We See You (whether you know it or not) – Guest Diane Capri

So you value your privacy? You think you can hide, even if it’s only from dinner time sales calls? Now there’s a fantasy that appeals to my inner-geek. Our guest today, Diane Capri , shares what she learned researching her new book, Don’t Know Jack where watching eyes never sleep and nothing is secret but this: Where is Jack Reacher?

I hope you enjoy this guest post that’s a little on the geeky side by my friend, Diane Capri!

Someone is Always Watching, but Do They See?

High above the earth, satellite cameras observe our planet, our country, and every individual living here. Some satellites are friendly; some are not. Satellites can photograph individual rocks on the moon and distant galaxies. When you think about it, you know they can find any individual on our planet, don’t you?

Check out Google Earth or any similar application and you can easily see the street you live on, the house you live in, and if you were nude sunbathing on your roof when the photo was taken…well, let’s just say that all-over suntan may not be such a surprise to your enemies.

image via Wikipedia.org

The evidence is right before your eyes. Have you seen it?

Drive on any Interstate highway and you’ll notice surveillance cameras aimed in your direction. Small white rectangular boxes atop tall poles, perfectly spaced to capture the constant stream of activity along the roads. Someone, somewhere, operates those cameras. Someone, somewhere, can find you. For a small fee, anyone with a computer and internet connection can find you.

Closer to your home, cameras record all activity at intersections, not just vehicle traffic; government buildings and parks star in their own streaming video 24/7; dashboard cameras keep a running movie of every police department’s every move while every call to the local station is recorded. Anonymous callers? Not anymore.

In the private sector, ATM cameras capture customers who use the machines along with a wide berth on either side to thwart thieves; but the camera doesn’t know the difference between a thief and a customer. Retail stores, hotels, casinos, malls, even movie theaters — all recording, all the time. Sneaking out for a movie on your lunch hour is risky business.

Wondering what they know about you? Everything.

Every moment played on cable TV, recorded on your DVR, viewed on your computer? All of it is collected and maintained and analyzed and available. Forever.

Everything you buy online, or from a brick and mortar store with a credit or debit card or even a check? Yep. Recorded. Searchable. Findable.

Medical procedures, banking transactions, visits to theme parks? School records, service records, criminal records, voting records? You guessed it. Nothing is truly confidential. Even the Pentagon has been hacked.

Too scary to consider? Thinking of hiding in a cave? Don’t take along your cell phone. Cell phones have the capacity to track you whether you know it or not, whether they’re turned on or off, even when the battery is dead or removed from the device. Some cell phones can continue emitting a traceable signal even after you crush them.  The tracking data is stored and transferred to a new device, whether you know it or not. If you’re thinking of hiding, do leave home without your cell phone.

Perhaps you can actually pay ransom and get privacy back one day. But not yet.

Maybe this sounds like science fiction. But it isn’t. It’s life in 21st Century America, most western countries, and many eastern and southern ones. Even Osama Bin Laden was visible in his compound long before Seal Team 6 performed their raid.

So how can a guy like Lee Child’s Jack Reacher live so far off the grid in America? Like the rest of us, Reacher is a needle in the haystack of available data. The simple answer is: no one’s ever tried to find him.

Until now.

FBI Special Agent Kim Otto will never, never, never give up. Her partner, Carlos Gaspar, has no other choice. Find Reacher, they must.

But are they good enough to win an epic battle against Reacher, a thinking man of uncommon brawn, coupled with keen combat skills, and fearless confidence borne of undeniable competence?

Maybe here, technology can level the playing field between these Goliaths.

Or not.

o o o

Are you all totally geeked and freaked now? Thank you, Diane, for the low down on just how much we are watched. What do you think readers? Does having measures such as these in place make you feel safer, or do you worry more about your every move being watched and scrutinized? Is the fear of being hacked a constant worry? Or do you ever fear that you might accidentally say the wrong thing in the wrong place or on the phone and later find the police at your door? Pretty crazy things to think about, aren’t they.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to share these interesting facts with us Diane. We really did enjoy it here at Debra Kristi’s Blog. Best of luck with your latest book Don’t Know Jack. Although, I’m sure you won’t need it.  I highly recommend everyone check out this book, as well as Diane’s other great works. She is an amazing author and I don’t believe you will be disappointed.

.. About Diane Capri ..

