The Danger Of Telling Social Media Everything About Your Life

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

This awful report came to my attention, and it pertains not just to social media, but to father Google too.

The email arrived on a Tuesday afternoon in January, startling Zachary McCoy as he prepared to leave for his job at a restaurant in Gainesville, Florida.

It was from Google’s legal investigations support team, writing to let him know that local police had demanded information related to his Google account. The company said it would release the data unless he went to court and tried to block it. He had just seven days.

“I was hit with a really deep fear,” McCoy, 30, recalled, even though he couldn’t think of anything he’d done wrong. He had an Android phone, which was linked to his Google account, and, like millions of other Americans, he used an assortment of Google products, including Gmail and YouTube. Now police seemingly wanted access to all of it.

“I didn’t know what it was about, but I knew the police wanted to get something from me,” McCoy said in a recent interview. “I was afraid I was going to get charged with something, I don’t know what.”

There was one clue.

In the notice from Google was a case number. McCoy searched for it on the Gainesville Police Department’s website, and found a one-page investigation report on the burglary of an elderly woman’s home 10 months earlier. The crime had occurred less than a mile from the home that McCoy, who had recently earned an associate degree in computer programming, shared with two others.

Now McCoy was even more panicked and confused. He knew he had nothing to do with the break-in ─ he’d never even been to the victim’s house ─ and didn’t know anyone who might have. And he didn’t have much time to prove it.

McCoy worried that going straight to police would lead to his arrest. So he went to his parents’ home in St. Augustine, where, over dinner, he told them what was happening. They agreed to dip into their savings to pay for a lawyer.

The lawyer, Caleb Kenyon, dug around and learned that the notice had been prompted by a “geofence warrant,” a police surveillance tool that casts a virtual dragnet over crime scenes, sweeping up Google location data — drawn from users’ GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular connections — from everyone nearby.

The warrants, which have increased dramatically in the past two years, can help police find potential suspects when they have no leads. They also scoop up data from people who have nothing to do with the crime, often without their knowing ─ which Google itself has described as “a significant incursion on privacy.”

Still confused ─ and very worried ─ McCoy examined his phone. An avid biker, he used an exercise-tracking app, RunKeeper, to record his rides. The app relied on his phone’s location services, which fed his movements to Google. He looked up his route on the day of the March 29, 2019, burglary and saw that he had passed the victim’s house three times within an hour, part of his frequent loops through his neighborhood, he said.

“It was a nightmare scenario,” McCoy recalled. “I was using an app to see how many miles I rode my bike and now it was putting me at the scene of the crime. And I was the lead suspect.”

There is more at the link.  It actually ended up working out okay for him, but not without some trouble and expense.

Let this be a lesson.  I have used biking apps on my phone for mountain biking trail maps, as well as Waze for navigation in my truck.

I’ve rethought that after reading this article.  Google = Fedgov.  Never forget that.


  1. On March 9, 2020 at 5:01 am, penses said:

    It’s not a convenience, it’s a trap.

    All “smart” devices are information conduits to the deep state. If any of your appliances have a camera or a vocal command function they need to be disabled yesterday.

    Facebook, twitter, wikipedia, google search, instagram, comprise a social sewer swimming with feds.

    If you are in any way politically active all of your computers need to be hardened. If Tucker Carlson can get doxxed and find a mob in his front yard ready to tear him and his family into little pieces, what chance has Joe Sixpack got.

    And they have over 400 millions warrents in their possession just waiting to pounce at a moments notice.

    And as we speak Congress is readying a bill that will outlaw encryption. In the old fairy tell the Emperor was convinced that he was dressed in the most handsomeest attire known to exist; in the nightmare we are living in it is just the reverse, the gov’ment wants everybody naked.

    Innocence has been outlawed. You just haven’t been served yet.

  2. On March 9, 2020 at 8:48 am, Ned2 said:

    It’s not just social media; fedgov can track your phone even if it’s turned off, and your vehicle if it’s newer than 1996 or so. Have a Sirius radio? that too. Smart TV? the list is endless.
    We have been living in the surveillance state for decades.

  3. On March 9, 2020 at 10:37 am, revjen45 said:

    Tell the pigs you don’t want to talk to them. Period. As in fuck off.

  4. On March 9, 2020 at 10:42 am, Fred said:

    But if you have nothing to hide, and simply do as you are told, everything will be fine.

  5. On March 9, 2020 at 11:54 am, penses said:

    “It is unknown how significant the role of the government is in the mass censorship of dissidents from social media, but it isn’t relevant. As Mike Enoch has said, the distinction between private and public is irrelevant, it is a “system.””

    Stores can track you offline too, both through their apps and their “free” wifi. Google takeout, a tool to export your data, had a recent bug that made it “possible for private videos to be downloaded by unrelated users.” Almost 50% of people save login, credit card and even social security information unencrypted in note-taking apps. When you share any links, check for text in the address that starts with ?utm_, and remove it. Leave google entirely

    Two Harvard University students cross-referenced info from data leaks to show how easy it is to access and exploit personal data. Everyone should all operate under the assumption that a company has already been breached. Remember Clearview AI, the firm with the huge database of face photos scraped from social media & shared with law enforcement without consent?

    In the UK, Brave discovered tracking on council websites throughout the country, with Google owning the top five embedded elements. Their report also includes an interactive map to check what trackers each local council’s website is using. Leave google

    Three University of Chicago professors have developed a bracelet that jams smart speaker mics, and they’ve made the tech open source. If it works be prepared for constant updates because Big Tech and the deep state will be rushing to compromise it.

