Oliver Stone: Pokemon Go is a New Stage in “Totalitarism” and “Surveillance Capitalism”

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Film director Oliver Stone believes that Pokemon Go is a tool capable of collecting massive amounts of data about its users and represents a step towards “robot society”.


The director of Platoon, Wallstreet and JFK was at Comic-Con 2016 in San Diego to discuss his new movie Snowden. Considering the topic of the movie, the panel were discussing the NSA, online privacy and government surveillance. A question from a fan lead Oliver Stone to lash out against today’s newest worldwide phenomenon: Pokemon Go.

“It’s a new level of invasion,” Stone said of the game. “Nobody has ever seen, in the history of the world, something like Google, ever. It’s the fastest-growing business ever, and they have invested huge amounts of money into what surveillance is, which is data-mining. They’re data-mining every person in this room for information as to what you’re buying, what it is you like, and above all, your behavior.”
-CBS News, Oliver Stone: Pokemon Go is “totalitarianism”

Oliver Stone claims that Pokemon Go is yet another step towards “surveillance capitalism”.

“Pokemon Go kicks into that. It’s everywhere. It’s what some people call surveillance capitalism. It’s the newest stage,” he said. “You’ll see a new form of, frankly, a robot society, where they will know how you want to behave and they will make the mockup that matches how you behave and feed you. It’s what they call totalitarianism.”
– Ibid.

"Snowden" panel at Comic-Con 2016 in San Diego.
“Snowden” panel at Comic-Con 2016 in San Diego.

Shortly after the game launch, observers worried about the massive amount of permissions requested by Pokemon Go upon installation. The game indeed requested full access to user’s Google Accounts on iOS. Although game developer Niantic claims to have fixed this issue, the app still collects massive amounts of data.

Niantic may collect — among other things — your email address, IP address, the web page you were using before logging into Pokémon Go, your username, and your location. And if you use your Google account for sign-in and use an iOS device, unless you specifically revoke it, Niantic has access to your entire Google account. That means Niantic could have read and write access to your email, Google Drive docs, and more. (It also means that if the Niantic servers are hacked, whoever hacked the servers would potentially have access to your entire Google account. And you can bet the game’s extreme popularity has made it a target for hackers. Given the number of children playing the game, that’s a scary thought.) You can check what kind of access Niantic has to your Google account here.

It also may share this information with other parties, including the Pokémon Company that co-developed the game, “third-party service providers,” and “third parties” to conduct “research and analysis, demographic profiling, and other similar purposes.” It also, per the policy, may share any information it collects with law enforcement in response to a legal claim, to protect its own interests, or stop “illegal, unethical, or legally actionable activity.”

Now, none of these privacy provisions are of themselves unique. Location-based apps from Foursquare to Tinder can and do similar things. But Pokémon Go’s incredibly granular, block-by-block map data, combined with its surging popularity, may soon make it one of, if not the most, detailed location-based social graphs ever compiled.
– Buzzfeed News, “You Should Probably Check Your Pokémon Go Privacy Settings”

Senator Al Franken, the top Democrat on the Senate Privacy and Technology Subcommittee recently sent a letter to Niantic expressing concerns about privacy.

The letter notes that Pokémon Go collects profile and account information, location data, and data “obtained through Cookies and Web Beacons.” The game also asks permission to do things like control vibration and prevent the phone from sleeping. Franken wants to know what information and functions exist to support and improve services, and what’s being gathered for “other purposes.”

While this release is undoubtedly impressive, I am concerned about the extent to which Niantic may be unnecessarily collecting, using, and sharing a wide range of users’ personal information without their appropriate consent”.
– arstechnica, Sen. Franken asks Pokémon Go creator: Why all the privacy problems?

Some might claim that a bunch of apps already collect all of that information and that there is nothing new under the sun. That is correct. Pokemon Go is simply yet another incremental step towards high tech control, where users are lured to specific locations and tracked during the entire time. In short, it is yet another level of heat in the pot.

If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death.

 

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178 Comments on "Oliver Stone: Pokemon Go is a New Stage in “Totalitarism” and “Surveillance Capitalism”"

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If you spend time chasing imaginary Pokemon, you deserve being monitored. Preferably by mental care practitioners.

Truly said

dr. acula! nice name… “My screenplay!” scrubs anyone?

and yes well said. i love pokemon more than the next person, but chasing digitized creations is just stupid

Well said.

Both your name and your comment made me smile! Now all I can picture is an adorable Ed Wood being lovingly cared for by people in white jackets while his girlfriend knits slippers <3

I was suspicious of this game the moment it was announced on the TV news. Funny that, it being constantly pimped by TV news stations… I thought that’s what commercials were for.