Diane Capri is the bestselling author of six prior novels and a recovering lawyer. Diane says she writes mystery and suspense for the same reason she reads: to have fun, find out what happens, why people do what they do and to restore order to an unjust world. Diane’s readers say her books emphasize everywoman’s inherent strength and self-reliance. Diane’s books are translated in multiple languages. She and her husband are snowbirds who divide their time between Michigan and Florida. Diane loves to hear from readers. Connect with her on the web: http://DianeCapri.com/

Click here: Buy or Sample Don’t Know Jack Now!**

**Readers who don’t own a Kindle can download free Kindle software to read Kindle books on any computer and other devices or Click Here to convert Don’t Know Jack to a reading format of your choice.

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About Debra Kristi

Debra Kristi is a paranormal and fantasy writer in Adult and Young Adult Fiction. She's a creator of worlds, and sometimes whimsical cupid with beautiful fictional characters. The magic all happens from the comfort of her Southern California home, where she lives with her husband, two children and crazy cats.
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52 Responses to We See You (whether you know it or not) – Guest Diane Capri

  1. Well hello from a fellow Michigander, Diane. :)

    Wow…I have to say that I don’t care for all this stuff going on. Not that I’ve ever done anything that any ‘watcher’ might find interesting. But it bugs me nonetheless. I remember when the new driver’s licenses came out a year or two ago and being on the verge of freaking out over everyone talking about some chips they would have.

    I’ve been sort of aware of all the satellite tracking going on, and often wondered why more crimes aren’t solved when they can just ‘rewind’ what’s already been recorded. Makes you wonder what the purpose is if they’re not going to use it for the good of the citizens who pay for it.

    Now excuse me while I go and close my curtains. :)

    • Totally with you, Kristy! I didn’t realize the extent of all this watching, either, until I started the research for Don’t Know Jack. As for using the surveillance to solve crime, the short answer is that authorities do use it for that purpose. Yet, it’s still possible to slip through the cracks in the constant imaging. Most common criminals are not that lucky, or that smart. But Jack Reacher is another matter entirely. Thanks for visiting, and stay warm up there in the frozen tundra!

      • I try not to even pay attention to things like this. It could make you crazy (and paranoid!) to think about it too much. But your book sounds like something I’ll be reading. I really enjoyed the movies, Enemy of the State and Conspiracy Theory.

        And we’re having a heatwave today…36 degrees. Time to break out the bikini. :)

    • Debra Kristi says:

      I hope both you ladies are staying warm! It’s been chilly for Cali. But that’s only high 50’s, low 60’s. It’s funny you should mention the new DL, Kristy. I was mentioning to Diane that before we know it we could all end up being bar coded or chipped at birth. That was a theory an old friend used to have that worked closely with the government. Can you imagine living in that world? Now THAT is very reminiscent of George Orwell.

      • I know. Kind of reminiscent of the bible, too. It’s a little disconcerting how we are tracked these days. A lot of people were up in arms over the fact that many products we buy at stores have chips and anyone with any skills can just drive by a house, aim some sort of gun at it and determine whether it’s worth it to rob it. (not coming from me, but from articles I read when the new driver’s licenses were in the news)

  2. Krystal Wade says:

    Not afraid at all. Our government has too many hoops they’d have to jump through in order to use “security & traffic” cameras against us. You could argue things like the Patriot Act give our government the “right” to do so, but the way I’ve seen the government operate it’s take ten years of debate before the could ever agree to use the cameras to find someone and by then the bad guy or whatever would be long gone. Makes a great big brother theory seem less scary.

    The story sounds fantastic. I like a good conspiracy/onthenrun kind is story every now and then!

    • Hi, Krystal. Thanks for stopping by. You’re right that government is often challenged by the technology it possesses. Generally speaking, I don’t believe in conspiracy theories and I believe the government has better things to do with its time than watch me (or you). But the fact remains that the images are there and can be hacked. Consider the wiki-leaks situation. Or the recent stories about China hacking both private industry and government computers. All of which is not to say that the government can use this stuff against us in a court of law. That’s another whole kettle of fish. Check out how FBI Special Agents Otto and Gaspar handle this in Don’t Know Jack, and let me know what you think!

      • Yes, being hacked is the really scary part! :-) Too much info leads to corruption.

        • Debra Kristi says:

          It’s those personal hacker you need to worry about Krystal. The one that will become obsessed with you after reading your book. He’ll hack into the government database and before you know it, have everything there is to know about you. Because he’s quick, efficient, and has a set goal in mind.

  3. susielindau says:

    The State of Colorado is trying to get rid of all the stop light cameras that take a photo of cars going through red lights since they are not always accurate. The City of Boulder is fighting the ban since it makes so much money off them. I see the benefit of cars being more careful at those intersections, but it is so reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984……
    Great post!

