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Future 2020: The Internet

The internet can be a scary place and on today's episode the Ghouls discuss why you should be far more afraid than you are! We also take a trip down memory lane and disclose our AIM Screen-names. We watched The Net and Pulse (2006, USA) to get to the bottom of our web-based fears. 


RED: Quotes, someone else's words.

Kat's Facts - Should we fear the internet?

So as someone who firmly believes that robots will be our end, I have a lot of obvious reasons for everyone why the internet is scary.

  1. Everything is hackable! We watched a film called the Net that shows the real early on view of this, but the reality of it is a lot of this stuff is doable. Identities are stolen through hacking all the time. 15 million each year specifically because of online purchases. Sometimes companies even SELL YOUR INFORMATION to other companies and some people are just putting that ish out there without a care or sense of consequence. I say this cause i’m some people, and I do this. My brain does not have the capacity necessary to read small printed many paged things, and if someone really wanted to steal my identity...I think all my fellow millennials, drenched in debt, bad credit with low paying jobs can join with me in the anthem: “you can go head and steal my identity cause that ish is a MESS. I’ll sit over hear saying no refunds, no takesies backsies, those are your problems now’. Also with the rapid development of the internet, and the lack of security, all of our information is at the world’s fingertips. We’re not making unique passwords for our accounts, and so many of us are vulnerable to having information stolen. It makes some of the concerns associated with the film the net seem less farfetched.

  2. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft ARE LISTENING! No but really. Apple had to publicly apologize to people for listening in and THEN SELLING THAT INFO TO THE THIRD PARTY. In an article from the Guardian it talks about Apple’s recordings. The whistleblower said: “There have been countless instances of recordings featuring private discussions between doctors and patients, business deals, seemingly criminal dealings, sexual encounters and so on. These recordings are accompanied by user data showing location, contact details, and app data.”“you can definitely hear a doctor and patient, talking about the medical history of the patient. Or you’d hear someone, maybe with car engine background noise – you can’t say definitely, but it’s a drug deal … you can definitely hear it happening. And you’d hear, like, people engaging in sexual acts that are accidentally recorded on the pod or the watch.”. THERE ARE REASONS THEY GIVE THOSE MF THINGS AWAY FOR FREE. WHO GOT THEIR FREE GOOGLE HOME MINI FROM SPOTIFY? I KNOW I DID. Apple isn’t the only one. Amazon literally hires people to listen to your Alexa conversations. There was an article I saw that was like DOES AMAZON ILLEGALLY RECORD CHILDREN? AMAZON SUED FOR ALLEGEDLY STORING CONVERSATIONS WITHOUT CONSENT. On top of this, when you ask your google assistants, or apple, or amazon assistants if they are listening to you, they say “only when you are talking to me”, to which everything I read said HECK NAW, cause the accidental activations are too often for that to put anyone at ease. Don’t even get me started about my conspiracy theory that they’ll be able to steal our voices and use them to have recordings of us saying stuff we didn’t actually say.

^ The Internet is also ubiquitous: The U.S. Census Bureau released a report in November 2014 that showed as of the year before an average of 83.3% of households owned a computer, and 74.4% reported Internet use in their home.

Overall, the report showed that the Internet is widely thought to be necessary, though sometimes a necessary evil. Almost two-thirds of the 2,009 respondents (59%) said the Internet was “overwhelming” to them, but 68% said they can’t live without it. The overlap between the two groups was 40% of respondents. But among the most surprising results was that millennials reported they found the Internet to be unsafe at a greater proportion than older age groups in the study.

a heightened awareness among younger people of the potential dangers the Internet poses. The FBI believes that half a million child predators are online every day, and about 15 million Americans have their identity stolen each year, in large part because of digital commerce and transactions online. A greater awareness of the Internet’s capabilities — and the abilities of people using it for not-so-wonderful purposes — could play a role in the reason millennials are more hesitant about their safety online.



Gabe's Film Analysis - Why is the internet scary in films?

