A ROOM WITH A VIEW

I seem to be continuing on with my ‘Summer Scary Blog Series’.  Hopefully I got you ’chewing on’ the dangers about GMO foods, and ’checking’ your wallet for the ‘Mark of the Beast’.  Now onto another creepy conspiracy theory type tale.  In 1949 George Orwell wrote the novel 1984.  In it he envisioned a world controlled by some despotic entity named Big Brother that could watch every citizen, every minute of the day through closed circuit TVs.  I remember when 1984 finally came and we laughed off the Orwellian prediction this way; “Big Brother isn’t watching us, we’re watching him.  Ha ha”.  A reference to the amount of TV we watched.  Of course we still watch our fair share of TV but we have dumbed it right down to watching hours of completely and utterly mindless reality TV.  Instead of going outside and actually ‘doing something’, we sit at home and watch someone else ‘do something.’

I have always found this trend incredibly perverse and have the personal distinction of having never watched even a single episode of Survivor.  I have no idea who Richard is… and I don’t care.   Wouldn’t you have liked the badge of honor of being able to say you never watched an episode of The Brady Bunch?  But you can’t do it can you?  And I bet you can still name who played Marcia Brady?  Yup, you got it, it was Maureen McCormick.  Can you name the rest of the gang?  Lord help us if you can!

Big Brother is out there, but HE has more to do with the Internet and the telephone than TV.  We even know where he is.  He’s in room 641A…  of the AT&T building located at 611 Folsom, San Francisco, CA.  In 2003 NSA (The National Security Agency of the US) put a machine in this room called the Narus STA 6400.  Sounds benign enough.  I have a cell phone that has almost the same model number.  But what the Narus does is frightening.  The NAS ran a series of fiber optic cables from the AT&T Internet hub in this building, which serves millions of AT&T customers, to this machine.  This information splitter essentially syphons off all email and phone messages that normally run through the hub, which of course is millions per day.  The NAS then has a duplicated record of every one of those messages, to do whatever they like with.  They claim they are merely monitoring them for possible terrorist threats against the United States and not really ‘listening in’, but does it really matter?  It is a huge breach of privacy. 

Frontline did a fantastic piece on the story in 2007.  Here is the link.  Episode 3 deals specifically with room 641A.  

You can watch the rest of the series by visiting here.     http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/homefront/ 

Maybe there actually is some good stuff on TV…  Oh Yeah, I’m on TV.   The story was brought out by AT&T technician Mark Klein.  He worked in the building and saw what was being done and felt the public had a right to know.  He claims there are sights like this all over North America.  Even under the sweeping powers of the Patriot Act, what the NAS is doing is illegal.  I have noticed that when I tell people about this most of them don’t believe me.  “Right Mark, and I bet you also believe their are little green men in flying saucers from outer space spying on us as well?”   Of course not!  They’re not really green, that’s just ridiculous. 

This is some disturbing stuff to say the least.  I’ve barely scratched the surface here concerning the electronic surveillance that is going on out there.  Everyday our personal freedoms are being stripped from us and most people either don’t know or don’t care to know.  I won’t even get into the amount of information people willingly volunteer on Facebook.  And who knows what Google knows?  They are gradually gobbling up the internet.  They own Youtube, Feedburner (A RSS feed sevice) and 71 other related internet companies.  You have no idea how much access they have to you and your internet activities. Ever wonder how the Google ads seem to target your area of interests?  What else could they be doing with it?  Has the NSA taped into it too?  I know you don’t care, that’s the problem.

Maybe the Beast isn’t a ‘who’ but a ‘what’.  Maybe the Internet… that we have become so addicted to… or some aspect of it, will one day rise up and try to ensnare us all.  “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.”  Rev 13:11

Maybe George Orwell had it right in 1984 all along… except for maybe the timing.

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18 Responses to A ROOM WITH A VIEW

  1. Bruno says:

    Your article reminds a bit of a discussion Robin William’s character has in the 2004 film, The Final Cut. The movie itself is not that amazing, but fun nonetheless. The main subject in the movie is that you can have Eye Implants that will record your entire life and when the person dies, this editor can then parse your life and do some sort of short film at the funerals.

    Robin William’s character does ponder a good question even it turns out that it doesn’t really work: are humans going to act better and be kinder, nicer, more giving and overall better people if they know that they are watched 24/7? What is your opinion on that matter? Even though it wasn’t Google or AT&T’s original idea, should we see the lack of privacy as a good thing, as hopefully a catalyst that will make people double-check their actions? Not doing something in fear that it’s posted on you’re friend’s Facebook page? They should have first and foremost feared the fact that God sees it, but maybe they can understand the perspective better.