In a way, the premise of the spy thriller ‘Kingsman’ predicted the possible dangers in the world wide appeal of a popular mobile app.

The game was pretty fun at first and I’m probably more “awake” than most any of y’all. Criticizing ppl for having fun with a game instead of criticizing those who abuse the innocents who enjoy the game. Really says a lot about all of your own mental states and how high and mighty you places yourselves.

Being one of the remote controlled people running wherever they are directed doesn’t sound a bit “awake” to me. And just because it’s fun doesn’t make it right.

Hmmm for me it’s not just another step towards a totalitarian state. No less than a world-wide sociological experiment is being carried out. It is the first taste we’ve ever been given of VIRTUAL REALITY literally interfering in our “real” reality, the three-dimensional one.
Players will intertwine Pokemon catching with their common chores. The line separating real-life responsibilities and entertainment will get so blurry (as if it weren’t without Pokemon Go) it’s scary. It’s the first attempt to introduce the masses to an “evolution” (no pun intended) from passive stupidity to active stupidity. It’s healthy to allocate some time to chill and get distracted; but this will be real-time distraction that will disguise itself swiftly.
I recommend you inform yourselves about the Cartesian Theatre theory. What is real and what’s not? I welcome you all to the Age of Horus.

and yet at the same time also an inevitable one. since the day google maps decided to track location to within, like, 5 feet, (long ago) it was only a matter of time before some braniac thought wait, if phones know where they are geographically at all times, how can i make money off that? pokemon go is just the first “augmented reality” game but there will probably be more. free enterprise, capitalism, human ingenuity was bound to produce this sooner or later. the question is what will the data be used for?

Its a tool among amongst other things to finally persuade the wanna be zombies to adopt Google glass.

App does not function in the background or when screen is off.

Are you sure? This isn’t like the light in the refrigerator.

Do you yourself?

@Nick. Mmmm… Coolaid tastes goood.

@the bag man, man the app LITERALLY does not function when the app is off or in the background for goodness sakes. It’s one thing to try to enlighten others but another thing when you don’t even know what you yourself are even talking about. You wanna spread awareness, do it without being ignorant.

I mean someone has already lost their life playing this game, another girl was hit by a car and wanted to sue the company. Things are only looking uo from here… -_- “The free augmented reality game lets players ‘capture’ Pokemon, or digital creatures, at real locations using their smartphones, but has fueled fears over distracted pedestrians, dangerous trespassing and criminals preying on unsuspecting gamers. The “Pokemon GO” craze reportedly claimed its first fatal victim when an 18-year-old playing the game was ambushed in Guatemala. The teenager died after being shot, according to news reports. There have also been multiple reports of “Pokemon GO” players falling victim to robberies and assaults. A number of players have also wandered into hazardous locations. Four teenagers in the U.K. had to be rescued this week after they entered caves searching for Pokemon characters, the Guardian reports. The game was also involved in a… Read more »

thats not the games fault that just people being stupid. just like you dont text and drive dont just keep looking at your phone while walking. before you even start pokemon go there is a screen that says be careful of your surrondings.

That’s like saying it’s not the drug dealers fault for selling crack to a fourteen year old.

Well it isn’t tbh. Parents are the ones respenisble for their children not society or other ppl. Everybody watches upon their interests since the dawn of times.

It takes a village to raise a child. So your logic is totally wrong. When you live in a community where people looks out for each other and children, you would have a safer and more loving community. A community of togetherness. Your way of thinking is the reason why so many children gets abducted and rarely found. I guarantee you if you lived in a community where people watches out for each other children, abductees would think twice before entering it. Even if the abductee was a family member, they would think twice.

“It takes a village to raise a child” is a communist saying, for the purpose of making parents hand over their children to the state for education and indoctrination. Parents should be the ones responsible for their children and in the past with only one parent working that was possible. Now they take so mch taxes and people have become so materialistic that both parents go to work and children spend much time unsupervised by them.

Its a Nigerian Proverb, not a “comunist saying”. The notion of community should not be confused with the sentralised bureaucratic political doctrine, just because they share a etymological link. That should be obvious to those who appreciate that children do best with multiple nurturing influences.

A village concerned with raising the children is nothing to be ashamed or scared about. Seems logical that in older days, when some went out hunting and gathering, others watched offspring while they made bread? That that was not always the parent seems logical too, but does not rule out any parent who wants a go at it him or herself in these days. Better the village than the king or queen that does not care for anything but power.

