According to Yuval Noah Harari the “covid crisis” was a watershed moment in terms of surveillance and personal data. During a panel discussion at the 2020 Athens Democracy Forum, Harari was asked what were his fears and concerns about digital surveillance. He said televisions not only know what we’re watching but could also know how we feel while watching it.
The 2020 Athens Democracy Forum was held on 30 September 30 – 2 October 2020, as a virtual event. The Forum was organised for the second year by the Democracy & Culture Foundation, in association with The New York Times and under the Patronage of H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic, Ms. Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
When people look back at the “covid crisis,” Harari told the Forum’s panel, the thing they will remember is that this was the moment everything went digital, when everything became monitored and “that we agreed to be surveilled all the time.”
“This is the moment when surveillance started going under the skin … I think the big process that’s happening right now in the world is the ability to hack humans to understand deeply what’s happening within you … Having the ability to really monitor people under the skin this is the biggest game changer of all,” he said.
Further into the discussion, he described emotions such as anger as a “biological phenomena … a biological pattern in your body.”
With this kind of surveillance, of what’s happening under the skin, “you watch the big president, a big leader, gives a speech on television,” he said, and “the television could be monitoring you and knowing whether you’re angry or not, just by analysing the cues, the biological cues, coming from your body,”
“So now people are now watching us online all over the world – this conversation now – maybe even right now the people who are watching us are being watched and analysed.
“It’s not just that we know you’re watching this … we also know how you feel.”
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To begin to understand the power of surveillance through our televisions (“TV”) and how it’s done, it’s worth reading an essay written in 2018 by Ananda Mitra and published in IntechOpen in 2019.
In her essay, Mitra argued that TV, originally the conduit for offering passive narratives to the audience, is transforming into a tool that can watch over the audience and construct a dynamic narrative of the audience, thus operating as a tool for surveillance.
The following are excerpts from Mitra’s essay. You can read her full essay ‘The Future of Television’ HERE.
Watched by TV
In February 2018, an analysis by the reputed magazine Consumer Reports announced that their testing revealed that the increasingly ubiquitous “smart TV” was capable of “watching” the viewer and keeping a detailed record of the viewer’s TV watching patterns and related behaviour. As more of smart devices find a place in the average home, there are other gadgets that can work in tandem with smart TVs to perform the task of “watching.”
Consider, for instance, the Alexa device that responds to voice commands to perform simple tasks, including connecting with a smart TV to control the smart TV. All such devices and functions rely on the fact that these devices always “surveil” their environment – watching with built-in cameras, listening with built-in microphones, and capturing data with built-in sensors. Real people occupy the space that is under the surveillance of these devices.
It is useful to briefly consider the way in which the process of surveillance has been examined over a period of time. The practice of surveillance has been around since the times that people wanted to “watch over” others. The need to watch has most importantly been related to the notion of security where the watcher has been concerned about the fact that the watched poses a threat to the interests of the watcher. Those interests could be intertwined with the interests of the watched as well; thus, the process of watching becomes particularly important to maintain a sense of order within a specific societal system. Indeed, this perspective was aptly summarised by Mike Rogers, the chairman of the intelligence committee in the American House of Representatives, following the embarrassing report in 2013 that the National Security Agency (“NSA”) was surveilling the phone conversations of European leaders such as Angela Merkel. Mr. Rogers was quoted to have said, “It’s a good thing. it keeps the French safe. It keeps the US safe. It keeps our European allies safe.”
The intimate connection between the maintenance of order and discipline becomes the central thesis of the academic examination of the process of surveillance when scholars such as Foucault begin to connect surveillance to power and discipline.
Among the different ideas of surveillance that emerged as important was the notion of the Panopticon which claims that the powerful are constantly watching everything all the time. The Panopticon society was built around a strict definition of discipline, and in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the metaphor was principally used to describe the ways in which totalitarian nations and despots would want to constantly watch everything to maintain power and discipline.
In some cases, however, there is the emergent interest in examining how the watchers could also include corporations and institutions that had a motive unrelated to discipline and power but more interested in understanding the “market” that the institution would be interested in serving. This is especially true for the type of interactive technologies described in this essay. The advent of the technologies described earlier in this essay is, however, concerned with the corporate watching rather than the discipline and power-based Panopticon world that earlier scholars were concerned with.
The new Panopticon created by TV at home is less about discipline and power and much more about the way in which the “customer” who is being watched can be analysed as a commodity who can be sold to those that are interested in selling to the watched. Simultaneously, the Panopticon condition becomes far more benign and perhaps even comforting to the watched by creating a cocoon of comfort within which the watched can dwell, where the cocoon is created by the TV itself. This process is possible because the customer voluntarily interacts with the TV by offering information to the TV and the vast array of interests that the TV represents. There are broadly two kinds of information that the watched offers to the watcher through the modern television—attitudes and behaviour.
