Coneheads of Silence

August 13

Where do you go for privacy now? Can you shop online for a cone of silence yet? A big plastic cone you could get into and say what was REALLY on your mind?

It already feels like 1984 to me, although that futuristic year was technically 30 years ago. Whatever. I don’t feel like I can ever be fully candid anymore. Don’t agree? Let me share some of my paranoia then.

Let’s just start with anything you write in an email or say on the phone. Well, you can’t expect THAT to be private! And where are you going? To a public place with cameras? A highway toll plaza which records your passing? Have you heard about how a hacker can turn your phone into a listening device? I hope you’re smiling, because the little camera on your computer may not be ENTIRELY under your control.

You may answer that you don’t have any big secrets worth anybody’s time. Think again! All you need is one enemy who will record your candor about your boss, or your ‘ best friend’ or your spouse, and upload that to youtube, and send the link to interested parties! How hard would that be? Enjoy explaining what you meant! And looking for a new job and best friend and spouse.

Should you start leaving your phone home so it won’t spy on you? What about your friend’s phone? Maybe you could have a conversation in the desert with no clothes on. You might get hungry or thirsty out there in the desert, but be sure not to take a water bottle or bag of potato chips with you.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog.
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Tom Toles · August 12