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I always feel like somebody's watching me.

I found another wonderful tidbit while at work the other day. This time it is an ad:

Here is the small text:
     What you see is a microphone transmitter; a tiny radio station that can go anywhere you go and broadcast anything you say to someone who is tuned in a quarter of a mile away.
     The implications are frightening; the consequences are expensive; but, you can do something about it with our help.
     We make a device that detects the device. It's a sensitive, sophisticated piece of electronic genius that informs you of the presence of a surveillance transmitter anywhere it might be placed.
     It's expensive, around $400; but, it could save you a lot. Up to now equipment like this has only been available to them. Now it's available to you.
     For complete information about this and other counter-surveillance equipment, write or phone: ...

This was run in a special supplement of the Detroit Sun focusing on the SLA (which was why I was making copies of it.) It is dated January 22, 1976.

This sort of blew my mind for a couple of reasons. First of all, were people really that paranoid about being bugged? Did it have something to do with Watergate? That was four years earlier. The excellent film The Conversation came out in 1974, maybe that had something to do with it. Secondly, who is the "them" in "equipment like this has only been available to them?" Spooky!

I guess the point I'm trying to make is how we sort of take it for granted that people are watching and listening to us at all time. The internet is probably the most to blame. People "Google" each other, troll Facebook to see what they are doing, feeling, and who they're talking to. (Not to mention Twitter, and all the new apps that tag where you are geographically when you post or "check in".) In fact, we have become hyper-aware that people are watching us and we have started, not only to take it for granted, but to play up to it as well. We create our own 'reality tv' every time we post a 'shout out' or blog about our lives.

I wonder what the average American from 1976 would think about the incessant sharing of personal information that we are so fond of today?

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