The information about the attitudes, interests, beliefs, and tastes is offered by the specific discourse the watched offers to the different providers of information that bring content to the TV.
Consider, for instance, the simple act of accessing a digital video service such as YouTube that can be accessed on a smartphone and then projected on the TV. In some cases, the TV itself would offer the option of connecting directly to a service such as YouTube. Indeed, it is estimated that nearly 80% of TVs in American homes would be connected to the Internet by 2019 and any TV that is connected to the Internet can potentially be accessing YouTube without the need for any other ancillary device.
This connection makes TV the conduit for the vast amount of data available on YouTube as well as many other segments of the digital space that contain searchable data. One of the key aspects of this connection is the ability of the person being watched to search for specific kinds of content that can be accessed by TV and displayed on the screen. The person inscribes attitudes and preferences in the language of the search.
Companies like Google have been using similar information for a long time and are thus able to offer personalised advertising when a person is working on a computer. There are ways in which such personalisation of marketing messages can be turned off through the adjustment of specific settings on an application provided by a corporation. The matter becomes a little different on TV where the very purpose of the tool, the TV, is to watch narratives, and in the environment of services such as YouTube, the viewer must reveal interest information to customise what the person is watching or interested in watching. The process of using TV to access narrative content is intimately connected with the process of revealing to TV the watcher’s interests, attitudes, and beliefs.
This information is also connected with the disclosure of behaviour patterns. Given that much of the consumption of the content is happening through the content providers such as YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and other Internet-based content delivery systems, there is a constant record of what was watched, when it was watched, how it was paid for, and in some cases greater granular information related to the particular watcher in a multi-people home. For instance, Netflix offers the opportunity to set up multiple sub-accounts under one primary account for each member of the household, and the data that is built up actually shows which particular person was actually using specific content. In homes that have multiple TVs, it is also possible to surveil which particular TV was being used to watch what content offering a detailed understanding of the specific members who are being watched by the corporations through the conduit of TV.
The attitude and behaviour data that such surveillance offers eventually become a narrative about the people who are being watched over. It is this narrative that becomes especially important in the new Panopticon system produced by the modern TV.
Where does this leave us, the watched?
If TV is allowed to surveil, and it is connected with the other tools that surround the TV, then it will eventually be able to create an increasingly complete life story of the person who uses TV. This complete life story could become the way in which TV constructs a mediated reality for the person who is being watched. As discussed earlier, this reality can become progressively myopic and an echo chamber within which the person would reside while the Panopticon TV creates the comfortable media space for the person.
Numerous companies such as Amazon, Roku, and Apple are offering accessories that could be connected to the TV, and program would be delivered through the connection of the accessory to the Internet. Thus, a Roku “stick” can connect to the Internet, and the programs would be offered by Roku in collaboration with other content aggregators such as Sling, YouTube, and Hulu, to name a few. In some cases, a complete ecosystem is produced by a company like Amazon that would offer the accessory for TV, a household voice-activated information retrieval system such as Alexa, and content through the vast store of content that Amazon owns. As the user is migrating to these options, the user is also required to share information through the conduit of the TV with all these different corporations that continue to watch the watcher. It is indeed a world of constant surveillance, whenever the TV is switched on.
- You watch TV. Your TV watches back. Washington Post, 18 September 2019
- Your smart TV is watching you, but here’s how you can stop it, Action News, 11 October 2019
- Smart TVs May Be Watching And Listening In Your Home, FBI Warns, Patch, 2 December 2019
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The propaganda boxes are a very good example. I had a friend who would listen to what I had to say about them, about the channels and the programmes that were on. He would discuss with me all the insidious effects it has on a viewer. Gradually my friend started to notice what I was seeing in these boxes and what they were meant for. And that the subtle messages and moving pictures were carefully crafted to shift a viewer’s perception and decision making to a desired goals of those behind them. Unfortunately, his addiction to the box and love of Jeremy Vine at the end got the better of him and he continued watching. He later had the first two jabs. About a year later I’ve started receiving unintelligible messages from him. Go wonder.
One of my other friends is a lot more aware of the world’s elite and what they are doing. No jabs. However, he also has a propaganda box still sitting in his front room and he’s completely sold to manufactured and managed Ukraine war all the while cheering for Putin. He’s slow in advancing towards a better and healthier life for himself and those around him.
On the other hand, my mother who actually cancelled her subscription after listening to me and got rid of her TELE – VISION altogether has said about a month later that she couldn’t feel happier and calmer.