“It takes a village to raise a child” is from an old African proverb. It was about how everyone in a village was responsible for one another. There was a time when non-parents could discipline kids when they saw them doing wrong, when families helped one another. When people collectively looked out for each other. That doesn’t really exist today.

I don’t discount some of what you are saying but this statement is NOT communist and was around before communism even existed.

Lucia, you arent being that lucid.

Wait, fox said that? S**t, I may have to rethink my position. You can get it on Google play right?

Will check out Cartesian theatre therory. But the age of Horus is the outcome of all these idiots being destroyed by their own willingness to adopt servitude and consequently their demise. History and an understanding of comparative religion will make that evident. Right now is the age of Set (Satan)…probably.

This whole pokemon craze reminds me of the movie “Branded”. Similar concept. Virtual vs “Real” reality and the thin line in between.

it’s nothing like that at all wtf??

Much like Plato’s Cave

Have you any idea what Plato’s Cave even is because you sound like you don’t

I can’t help but feel like this game is the attempt to bring virtual reality into everyone’s or a large group of society’s lives. Next, ” fall down and worship the beast”.

Well said!

scary thought indeed!! I’m going to read up about Cartesan Theatre…sounds all to fascinating!!! thanks for sharing

And if Pokemon (or whatever it is on the screen, dunno) enters a FEMA camp, how many sheeple will just mindlessly follow it right in? Hell, who needs an economic collapse, martial law, and a promise of food–they’ll run through the camp’s doors today without a thought, so long as it’s part of the game…

My bf works at a prison. People were in the parking lot at 3 am playing the game…and didn’t understand why they were asked to leave.

Yup, Google owns A.I. Boston dynamics, they’re learning about our movements in increasingly sophisticated ways. Until we start augmenting our own reality instead of allowing them to do it for us, we deserve everything we get.

just wanted to point out google no longer owns them they sold them.

Ah, OK, will take your word for it… But you ever heard of the term umbrella corporation?

They’re being ‘recruited’ in all kinda ways.

ive been waiting for an article on this. i have been stunned at how this game went from zero to non stop media promotion. nothing like that happens by chance. ive brought it up to several friends but they stilll think this is just a coincidence. surely the media cannot be controlled by a few puppetmasters!! at one point i turned the tv off, because i could not stand it anymore. took my dog for a walk in the park. turned on radio on my headphones,…guess what ..more pokemon news. dj would not shut up about it. just incredible. does anybody know anybody in the media? how does this happen? are they told they must give a certain story a certain amount of airplay from their bosses? and they in turn get pressure from thier bosses? why does noone talk? we really are doomed. i hate to be so negative.… Read more »

Don’t leave just yet, we have work to do raital. It sure as hell is tempting though sometimes. The control is as subtle as it is sophisticated. I personally believe it is rooted in a deep understanding of psychology, as in Pavlovian response. They have engineered the media, academia etc to react to topics in a favorable or unfavorable manner so that no explicit bias has to be suggested from up high… People within these institutions police themselves, and as a result the recognition of “a great conspiracy” is easily refutable.

I’m just curious. What “work” is there to do? All I see are article promoted on some small ass website being paid no attention by anyone but the likeminded. And this has been going on for YEARS!!! Exactly what work is being completed here, ever. I’ve been waiting for ages to see some action take place and I just pop back up here every several months to see the same s**t. All the talk, none of the action. Again, what “work” is being done??

The first person I met that made a living speaking about this kind of stuff said the populace would be lulled to hand over their freedoms by convenience.
Then, there’s that quote that the difference between Orwell and Huxley’s work is that they both wrote that civilization would crumble, but one by totalitarian control, the other by “totalitarian” pleasure.

I really never believed I’d lived to see all three working hand in hand…, at least so quickly.

Just take a look into the history of education, and how it was infiltrated by the same people that told us it is a bad thing if we all share responsebility over energy, water, healthcare. No they said it is best to leave it all up to the markets. Well well well, who would think that the people and corporations with big money wanted to buy it all. ”Did you?” It only took a few generations to make halfwit people. When they had kids their own, they carried on with the task, by putting their offspring in front of the television as soon as they could sit up, while e-working and eating sugared food themselves.

The viewing screens in 1984… I ask you, how the fuck do people not join the dots? Oh yeah, the common man doesn’t read, and the “educated class” has been convinced that they are the true elites… Just like the rest of our “superiors”… so Orwell’s warning isn’t applicable to them apparently.

Zombie society. It’s known.

