sent to someone appeared on that computer monitor and you could not exit nor remove it from the screen. How would you feel if those items were being viewed by a complete stranger? Would you think twice about sending that explicit photo? What about that three hour telephone conversation you had with your significant other? How would you feel if you knew someone listened to that conversation other than you two? Wait a minute! Do not delete the messages now, it’s already saved in a worldwide database.

Living in the 21st century, which is the most technologically advanced time period to date, we are succumbed to situations that are totally out of our control. With face to face communication in this generation being almost an after thought we resort to either texting or communicating through social media. When those dirty “for your eyes only” pictures are sent to your intended recipient it is sent through multiple databases before reaching the intended device. Consider this fact, the United States collects and stores almost 200 million text messages per day across the globe. A National Security Agency (NSA) program is said to have extracted and stored data from the Short Message Service (SMS) messages to gather location information, contacts and financial data. These messages are not just under the FBI’s radar, but everyday individuals who have personal conversations.

Think about when you visited that particular site late last night and you cleared your search history thinking that it went away. Sorry to tell you my friend, but that Internet Protocol (IP) address and website is now associated with you. We should all be cautious of the things we view on the web. Who knows your worst enemy may land a job with the NSA or Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and decide to leak information that could hurt your career and future. Not only should we worry about things we view on the web, but we should also be conscience of the things we post on social media. You would hate for your future employer to view those pictures that were posted about that wild  party you went to, and how you’re searching for your car after that wild night. Every second of our lives are being watched or recorded in some way. As citizens of a free world we must be aware of these things that are taking place. Yes, everyone may get a little curious and decide to sext every now and then, but we must also realize that those pictures and messages just don’t vanish into thin air. Have you ever wondered what the technological term Cloud meant? Well, the Cloud is a network of servers, and each server has a different function. Some servers use computing power to run applications or deliver a service. So, the next time you decide to send that message out be aware that you may not be the only one viewing that picture, message or video. Beware that there are wondering eyes in the world that you may be unaware of.

Raymond Banks is a Graduating Senior Broadcast/ Mass Communications major from Vicksburg, Mississippi. He will be a contributing writer for The Campus Chronicle for the 2017-2018 school semester.

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