Chuck it out the window. Don’t donate or sell it to the next victim, but destroy it 🙂
…. and wait for the therapeutic effect it will have on you by smashing it to pieces in a control environment.
Talk to a person near their smartphone about some item and watch for the AD’s that appear trying to sell you that item.
Smartphones do listen too you.
If only they would be just listen… They are radiating stuff, probably software directed to target the ‘chosen ones’.
Without a meter to show it to you you won’t even know, you won’t feel a thing or if yes, you’ll think that that’s unrelated like a sudden headache or a tight feeling around your chest. Then you go ill with ‘covid’ or even die to it.
Same with tablets using wireless, especially if you read material they think you shouldn’t.
“AI is microwaving you when you watch videos it doesn’t want you watching“
Same here, I test is rather regularly. The worst places are airports so far. Don’t use your phone on airports if you can avoid it.
Isn’t it TELL-A-VISION? 🙂
Doesn’t matter, while we still have one we bought for the sake of 3D material, it is unplugged for 4 years and I am not even sure it works. For news we have internet, for other entertainment we have laptops if would watch something but that’s rare. The level of brainwashing and sick material presented as ‘entertainment’ was unbearable even 20 years ago.
And every chance I get, I turn around, pull down my pants, bend over
and SMILE 😁 for the Nazis!
I think its interesting that a TV can do all of this. I’m not worried about them seeing what I watch if they think that’s of interest! I hope they don’t hear my language when I stumble onto programmes I detest like Eastenders and suchlike and news that doesn’t ever give a balanced view which I avoid these days since the bias during Covid!
Covid amplified the bias and it sensitivised people too many other forms of bias.
Even many years ago they could manipulate your brain via the help of TV, it is not so about what you watch but the ‘hidden’ messages and frequencies they bombard you.
“TRUST ULTRA TRUST NAOMI | Spacebusters”https://odysee.com/@ReluctantMystic:7/TRUST-ULTRA-TRUST-NAOMI-Spacebusters:43
TV also can send your brain into an ‘Alfa (brainwaves) condition’ which is for fast learning and uncritically accept information.
The link again that it can be clicked, sorry:
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I solved the problem on tv, I got it disconnected, haven’t watched it in 10 years and stupid me paid for a service that supports corruption with out a jury, by tv, I got better things to do to contribute to this society on a honest bases
No Alexa …
As for camera’s n TV it is the responsibility of the people to check for this and TBH I have an antennae setup in tandme so can turn off the internet entirely.
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Yep, all you can do is limit your exposure to pervasive surveillance. Totally binned my TV back in ’05, hadn’t needed a license at all for a good few years before that, as i was able to pursue my interests online. The only thing i still used my TV for was my Playstation and watching videos/dvds. With the advent of Steam, emulators and sizeable storage, the convenience of owning a TV ended for me.
The youngest household appliance i own is 16 years old, seriously hope they’ll see me out. My house phones are high quality, 20 year old handsets and my mobile is a near 7 year old, high quality model. Not Samsung or I-phone, i use a Linux OS for it and never connect it to the net, that option is disabled. My rigs also run on several Linux distros, i never use wireless, just ethernet, run probably the best proprietary vpn on all of them. Refused the unnecessary “upgrade” from my provider, the original fibre upgrade gives me 7-8 MBps, which is ample for my needs.
Know this doesn’t make me safe it reduces the risks. Darpa definitely had a big hand in coding Gnome, which Linux distros are largely based on. They’re definitely much safer than Microsoft but i really question if the coding has deviated enough to provide protection when the crunch comes.
All one can do is be aware and research the best way to provide security to your devices. High chance it won’t be enough but i delight in making access to mine something of a mission.
Ooh, forgot to mention disable wireless in your network settings if you want to switch to Ethernet. It is more secure as you have considerable control over it.
Please never make the mistake of thinking i’m youthful for my age, can assure you i’m not. In fact, thinking me youthful is insulting, it assumes having an open, questing mind etc, is the prerogative of the young.
“Life” is a learning experience to me, which i relish. Hope i continue learning until i pop my clogs, or what i hope for happens.
With a little digging you still can buy router with no wifi option, I prefer that. I don’t trust them, what if they switch it on via an update or else just how they put track and trace to mobiles?
Good point Jane but everything the filth does, requires our acquiescence. Know my stuff, loads of experience, most people either don’t know or can’t be a.rsed learning how to use settings.
We must acquiesce to their evil, or they’ll go down like a ton of bricks. Doesn’t mean you’re automatically saved, that requires learning and work. And i know i have a ton of work to do.
Glory! Doesn’t matter if wireless is allowed to, what matters if you allow it.
Buy yourself at least two ethernet cables, disable wireless. If you need help Jane, ask people like myself.
