By Buzz “Wild Eye” Goldfarb
TechLoaf Contributor, Surveillance Expert
When I heard the news this week about Facebook releasing an always-on, wide-angle camera with full facial and body tracking, it was hard not to think to myself, “darn, there’s the final ice pick in the jugular of my generations-long family wiretapping business.” Apparently, folks no longer value hard-working Americans like myself who make a living drilling into their walls late into the evening without a warrant.
My father was a wiretapper for 35 years, breaking his back day and night burrowing into various telecommunication networks across the continental U.S. without any regard for basic human or constitutional rights. Back then, you had to break a sweat if you wanted to help the government figure out if your neighbor had communist sympathies, not just hit an “on” switch. Oh, the times they are a changin’.
It’s the simple things I’ll miss the most, like the smell fresh drywall gives off when you sink a drill into it or the simple satisfaction from co-opting a coaxial cable with a Mini 88-108MHz FM Transmitter Module to help an undisclosed government agency figure out if somebody stole weapons grade munitions from their local army base.
But now the thrill is gone and a few computer people in Palo Alto get to enjoy all the fruit with none of the labor. They’ll never know the rush you get switching on a hand radio after a flawless plant and hearing the sound of some unsuspecting sucker doing their dishes, the jolt that flows through you when you hear the maitre-d at that new restaurant mutter something about exotic animal trafficking, or that pure adrenaline kick you get when you hear the magic words “Al-Qaeda” muttered from some troubled teenager. I guess some things are just a little too old fashioned these days.
All that said, this whole technology thing isn’t all evil for an aging ‘tapper like myself. I recently picked up some decent work piloting drones from the comfort of my double-wide. Boom goes the dynamite.