    High Tech will literally shoot you in the foot. Sooner or later, as per their agenda, the law will be ignored and there will be a list of gun owners using the BATF forms and gun permits, and the confiscation will begin. And those rallies and militia musters and gun shows…gov’mnt agents are taking pictures, and with facial recognition technology all they have to do is store the data and wait until the gulags are built, and then round everybody up. And the RINOs are at the point of the spear:

    “The Domestic Terrorism Penalties Act of 2019, introduced by Texas Republican Randy K. Weber with the support of 14 other GOP lawmakers and one Democrat, is perhaps the most dangerous piece of legislation drafted in decades.

    “This bill seeks to take regular crimes and add a “terrorism” enhancement if the suspect has dissident political views or belongs to an organization advocating for them. According to the language of the bill, domestic terrorism is defined as: “Whoever, with respect to a circumstance described in subsection (b), and with the intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or influence, affect, or retaliate against the policy or conduct of a government.”

    The poison dispensed is the same no matter the party. The RINOs are also the party of the Red Flag, led by their NY Democrat.

    The deep state wants the deplorables out of the way so they can take total control. They have not investigated an act of Ismalamic terrorism back to and including 9/11. [Remember the first attempted bombing of The World Trade Center when Clinton was Pres…crickets. Las Vagas…crickets. Recently the murders at the Jewish Market in NJ…crickets.] This is because the real target is palefaces. All of their efforts are geared to putting them “in their place.” F–k off is not going to work against these people…Ruby Ridge; Waco; etc.

    But without their toys, how will the managerial state cope.

    “According to Peter Turchin, who combines historicism with mathematics to draw forecasts of political stability, the United States and other liberal Western nations are due for “popular mobilizations,” potentially violent, starting in the 2020s. Turchin famously predicted the rise of the 2016 Trump populist movement and Brexit.

    “The thesis of Turchin’s book, Ages of Discord, states that declining living standards, mass immigration, the corruption of liberal institutions and polarization in general have primed the United States and other liberal plutocracies for collapse.

    “The fall may be bloody, or it could be a less dramatic Soviet-style downfall, but it’s happening, says Turchin. He has lectured to Jews and members of the managerial elite in Washington and New York, who in turn have debated his work in the publications they read. A handful of billionaires, thanks to the internet, have been exposed as the architects of our nation’s decline. They know they have lost the public’s consent to rule and are preparing for war against their subjects as a list ditch effort to cling to power.

    “Telling the truth has never been cheap. Dissidents should mentally prepare to withstand the erratic spasms of a monster in its death throes. The coming years are bound to be trying times for those who refuse to submit to the doctrines and dogmas of an immoral and oppressive system.”

    If things get bad enough the grid will go down. Then they can’t see you coming. With no survival skills a bunker in the ground and a body guard will not save them.

  6. On March 9, 2020 at 3:56 pm, Wes said:

    Years ago there was a move by G to push a thing called “Total Information Awareness.” There was appropriate initial hue & cry, and the program died its death in a dusty records-holding area somewhere. Or did it? How serendipitous that Google & Facebook had such capital flow & now have such monstrous participation. “Why try to pass more laws to vacuum it up when we can get the peasants to just tell us what we want to know?” (And what they want to know is EV-ER-Y-THING.)

  7. On March 10, 2020 at 4:37 pm, Sanders said:

    Along the same lines, the other day, my wife and I were in the kitchen discussing making pickled eggs. Now, I’ve made pickled eggs most of my life and have never, ever looked online for a recipe. (My favorite way to make them is to put peeled, hard-boiled eggs into a jar of pepperocini pepper juice – simple and flavorful.)

    Now, my smart phone was in the living room, on a side table charging. When I came in later and sat down to watch some Youtube videos on the TV (because I don’t have regular broadcast or cable TV), I found on my suggested videos a recipe for making pickled eggs!

    It’s not the first time something like that has happened after I’ve had conversations with people around my smart phone, and it is always popping up on Youtube suggestions.

    So, if you want total privacy, you’d better make sure that cell phone is tucked away somewhere it can’t listen to you. Preferably in a different room and in a lead-lined ammo can with a pile of blankets over it.

    Paranoid? Probably not paranoid enough!

  8. On March 10, 2020 at 10:28 pm, Randolph Scott said:

    We need to try and stop this horseshit. More damned government spying. I never signed on to let the cops and .gov look up my ass without any cause. google is a big piece of the problem as well. Sue them class action style for 500 Billion.

    Get off stay off and never participate in social shit-a-media.

  9. On March 12, 2020 at 7:36 am, penses said:

    IPhone user? Michael Grothaus recommends using privacy features such as enabling 2FA (2-factor authentication), strong web/app password auto-create, & password reuse auditing.

    Turns out avoiding Facebook is not just good for your privacy, but also leads to “improvements in well-being, and in particular in self-reported happiness, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety.”

    Creating new online accounts from scratch is an overlooked tool in the privacy toolbox. They have “nothing attached to them, and that gives you a chance to be more careful about the data you give away.”

    Clearview AI, the facial recognition company accused of breaching privacy, has itself suffered a data breach.

  10. On March 12, 2020 at 2:58 pm, Paul Scales said:

    Don’t be surprised when it’s revealed to you your smart phone can read your mind.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Police and was published March 8th, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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