So sorry, skimmed through comments and missed this one from you.
As a kid (I was born in 1960) I can vividly remember watching the BBC newscasters in black & white throughout my formative years-their heads filled the box as it were-it was as though I was being watched by them-staring at me! There were no flat screens back then. Today the ‘news’ readers are still watching you, that is if you have a TV. Are they watching you? As individuals they weren’t/aren’t, nevertheless; for the corporations & superstructures they represent this is what they have always done, and are still doing.
The article above ends with, “It is indeed a world of constant surveillance, whenever the TV is switched on.” (My emphasis). If you have a SMART TV, are you so stupid as to believe it switches off just because you have pressed the OFF button? THINK!
50’s vintage here Islander, as with yourself, being long in the tooth doesn’t mean getting soft in the brain.
Good point about the off switch being insufficient, back when i had a TV, i’d unplug it for the night. At least with my rigs, i can see if they’re if in standby mode or truly off. Also, i always turn my router off too when i want to go offline.
That’s why it’s unplugged, I don’t want to bin it, rarely but we really enjoy 3D material, I made many recordings in Zoo and other places and I admit the Jurassic Park in 3D is really powerful.
I am no technology geek, I can assure you of that! But, it is my understanding that these SMART TV’s don’t ever switch off, even if you unplug them! I think this is because they are linked with other SMART gadgets in one’s household, and unless you disconnect the electricity supply the whole shebang keeps afloat.
Whether or not this be the case today, would you bet against it tomorrow?
Spot on Islander, kudos friend.
They link wirelessly as well as electrically, if you use wireless, you’re toast.
So wish it’s easy to impart important knowledge which helps. Knowledge isn’t enough, one must be willing to implement it.
Ethernet connections are direct to your rig, wireless signals sort of bounce around.
They give much power to the filth over your devices, and physically harmful frequencies bounce around your home. Or wherever you are wi-fi is pervasive.
I often wonder that if we could actually see the wi-fi signals/beams, and the radio waves all around us-we’d freak out and go off grid pronto!
Wish it didn’t have to take that Islander, sadly, don’t think even the proof would be enough for most.
Don’t want to say brain dead, brain switched off is probably accurate.
“Knowledge isn’t enough, one must be willing to implement it.” So very true!
Personally would recommend binning it me darling, expert video encoder here and i can promise you, 3d isn’t worth it.
One of my neighbours caught the Gay at a very young age.
He hasn’t matured since. They don’t.
His house is full of Star Trek memorabilia and he buys the lastest Siri/Google spying gadgets that listen in on any activity in his house.
Lol, he buys Siri/Google spying gadgets? Contradiction in terms RS, can guarantee they aren’t only spying on what he wants them to.
I’m a woman but techy, been into computing since the late ’70s. Picked up stuff as i went along, you’d be surprised how easy it is to implement the safety methods i mentioned, soon becomes second nature.
Ooh, see what you’re saying, probably a decent guy but obsessive. Poor soul, so many believe the likes of Amazon, Google etc are capable of good intentions.
And vaccinated too, yikes!
[…] The Exposé […]
[…] While you are watching your TV, your TV is watching you According to Yuval Noah Harari the “covid crisis” was a watershed moment in terms of surveillance and personal data. During a panel discussion at the 2020 Athens Democracy Forum, Harari was asked what were his fears and concerns about digital surveillance. He said televisions not only know what we’re watching but could also know how we feel while watching it. […]
Harari said 4 things:
1. “This is the moment when surveillance started going under the skin ….”
2. “Having the ability to really monitor people under the skin this is the biggest game changer of all….”
3. he described emotions such as anger as a “biological phenomena … a biological pattern in your body…..”
4. “…the television could be monitoring you and knowing whether you’re angry or not, just by analysing the cues, the biological cues, coming from your body,”
Is Harari saying those injections contain nano-components to monitor your body activity data, via a connected device like a phone or connected TV?
That is certainly the goal of Microsoft’s patent WO2020060606, that links body activity data, like blood flow, with cryptocurrency.
Maybe La Quinta Columna is right after all.
La Quinta Columna is right, they identified the nano ‘computer’ particles based on published research, studies, at the end of this video, they listed them. Nano sensors do the work.
“REVIEW: The MAC phenomenon and the intra-body nano-network of communications”
[…] zdroj: https://expose-news.com/2023/03/06/you-watch-your-tv-your-tv-watches-you/?fbclid=IwAR2bRScxOSxjzYO-O… […]
Be proud you attract quality discussion Expose team, definitely not the usual playground stuff.
[…] WILSON ON MARCH 6, 2023 • ( 13 […]
[…] – While you are watching your TV, your TV is watching you […]
In Russia, you don’t watch TV, TV watches you.