Thursday 11 July 2013

Big Spammer is Watching You

I was randomly surfing the Net the other day and lingered for a while on the website of the Steam Packet Company, a shipping line which connects the Isle of Man to mainland Britain and Ireland, see: Then I checked my emails and lo and behold, I'd just been sent some spam from Steam Packet; coincidence? Then I went to the HPANWO Forum, see Links column, and guess what I saw in the ad pane? Steam Packet, see image above. You might say this is not significant and that I probably receive spam from Steam Packet all the time; I just happened to notice it this time because I'd been reading up on the Company, but advertising agencies do target web users with adverts related to their browsing habits using several methods like "spamdexing, see: I may be overreacting, but this makes me feel uncomfortable. It's a bit paranoid of me because I know there are no people involved and the system is completely automated, but I no longer feel anonymous online. The technology that allows advertisers to send particular kinds of spam to particular Web users can be easily adapted to more nefarious purposes. Intelligence agencies like GCHQ and the NSA can build a profile of you by monitoring your activity online. We've long suspected this and the recent revelations of Edward Snowden support it.

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