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Your past may come back to haunt you.


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#1    pantodragon

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:29 PM

This happened to me recently: someone on a forum I was a member of chose to google me and came up with some old website I had made.  This had been done with hostile intent.  This member had taken against me and was, basically, looking for much to rake!  She appeared to have found it: there was stuff on this website that did not present me in a good light.

This is bad enough: to think that anything you write on the Internet, no matter how long ago, may be found at any time in the future, and you may be held to account.  At its most benign, it is like meeting some old person who used to know you as a child and they proceed to tell all and sundry all sorts of embarrassing details about your childhood transgressions.  In a somewhat less benign context, think of how delighted McCarthy of ‘reds-under-the-beds’ notoriety in the USA would have been to be able to get access to the Internet!  He would have had a field day mining every last detail of his victims lives on the internet, every last word they had ever written, every last item they had ever bought, every last YouTube or blog or website they had ever accessed, every last game they had played, every last item they had looked up on Wikipedia etc etc.  Then every one of his victims would have had to account for every last detail or face the consequences.

Well, McCarthy may be dead, but his spirit lives on.  When the FBI or the CIA or MI5 or MI6 or the KGB or any other ‘police’ organisation want to go on a witch hunt for terrorists, or whoever happens to be the latest ‘danger to society’, then their first port of call will be the internet – and heaven help anyone who has ever used certain words, visited certain websites, been members of certain forums, bought certain items etc etc, or even corresponded with anyone else who has done so, at any time in their past … you will be held to account.

That old website of mine that was dug up: I was going round trying out the various free website builders.  Well, to try out a site-builder, you build a site, and you have to put something on it.  I am very creative.  I write fiction and paint fantasy pictures etc etc, so when I am trying out a site-builder I use my imagination for content – I see it as a creative exercise.  So my trial websites (and there are some I created 10 or more years ago that are still around, but I can’t access because have forgotten passwords etc) could, and do, contain all sorts of stuff which could come back to haunt me – well, in fact, has already started to come back to haunt me.  OK, so this time it was just some ill-intentioned member of a forum, but next time……?

This world of ours is full of fear and paranoia, and it seems to me that it is growing.  I have certainly watched paranoia becoming ever more apparent on the internet, and, as people wake up to how vulnerable it makes them, they are going to get ever more paranoid.

It seems to me that the internet is going to become a major source of fear and paranoia in our society.   Of course when that happens, people will be ‘crippled’: they will become super-careful about everything they say and do on the internet.  Where the internet started out as being the place where anyone could have their say, and say whatever they thought and felt, it will become the place where no-one dare say or do anything that is not strictly pc.  Self-censorship will become extreme.

The internet is set on the road to becoming a nightmare.


#2    ExpandMyMind

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:33 PM

"Your past may come back to haunt you"

When does it not?


#3    Ashotep

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 05:48 PM

Quite often things done in the past don't stay in the past especially if you keep mementos of it.

If you have been in this website on your present computer you might try going to the old website and go up to tools and click on page info.  If you have a password stored it should tell you what it is.  I don't know what you are using but Firefox has that option.


#4    Detective Mystery 2014

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 04:41 AM

View PostExpandMyMind, on 07 March 2013 - 04:33 PM, said:

"Your past may come back to haunt you"

When does it not?

It's doubtful that your high school shenanigans are on You Tube, though. I'm glad that mine aren't. :lol:

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#5    ali smack

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 01:13 AM

I don't need to worry about the internet. Don't use same username on anything else I go on on the net.
And I have not done anything wrong.
if you havn't done anything wrong why should anyone be worried

Edited by ali smack, 09 March 2013 - 01:14 AM.


#6    ciriuslea

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 01:23 AM

I think you haunt yourself with your own past.


#7    Bonecrusher

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 12:14 PM

I think my past is going to bite me in the butt!

I've got so many skeletons in my closet.

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#8    Nathan DiYorio

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 08:07 PM

The Internet has always been a place of paranoia. When I was in elementary school and the Internet was new, we used to have all kinds of special "Internet Safety" classes, and every other week it seemed like some other unsuspecting child was being molested and murdered by some asswipe they met online. Hell, if the internet hadn't always been a place of paranoia, "How to Catch a Predator" would never have taken off.

On the contrary to your thesis, I believe the Internet is only now beginning to open up and embrace a merge with real life and lose the stigma of a breeding ground for sexual deviants. And I believe that over time, possibly in the next ten or so years, we'll see a cultural shift that will allow a little more wiggle room when it comes to things which have been dug up from the depths of Google.

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#9    Detective Mystery 2014

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:00 AM

View PostNathan DiYorio, on 10 March 2013 - 08:07 PM, said:

The Internet has always been a place of paranoia. When I was in elementary school and the Internet was new, we used to have all kinds of special "Internet Safety" classes, and every other week it seemed like some other unsuspecting child was being molested and murdered by some asswipe they met online. Hell, if the internet hadn't always been a place of paranoia, "How to Catch a Predator" would never have taken off.

