Psychological Profiling

EFF_version_of_NSA_logoWe are all aware that the NSA has been monitoring social media as a means to collect information.  This is nothing new, and quite frankly, if I was them, that would be the first place to start.  People open themselves up on social media.  They type things you would never hear them say out loud.  They get caught up in the moment of boredom in their lives and bounce around from reading trending articles, to playing stupid games and sending the oh-so-irritating game requests, and doing other ultimately pointless though thought and time consuming activities like answering a series of questions to see (ex. What color your aura is, what is your spirit animal, what region of the states you should live in, what region of the world you should live in, what gun are you, what movie genre are you, what composer are you, what tarot card are you, and we’ll wrap up this list with what superhero are you?).

While I am just as guilty of numbing my mind to see what my job would have been in the medieval age (hunter, just so you know) I am going to put a stop to it.  Today as I sat there in joyous ignorant bliss I started questioning what the particular questions were asking me.  To find out what kind of gun I am why would you need to know what I would do in the following scenario: “You are fantasizing you are the starting QB for a NFL team playing in the Superbowl and you are calling the plays. You are up by 2 points, 4th and 1 at your own 5 yard line with 30 seconds left, you…”.  For one, I really had to stop and think about this question, which in the middle of mind numbing is a bit annoying.  But when I did stop to think, and then review the answers it gave it made me wonder why the fuck would that matter to someone.  Who cares if I would take the safe route, or throw the ball to the sure shot, or try to run it in myself.  What the fuck does that have to do with guns?

Mashable-NSA-ComicWell, lets say you just happened to have made some curious statements, suddenly have an interest in gardening and just bought a bunch of fertilizer.  Maybe a few red flags are going off about what kinda trouble you may potential be getting into.  Suddenly the NSA wants to keep tabs on you.  Oh, look he just answered a series of questions about whether he’s a ray of sun shine or a mean grumpy cloud. Lets see what he said.  Lets see what kind of decisions he’s going to make.  Let’s build a psychological model based on these answers from the 50 or so quizzes he just took and run it through a Meyers Briggs test and then we have a full work up with predictable choices and we can guess at what he is going to do before he does it.  Bluntly, its so easy its stupid.  You build your own character profile for anyone who wants to compile the information on you.  I’m kind of ashamed that I didn’t piece this possibility together beforehand.

Particularly, as I went back through and started looking at some of these quizzes, you might just want to scroll through this one http://anotherquiz.com/ and take a second to acknowledge and analyze why some of these things would even be quizzes, short of collecting data on you to use later if you become a threat.  “How well do you know Barrack Obama?”, why is this even a quiz?  Who the fuck cares?  Someone does.  Someone wants to know about how the media has been presenting the things POTUS does, and whether these issues matter.  Which from my general perspective, I barely see any reaction (outside of the tea party) that lasts more than a week every time there is some sort of scandal.

I guess if I can have you take anything away from this, please, at least have a little bit of awareness that you could have easily said the wrong thing, gotten someone’s attention and now might be getting profiled without your consent to see if you are a national security threat.  All because of some stupid little quizzes to flatter yourself and pass the time without having to thing too hard about what is really going on in the world around you.

Stay hidden; Stay safe.

Good Luck

Good Luck

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