    (and don’t worry, I won’t start big giant questions on ALL of your blog posts :) )

  2. Unmarked says:

    Unfortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg to their capabilities and to what they are doing. Everything you have ever put on the internet, every email you have send out, every document you have forwarded, every status update on facebook, tweet on twitface ermmm i mean twitter, every youtube video you watch. Everything you purchase with a debit or credit card, and points card you have. You have GPS in your car? Onstar? They know where you are. You have digital cable? Communications company knows what you are watching.
    The Illuminati are very planned people.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjjIy1DO0gs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rosIIteigNc

  3. HA HA HA well I feel that Jesus watches me a way more then any of the above. I think they may be watching for the return of our “LORD” more then terrorists.

  4. Ed says:

    This is not unbelievable at all. I have no doubt that society will be moving more in this direction. There are some closed circuit surveillance cameras run by the city in high crime downtown areas today with hundreds more run by private businesses. I’m sure there will come a day when every public spot in the city has coverage. There are private security firms that offer video surveillance of your home where the footage is stored on one of their corporate servers, so that footage could very easily become part of the public domain too. As far as audio, I’m sure we’ve all noticed most call centres (public or private) advise you that “your call may be recorded or monitored for quality assurance purposes”. Yes, Big Brother is making his presence more known every day.

    My point? That’s “progress” and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Unless you want to live “off the grid”, your privacy will be invaded. It’s that simple. You want your internet, TV, smartphone? You have to accept the dark side too.

    Mark, while I totally agree that your scary stories need to be told, I hope you plan to follow them up in your blog and in the services – a theme like “The mark of the beast is inevitable. But here’s what we Christians can and should do about it.” What Jesus’ followers need is some practical advice as to what to do when it happens.

  5. Christie Braun says:

    What matters is my thoughts – when there is a way to track them, and then judge and punish me accordingly then I will be in trouble – oh right, that system is already in place – it’s called God.

  6. Christie Braun says:

    Seriously though, I am an infant Christian and am reading and studying and listening and learning, and making lots of mistakes. One thing though – I have recently willingly disconnected my cable; I can no longer listen to music that I used to (robotically) listen to; I delete all FW emails (garbage); and (lately) the book I want to read the most is the Bible. And as I have said many times, this has originated with an accidental viewing of The Church of the Rock in 2007. So Thanks again! Have a great day!

  7. Steve says:

    We weren’t made for this world so let them do what they are going to do. We were made for eternity and there’s nothing any man can do to take that away from us. Christ’s eyes see through the heart of every man. His eyes burn like fire through a man’s soul seeing everything laid bare. Nothing can hide from Him and when all of this is said and done when the wicked fall into the hands of the Living God, we will be vindicated and every man will confess Jesus Christ is Lord either to their own dread or to their eternal joy. We will live forever and reign with Christ in His eternal kingdom.

  8. Karen says:

    We weren’t made for this world, and yet, we still have to live in it until Christ comes. It makes me sad to think that we are “tuning in” to watch people suffer in the tropics or try to find a spouse while everyone else watches! Another couple of examples of society’s entertainment sunk to a new all time low. I am another that has never watched “Survivor.” Someone told me once that if we read our bibles for the same amount of time we watched TV for, the world would be a better place. I believe that.
    I actually don’t think that my activities on the internet are very interesting. Only a really bored hacker or spy would want to get into my stuff. We even have “spy-ware” to remove all of those people who are watching us on our computers.
    Well…I’m happy that if I miss Pastor Mark on Sunday, that I can always go on the internet and watch.

  9. Evelyn Bennett says:

    Hey Pastor Mark you forgot one area. How about the sexting on cellphones? Maybe the kids would be safer at home so they can be monitored.

    I thought of 1984 the other day. I reflected on an article years back when a senior in highschool refused to read the book because of its contents. She wanted an alternate assignment. Did I mention she was a Christian. Some young people have the gift discernment.

    We need to take a stand. It is okay to be uncool at the water cooler once in awhile.

  10. Betty says:

    We had two break & enter, into our place, within one year, where we used to live, some years ago, then it felt like they took all of our personal information along with them.
    PRAISE GOD, for keeping us safe.
    When we have Jesus living in us, then we do not need to be scared, because then those people that are watching us, will see that Jesus is very much alive and real in us.
    Jesus is also more powreful then all the technology.

  11. Betty says:

    “Jesus is also more powerful, then all the technology.”

  12. Karen says:

    Does our concern need to include the micro chipping of animals? I had a conversation with a local farmer about this… (not an in depth one). I can see his side where the chip is used at auctions etc. to trace the history of a steer/sheep/pig…Didn’t God call us to care for the animals? Am I taking this way out of context?