Let’s take a dive into Cyber Horror, shall we? We’ve discussed some technical horrors previously by covering the different ways we are to bring about the apocalypse due to our ignorance and thirst for power. Whether that is the digital apocalypse where we are entirely reliant on our technology, its in our homes EVERYWHERE! The new Child’s Play is no joke about this. Siri is ALL up in your business. Do you know there was a case where they used the transcript from one of those devices to like testify in court against someone because it overheard a murder! Wild.

But we’ve been afraid of robotic outrage for some time with the Terminator or I, Robot! When computers were first popularized there was an obsession with the enivitable nuclear war and fallout. SO many films revolved around hidden computers and software that held the power to destroy everything we know and love. Think of WarGames from 1983 where a young “hacker” unwittingly starts World War III. Or Fail Safe where a computer malfunction triggers the nuclear wars we dreaded during the cold war. Computers were dangerous because they were hooked up to incredibly dangerous things and if they fell into the wrong hands...well.

Then there was 2000 and Y2K, the millennium bug in which people thought computers would just stop working, crash and LOSE EVERYTHING. I think this was when people realized just how much of ourselves were on the internet! Accounts would collapse, the stock market would drop and the end would be NIGH. That didn’t happen, of course but the fear remained and the fable of “be wary of what you put on the internet,” which is how we got The Net which will talk about in our film section and the laughable film, Hackers. Both seem outrageous now but also, I’d argue the message of The Net is not too far off from the truth. We talked about CAM previously, and this idea of losing your online identity, having your internet life manipulated and ripped from you. It is so much of ourselves. It would be devastating.

Remember the film, FearDotCom from 2002? What an awful and enjoyable film. I remember how absurd it was but lemme tell you, I loved it. It was where there was this spooky website that would show you the dark web and voyeuristic murders that are unfortunately real (i'm looking at your Luca Magnotta). The site would then murder you because it was haunted by a ghost, murdered by a famed serial killer who would film and broadcast the murders online.

Then we had the terror of the modern day internet with Pulse. A fun film that we will talk about in our film section. This film, made first in Japan, was remade for the American audience and what a time.

But that lead us into more recent times where we can have films that take place as if you are watching through a skype session - Unfriended and the newer Unfriended: Dark Web gives us a glimpse into what happens when you commit internet crimes like cyberbullying or (just like feardotcom done warned you about) messing around on the dark web, watching stuff you shouldn’t be!

An article in the Chicago Tribune, The internet has always scared us, but the terror feels more real than ever by Sonny Bunch who had the same train of thought as me when I chose this topic said this about Dark Web,

"Dark Web" dwells on horrors familiar to those who spend a fair amount of time on social media, such as "swatting" (the practice of calling the cops on someone with the intent of getting the police to injure them) and the casual cruelty that untraceable anonymity inculcates. The evolution of the internet as a villain - from a place where your identity might be stolen to one in which strangers might murder you for lulz - mirrors the very real way the internet has evolved for many of us. The nihilistic hate that passes for community in certain corners of the internet is terrifying, unstoppable and, frankly, incomprehensible.

Maybe Skynet was right all along.

And I don’t disagree. I think we have every reason to be afraid of the internet. So boomers, please stop sharing those “Facebook will reveal all your information if you don’t share this post by midnight” nonsense and instead take down your personal information from your Facebook profile, Karen.

I saw a tweet once that said, “We used to be told never to meet anyone off the internet and definitely don’t get into cars with strangers and now we use the internet to summon strangers to get in their cars.”



Media from this week's episode:

The Net (1995)

Directors: Irwin Winkler

A computer programmer stumbles upon a conspiracy, putting her life and the lives of those around her in great danger.

Pulse (2006)

Director: Jim Sonzero Writer: Wes Craven

When their computer hacker friend accidentally channels a mysterious wireless signal, a group of co-eds rally to stop a terrifying evil from taking over the world.

  • Only 2 types of white girls in the 00s (oughts), Abercrombie and Fitch prep or Avril Lavinge.


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