    • We have this same issue going on in Florida, Susie. The arguments pro and con for red light cameras are enlightening. Mostly, the municipalities use them as revenue raisers. There’s very little public safety benefit to them. But as I mentioned to Krystal, it doesn’t matter so much what the government uses the images for as it matters that they’re there. In my book, Kim Otto feels comforted by this because she’s working “under the radar,” and she believes that at the very least, if something horrible happens, someone, somewhere, can get to the bottom of it. But of course, that assumes someone wants to get to the bottom of it….

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Yes, the light issue brings the states revenue, but they can be easily fought. My father got one and demanded to see the picture. There was a huge glare across the windshield so you couldn’t even see the driver. They had to toss it out because there was no proof that he was the one behind the wheel. True story! :)

      But Diane is right. Even if they aren’t used for ticketing they’d still be taking our picture all day long.

      • susielindau says:

        That is so cool! It also doesn’t account for the times when a driver may unexpectedly get stuck in traffic after proceeding into the middle of an intersection. Such as when a pedestrian runs across the street.

  4. Oh yes the “MAN” is watching! He is watching our every move! Thanks for the great post today girls! You brought out some very real and scary information about government and how much control they have over us. We think that we’re free, but we’re not. Awesome girls! :)

  5. I don’t mind surveillance cameras and feel more secure when I see one at an intersection. The recommendations I get from Netflix and Amazon beased on previous rentals/purchases don’t bother me, and I hope my cell phone’s signal helps a search team find me if I’m lost in a snow drift. On the other hand, technology didn’t do anything for me when I lost/someone lifted.my cell phone. That is, my cell phone provider wouldn’t do a thing to help. Sigh.

    I have no trouble believing Jack Reacher lives off the grid. Kim’s got her work cut out for her.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Those cell phones can come in handy when they want them too though, right Pat? Like for lost hikers. I hope I’ll never have to use that feature every time my husband takes off on one of his hikes, but if I should, it’s nice to know they can track them – most of the time. A lot of the newer cars as well. All the ones with onstar or onboard navigation systems.

      Yes, plenty of people manage to go off the grid. It will be interesting to see how Kim tracks Jack down.

    • This is exactly what Kim thinks, Pat! And for what it’s worth, I had the same issue when someone stole my cell phone. It was infuriating because I knew they could find it, but they refused. Sure, there’s the Constitutional protections that prevent government and companies from breaking the law, but geezzzeee — the guy took my phone! :-)

  6. Emma says:

    Big Brother is watching us all freaking day! I know I’m scared.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      As long as they don’t put some maniac, suicidal computer in charge like in the movie “Eagle Eye.” Right Emma? LOL

      • Emma says:

        I haven’t seen that but I just looked up the trailer on youtube & it looks good!

        • I haven’t seen that one, either. But we do watch “Person of Interest” on TV. Have you seen that? It’s a little more sic-fi than what we’re discussing here because in that show, they have a machine that can predict crime before it happens. Useful, if you can do anything about it.

        • Debra Kristi says:

          Great flick Emma. Scary concept. I haven’t watched the show “Person of Interest.” That sounds really interesting, and scary if people start to put too much faith in it and it produces a false prediction.

  7. If anyone’s watching me, they must be really, REALLY bored! I do have a problem with the traffic cams, especially the speed cams. Especially since the city of Dayton just added to their coffers courtesy of me LOL! I find it a stretch of belief that even someone like Reacher could hide out for fifteen years. However, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story. Thanks to Diane for another fun interview, and Debra for hosting!

    • Thanks, Jennette! With Reacher, the thing to remember is that 15 years ago, things were different, technology wise. And Reacher has a set of rules in place that keep him off the radar most of the time. There are a couple of spots where Otto & Gaspar could find him, but that’s for future books!

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Ha ha! Same here Jennette. I’d be a rather boring watch as well.

      Diane, how many books are currently planned for Jack Reacher? Or do you know yet?

  8. Melinda VanLone says:

    OOO, reminds me of Enemy of the State. Have ya’ll seen that movie? Great movie. And creeeeepy to think about. The thing is, yes there are eyes everywhere but that’s also true in small towns with no cameras. It’s called neighbors ;-).

    Still, sometimes I think I should go around picking my nose just to give the watchers something to, well, watch. ;-)

    • Melinda! Who knew you were so mischievous? :-)

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Good movie Melinda; and so scary to think about. Most people would not have come out of that so well. Most people would not have come out of that at all.

      Now neighbors can be some of the best reporters. They will relay the information faster than anything recorded and waiting to be viewed. Remember that noisy neighbor in “Bewitched”?