  13. Beth says:

    …..I’m with #4 , Ed’s comment…..
    “Mark, while I totally agree that your scary stories need to be told, I hope you plan to follow them up in your blog and in the services – a theme like “The mark of the beast is inevitable. But here’s what we Christians can and should do about it.” What Jesus’ followers need is some practical advice as to what to do when it happens.”

    We see these things happen and we know as Christians that what is prophecied in the Bible is inevitable so what can we do and what should we do?

  14. Jordan says:

    “Everyday our personal freedoms are being stripped from us and most people either don’t know or don’t care to know.” And thats EXACTLY the crutch of your argument.

    You don’t even need to point out such intrusions as the NSA and the Patriot Act to such gross violations of individual freedom. Alas taxation is direct interference within a private transaction.

    “Even under the sweeping powers of the Patriot Act, what the [NSA] is doing is illegal.” Does it really matter considering the public has authorized such consent? I mean, yea it really it quite pathetic what the Patriot Act has accomplished (in terms of liberty), but its not surprising that the government runs to grab liberty in times of crisis.

    I’m really quite surprised anyone puts any faith in the institutions of governance. (Yes even Conservatives, Neoconservatives – Leo Strauss)

    On your point of Google, Facebook etc… I think transactions that include buyers and sellers has always/always will consist of some risk in terms of information grabbing. Look at really any service company that has your information (Shaw, MTS, insurance companies, etc.). It boils down to a simple choice in the marketplace on behalf of the consumer. And now we’re back at your point, basically most people don’t care and where we run into the avg. micro/macroeconomics argument that people are “rational”.

    Interesting stuff regardless.

  15. Sally says:

    As events of the world speed up, we are one step closer to our Precious Lord’s return which makes me very excited; but also very guarded, as I see so much of our rights and freedoms being slowly stripped away just as you point out Pastor Mark.
    A prime example is the new Facebook format. I get censored regularly when I put up some of my Christian veiwpoints. My news feed automatically will go to my profile page so that not every one can see it. I am sure if I said anything pro-homosexual, pornographic, pro-islam or pro-any other religion, it would stay there on my news feed for all the world to see!
    And now I have to contend with profanity from friends of friends comments who I don’t even want to see!( I have by the way checked all the right appropriate boxes and followed all the instructions that Facebook has said to do so that this stuff isn’t supposed to be happening to me but it still does!)
    So now besides having my rights removed, I am now more and more being forced to read/see things contrary to our moral values. I am constantly having to block out friends of friends whom I don’t even know.
    There is a price to pay when one uses public vehicles like Facebook which started out innocently enough. It has become a tracking tool like many others on the information highway.
    Just as the powers that be are pushing the homosexual agenda upon us in society now we in our private lives have to put up with it or chose not to use what used to be a fun way of communicating with our friends, The question is do we continue to expose ourselves or do we retreat and hide? For the moment I am still “in”!
    I recently heard another viewpoint that related to your last blog the “Mark of the Beast” that I found quite interesting regarding Islam. It was by Walid Shoebat when he was being interviewed by Joe Van Koevering. You can view it on utube. From what I understood of it, he explained that the muslims receive the mark in the form of a bandana and pledge allegiance to Allah.

  16. Karen says:

    Sally:
    Change ALL of your personal settings on facebook to everything “friends only” it will make your time on facebook so much more safer and enjoyable. You aren’t as censored because only people that you care about can read your posts and you can “block” people that curse or don’t agree with your viewpoint.

  17. Sally says:

    Thanks Karen I will try that!

  18. Victoria says:

    I remember when I was so naive as to think that no one cared what I was doing when I was young, until someone pointed out that we were always being watched, and proved it to me. I was surprised but not offended.As a Christian thinker I have never felt the need to hide my behavior. I always feel like someone is watching me. God. The only fear I have is that God might reject me if I am not careful, and this in itself, governs my behavior. I’m not saving I’m perfect,, but really keeps me focused.
    As far as the information gathering technology, we all know that if we didn’t have this happening, there would be more crime, terrorism, and other undetected illegal behavior going on. We should feel relieved that someone is taking on this tedious task of spying, recording, and finding trails of information so we can solve and prevent more crimes. Look at CSI, and Criminal Minds. Without this technology on t.v, the police departments would not be inspired to buy all the new equipment. I mean like how long did it take us to utilize DNA in these departments? Some rural police department still send their tests away to labs God only knows where…. Lets encourage technology and its wonders, and utilize the internet in the way God wants us to!
    As pastor Mark is, right this very moment!
    As for aliens on other planets…watch Planet 51. Its an animated kids comedy like the movie “Cloudy with a chance of Meat Balls”. Its the other perspective of alien life when humans land on their planet! You’ve got to see it.
    After all, I believe in other life forms on other planets, and according to Canada Am, this morning, so does 71% of our population!
    Hmmmmm………….I wonder how they got that stat….? ;)

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