On the contrary to your thesis, I believe the Internet is only now beginning to open up and embrace a merge with real life and lose the stigma of a breeding ground for sexual deviants. And I believe that over time, possibly in the next ten or so years, we'll see a cultural shift that will allow a little more wiggle room when it comes to things which have been dug up from the depths of Google.

How deep is that Google hole? One wonders how long they really go back. You don't have to be paranoid to think that all communications are saved and stored in a permanent database. The NSA probably operates it. They keep our information so that they can use it if and when they need to do so. All that we do on our computer probably is in our personal digital diary at the new NSA behemoth in Nevada. The agents can fish as much as they wish. Their nets are so wide that they *have* to catch something.

There is one reality with billions of versions.

#10    MrY

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:47 AM

Dude unless you did something that would send you to Gitmo you'll be fine.  Live in the present not the past.  No one cares what you did on the Internet 10 years ago.


#11    Detective Mystery 2014

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 02:47 AM

View PostMrY, on 13 March 2013 - 06:47 AM, said:

Dude unless you did something that would send you to Gitmo you'll be fine.  Live in the present not the past.  No one cares what you did on the Internet 10 years ago.

What if you inadvertently communicated with a guy in the IRA? You just discussed U2 with him, but your emails are linked to a guy who's involved in terrorism.

There is one reality with billions of versions.

#12    pantodragon

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 03:15 PM

View PostDetective Mystery 2013, on 08 March 2013 - 04:41 AM, said:

It's doubtful that your high school shenanigans are on You Tube, though. I'm glad that mine aren't. :lol:

You've just reminded me of all the ways in which one is being recorded for posterity, often without one's knowledge or collusion.  There's all those phone cameras clicking away indiscriminately, plus of course the old video cameras and people love to put it on the internet.  So, actually, your high school shenanigans could well be on there (depending on your age, of course).


#13    pantodragon

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 03:24 PM

View Postali smack, on 09 March 2013 - 01:13 AM, said:

I don't need to worry about the internet. Don't use same username on anything else I go on on the net.
And I have not done anything wrong.
if you havn't done anything wrong why should anyone be worried

This is naive.  There are many ways one is tracked on the internet just changing one's user name is trivial and no impediment whatsoever.

As to not doing anything wrong, that's a matter of fashion.  Twenty years ago, you could have used the name Osama bin-laden (sp?) without turning a hair, but today, you would be viewed with suspicion for mentioning the name in any emails etc. --- the FBI and other organisations have email scanning which searches for listed words and names.  So, beware!  Also, as I mentioned above, can you be sure that no one you have been in contact with is never going to be on the suspect list, and so put you on the list by association.  And again, do you have any interest in fiction?  You may post a short story on the internet or some other form of fiction, and it may well be treated as more than it really is if you mention the wrong organisations etc.  The CIA etc are in the business of being paranoid --- they go for maximum suspicion, preferring to err on the side of "caution", which means that they will NOT give you the benefit of the doubt.  Have a look at the Leonardo DiCaprio film "J Edgar".

And all this does not take account of the fact that mis-carriages of justice are common --- in other words, you only have to have material on the internet which by chance catches someone's attention (the material could be entirely inncoent) and the next thing you know, someone's accusing you of something and you are wrongly convicted.

Edited by pantodragon, 14 March 2013 - 03:29 PM.


#14    pantodragon

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 03:33 PM

View PostNathan DiYorio, on 10 March 2013 - 08:07 PM, said:

The Internet has always been a place of paranoia. When I was in elementary school and the Internet was new, we used to have all kinds of special "Internet Safety" classes, and every other week it seemed like some other unsuspecting child was being molested and murdered by some asswipe they met online. Hell, if the internet hadn't always been a place of paranoia, "How to Catch a Predator" would never have taken off.

On the contrary to your thesis, I believe the Internet is only now beginning to open up and embrace a merge with real life and lose the stigma of a breeding ground for sexual deviants. And I believe that over time, possibly in the next ten or so years, we'll see a cultural shift that will allow a little more wiggle room when it comes to things which have been dug up from the depths of Google.

My point is that the internet is NOT different from everything else.  It has long been known that if one has anything to hide, one should not put anything in writing.  So, even in pre-internet days, people were cautious about what they put on paper, and shredding machines were invented for a very good reason.  So the internet is just part of the same culture.  The only difference is, is that everything is, as it were, in writing and you can't shred it.


#15    pantodragon

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 03:38 PM

View PostMrY, on 13 March 2013 - 06:47 AM, said:

Dude unless you did something that would send you to Gitmo you'll be fine.  Live in the present not the past.  No one cares what you did on the Internet 10 years ago.

I seem to remember a time when the McCarthy witch hunts forced its victims to account for all sorts of things they did in their youth.  If you are being vetted for many jobs, the FBI being the obvious one, but schools, health services (especially those dealing with children) are becoming more and more intrusive and forcing one to reveal one's entire life.  In the future, that may be a matter of doing a search of the internet to ensure no misdemeanours therein.  This is our culture.  So yes, lots of people care what one did on the internet 10 years ago and it's getting worse, not better.





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