      Diane – LOL

  9. I don’t worry about it because I’m not doing anything wrong. LOL! But I have heard of writers whose internet research has resulted in a visit from the FBI.

    Oh, Debra and Diane, can I type FBI here? Or have I now opened the door to a visit from someone from this agency? :)

    Great post!

    • You sure can get in trouble from internet searches, Sheila! Not that I was bothered by the FBI or anything. But I did put out a blog last year asking for some ideas for a homicidal stalker to use terrorizing a victim in the series I’m writing…and Avast and Firefox quickly changed my rating from green bars (safe) to red bars(NOT safe!). I wound up having to remove that post from my website, email them. It took two or three days to get my safe rating back. So yeah, your internet searches are monitored.

    • Hmmmmm. Dunno. But keep us posted. We can probably scrape up some bail money, if it should come to that! :-)

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Sheila, why don’t you post something derogatory about the white house. That should jump you to the top of the list. You’re funny. That reminds me of something that came up in one of my other interviews. All the research that goes into making the assassins look real in the movies and television shows.

      Kristy, that is good information to know. No one else wants to make that mistake. A lesson hard learned.

      Diane had the right idea, we’ll all pool our resources for bail money when one of you ends up in the slammer. Ha ha. ;)

  10. vknema says:

    i adore this article

  11. Great job both of you. I have a somewhat different take on the whole privacy issue. I always assume that anything I do electronically is monitored by others. When I worked at CNN back in the 80’s, we had the BASYS system, an in-house computer network, where we were able to send Instant Messages to anyone else logged on in the system. It was fun and new and cool. Then one day someone told me that the tech geeks who took care of the system, could at anytime, monitor all the messages going back and forth. And most of it was all personal, people hooking up for dates after work, etc.

    So, to my understanding, there really is no such thing as privacy and that goes along with the idea that there really is no such thing as security. You could lose everything in a heartbeat. People steal identities and raid homes, and steal stuff all the time. The key for me is understanding that I can’t lock it all down, and that my life will not before if I lose it all.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Hi Rachel! Thanks for stopping by. My sister worked in the tech booth (is that right?) for a short while at a NBC affiliate up north. I know what you’re saying. Having worked in both banks and retail establishments I am familiar with the surveillance side of it as well. What is privacy, right? Go home and pull the curtains shut. Be a hermit if you want to remain unseen.

    • Most of us feel the same way, Rachel. Every time someone asks me to leave my user name and password, though, it’s a reminder that there are no secrets. We used to say, “Three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead.” Now, we’d need to add, “and it happened before 1950.” :-)

  12. Great post, ladies! I definitely feel there’s a fine line between living in fear and trusting our instincts and recognizing basic risks. I do my best to gain knowledge and do what I can to stave off danger, without getting all crazy-freaked-out-paranoid. But, alas, we all have our moments. ;) I also concur with Sheila. I’d rather know that the authorities can track me down, especially because my alternate name is BO BEEP, and stay in goody-goody land.

    • Debra Kristi says:

      BO BEEP huh?  My brother-in-law is a sheriff and if you ever find yourself need your phone for that emergency situation and your call won’t go through, sometimes you can get a text out when your call won’t. It’s helpful information he has armed me with. I like the phone tracking feature. But it seems to me they don’t utilize it as often as they could. And I’ve heard that the car navigation companies haven’t worked as well with the police departments as they could. What’s up with that?

    • Bo Beep??? Really??? Good to know. We could blackmail you with that one! :-)

  13. The canadian Federal Govt is trying to pass a law that will allow law enforcement to access cell and internet records, without a search warrant. OMG!!! I get that we need to get child pornographers (believe me, I know) but I’m not one of them. scary but we are almost in 1984

  14. Really great post. As always lots of great information. I had a small pop at the Jack Reacher novels with a Deux Ex Machina comment. How could someone who lives so far off the alleged grid bump into his undercover twin brother in a small town he passing through? As shown by this post, never mind the USA, the world just ain’t that small – everyone (or someone) knows everything!!

    • Debra Kristi says:

      Hi Barry. Thank you for stopping in. I will have to leave your question for Diane to answer when she stops back in. I think she is best suited to answer that one.

    • Good question, Barry. One I asked the author himself. There’s an answer to it, but it’s a spoiler for people who haven’t read The Killing Floor, so if you’ve “just got to know” as the famous gossip mag says, send me an e-mail and I’ll tell you. :-)

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  16. Karen Rought says:

    Yep, I’m completely freaked now. Very interesting read, though. Thanks for sharing!

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