Dumbing down agenda in full effect

Full effect? if they have their way you ain’t seen nothing yet.

So, this is the game that has people running into parked police cars, walking off cliffs, and getting fatally gunned down? One person got shot, but still continued his pokemon mission before calling 911… Really?? My question is–what’s wrong with people? People can’t event text and walk, without running into sh**, so they thought a reality mobile game would be any better? This is just terrible, and puts others in danger as well…and I do understand VC’s points, but that’s just obviously one level of this Pokémon weirdness.

Don’t believe the hype. The biggest part of the headlines was bought.

I like you DDd, i agree with a lot of what you say, so with respect, at this point its good to be suspicious of most of the info that comes out, especially the “conspiratorial” websites (since they are subject to more seruptitious control). There are a handful that I trust, and even then it requires independent research to back up what they are saying (the best ones encourage it it seems).

A few weeks ago I noticed headlines about that game., Even though no one in my area played, and only vaguely remembered a childish cartoon linked to merchandising. The headlines were idiotic up to ” there was a pokemon at the coffeehouse”. And you know what, it was all over the local editions at the same time, too. Some attentiongrabbing placed items, and voila every chief editor in this country, no the whole world appearantly, finds it way more interesting than sending journalists to find out what it is special about the game. Nooo, it took a Stone to make some headlines himself about the flipside, after the hype has settled a little. Dumb people did not check the agreement they clicked on. So emails other people sent to them are stolen as well. Thank you newspapers for pointing out nothing special about the game for weeks on end, for… Read more »

Investigative journalism is pretty much dead.

That’s why there are so many conspiracy realists around.

Conspiracy realists, I like that.

Some has nicknamed the game PokeMongo instead.

I believe Google is also using your data and tracking you via Gmail, Chrome, Google Maps, and Android. Not sure why people are focused on an App when Google runs your OS. Maybe it’s because Pokemon Go is new and Google has been around for a while.

It is not a “Google” phone it is an “Android” phone with a cutesy, tasty treat OS version name.

Android OS under the covers is composed of a lot of “google” libraries, unseen by the regular user. The wakeup came for me when I rooted a Verizon phone to get rid of the Verizon bloatware and apps I never use. Before I could do anything with Google Android I needed to have an account with Google or set one up. Otherwise it was smart phone that did not do anything. The Verizon bloatware was not really a bother after that encounter.

Serious question: does anyone use a vpn and if so, do you think it protects against Google tracking in any way? I tend to use an old version of Safari but do use google

Everything you do over the internet can get intercepted and decoded, always has been, always will be. Using the internet will be getting harder, that is a change to come, not the information-thefts.

Exactly. I would just take it as given that ALL our activities are known. Yet here we are, discussing it. That gives me hope. The “elites” like to give the impression they are in control… But they’re strapped to this rock hurtling through space just as much as everyone else. They make the ride more bumpy, and convince themselves they are immune…. But they ain’t. There are ALWAYS bigger fish, and like all bullies, their “strength” is just a sham.

I still don’t understand what is so fun about chasing something that is not actually there . Of all the matters of life and this is something we human find pleasure in doing … Smh

You must be a fun person then. Tell me, what do you do in your free time? Or do you spend your days doing serious-important-adult-like tasks?

I know. All those people at churches, what losers.

just becauese you cant see it, doesnt mean its not there.
In fact doesnt matter if you dont believe in God, he doesnt need you to exist.
In fact, for you to exist at all, you need Him.

In that case you should compare this game with some of the religious suicide sects…

The fact that Pokemon Go is being promoted by almost all the major corporations in the world, shows how they are all under the same umbrella. From Facebook to BBC News, levels of advertising like never seen before. It is very easy to see the fact that had not this massive advertising campaign existed, Pokemon Go would have not seen such an explosion of popularity. It seems as if the concept around the game is highly innovative, but I just see it as evidence of how easily the ruling Zionist elite manipulate the masses into liking and accepting anything they choose.

Follow trends, eat bad food, work to entertain yourself to sleep. Deaf, dumb and blind, they are like cattle, rather they are worse than cattle!

I haven’t seen one advertisement for Pokemon go.

No, Nick, but you did see that advert for an opening as a government shill didn’t you? Hint… The opening was your ass.

LOL!!!!!!!!!

But i bet you have seen dozens of headlines in your newspapers.. The same way a popstar who affiliates a big company to get the frontpage of the outlet/news-distributors they are linked to via their ”contract”, that way the editors give attention to befriended corporations. Make news, not report it – is what they do a lot of the times. Monkey see monkey do : ”ohw, a lot of people seem to be in pokemon, let me have a look too.” After that the numbers raised significantly.

