Disgruntled Autoworker
<< Back to Homepage

Observations #10
April 2001

Be Aware

I've been paranoid since I was knee high, long before I knew what the word meant. So it's not surprising, to me at least, that I'm suspicious and look for ulterior motives to explain why people or corporations do the things they do.

Being a self-professed paranoid also gives me the right to look the proverbial gift horse in the mouth, which I do and will continue to do. Especially now days when nothing is free and even at a discount, I have to wonder if there are strings attached.

The gift horse that I speak of is none other than General Motor's generosity. They're giving me options for Direct TV and AOL at a tremendous discount, and I wonder, why?

During the summer of 2000, the news carried a story about the governments top-secret program to spy on international drug traffickers and high volume dealers in this country. A program called "Carnivore" that could monitor the Email of these unsavory characters by looking for words like, drugs, kilos, cash and the like.

Since this carnivore program is now common knowledge, I can only imagine what kind of program the government has to replace it. Like when we found out about the stealth fighter and bomber, you knew they were working on the next generation fighters and bombers.

Now my paranoia kicks in. In the wrong hands this carnivore program could be used maliciously. Imagine if you will, the largest corporation on the planet teaming up with the largest Internet provider, and together using the carnivore program to monitor employee's Email.

I know, we're not sharing blueprints for the new Aero-Car or trading formulas for a fuel that will allow a car to get 500 miles to the gallon, and the corporation knows this too.

However, since the corporation would like to keep their cozy relationship with the UAW, discount Internet service and the carnivore program would give them the capability to monitor all dissident/activist Email and maybe thwart any uprising or coupe attempts against their union buddies.

I told you I was paranoid, I now edit my Email and keep my documents and files on disk, if for no other reason but for my own piece of mind. I don't know who said it, Timothy Leary or Willy Nelson after a night on the roof of the Whitehouse, but someone once said, "Paranoia is just a heightened sense of awareness." Be aware.

Warning; Errors on shipped AOL disks

I emailed a slight variation of the above to the UAW Solidarity Coalition's Email network last November to see what kind of response I would get. The majority felt, as I do, no thank you GM, especially when the catch was we had to change our Email addresses.

Now that the GM-AOL disks have been shipped, many members nationwide who installed them are having problems with their computers freezing, crashing or they can't access the Internet. Many have had to reformat their hard drives, because a lot of the disks have errors in their programming. D'oh, way to go GM and AOL.

I'll wait for Direct TV; I don't think they can screw that up. Meanwhile, I'll use my GM-AOL disk for a coaster.

In Solidarity,
Doug Hanscom

<< Back to Homepage