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
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
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.