Well, slave masters have just found another way to keep slaves distracted and more retarded: Pokemon Go.

I remember the movie Wall E… Any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental? This is so freakin out. It’s very scary 🙁 for all the world live in lies… facebook, instagram and now pokemon go! I have lost the faith in the world 🙁

Yes, people walking outside getting tons of exercise really represents the humans in Wall E.

Getting exercise ? By strolling, zombie-like, around the corner and playing with their toyphone like crazy ? I don’t see them running, jumping, doing push-ups… I just see them giving in to the lamest addiction in human history. Oh, and falling of a cliff – you could call that hard-style sport.

That and it’s a bunch of sheep running around glued to their phones. I have a Kindle, I have a cellphone (not a smartphone), but I’m not glued to them 24/7. We like to play Angry Birds on Kindle, but we’re not fanatical.

Don’t give yourself too much of a hard time, a little of what’s bad is good….otherwise it’s dogma.

Exactly.

this is basically true of all tech that goes online and is free. if someone spent money to develop something and let you use it free, (ie google apps, pokemon go, facebook) odds are you are the product he plans to get money from, not his little app. the data mining is worth millions. i think there is a basis for a whole new economic system here. if we can automate everything to where human beings dont need to work, people should be compensated for their participation in products that mine and sell their information. in this way we can eliminate the need for a traditional labor force while promoting economic activity at all levels. entrepreneurs and paid artists will still be a thing, but only for the ambitious. people content to just live and marry and die happy (most people) could do so without slaving away 40-80 hours a… Read more »

At the price of? Human “progress” has been on the whole to the detriment of the planet. Mum’s learning about planned parenthood.

All it is, beyond its frightening invasion of privacy and mass manipulation experiment, is a DISTRACTION from the corrupt and rigged election in the U.S, which is offering the American electorate the worst two candidates possible with the lowest trustworthy ratings ever. Bernie sold out apparently, endorsing someone that represents everything he spent his entire campaign speaking against. All of a sudden, she’s fit to be president and people should trust her?! If you really want the first woman president, look up Jill Stein from the Green Party. Also, go watch the ‘CLINTON CASH’ documentary on YouTube, then SHARE IT. Sadly, and pathetically might I add, while people are out chasing digital characters in a virtual augmented reality, their future is being robbed right from under them and they’re too busy with a mundane mind-rotting game to notice. God Help Us All. Don’t do digital drugs: Say NO to Pokemon… Read more »

Politricks is yet another distraction.

If you think about it, it’s like the goggle camera trucks… They just make you chase the Pokemon wherever they want you to go. Who knows where the video data is going or how it might be used. Its far beyond 1984 stuff. Playing at home maps out your entire home with full video & photos and if they need more data they just send you to that area with the Pokemon. It’s insane that anyone would try it without knowing what data they’re taking from you.

pure satanic app

They say you can not choose your family, but you can choose your friends.
Well, choose wisely, I say.

I imagine the people at the headquarters of Pokemon GO asking themselves, How are we going to get all the personal data of billions of people?? I know, let’s make a childish game and get to control the behaviour of millions of mindless people. Pokemon GO is all hype!

It is not the ruling sociopaths that makes this insane world possible. The main reason is that half of the worlds population belongs to the sad part of the IQ-scale. And even “normal” intelligence is not that impressive.

They are a reflection of each other. News flash, the “elites” ain’t that smart. They are lazy and manipulative yes, but intelligent in a universal sense, no. Responsibility is the greatest indicator of intellect. The more variables you factor in, the more you can respond to, God is infinite, with infinite variables, hence omniscience. Ego concerns itself with just one.

I should also say that yeah buju, the unthinking masses are also the “enemy” Even though both the elites, proles and everyone in between are capable of redemption. If you blindly follow an ideology because you are too scared to question, you will most likely defend your comfort with everything you have… And are therefore potentially a danger to those who think for themselves.

There are two types of people in the world: people who think the government is looking out for their best interest and people who think.

Haha. Government. Govern (control), Ment (mind). Drumroll please…. Mind control.

I really like the way you think bag man! really I do.

My property was on the listing (we had it taken off – without using bloodthirsty threats).
Two guys wanted to ‘pokemon go’ in, even though we had signage up for restricted dog breeds – we have two pitbulls. They even tried to climb over our fence which has barbed wire!!
My 96 yo father ran out yelling at them and told them to buzz off (but in more profane and obscene language).
It’s a pity, I could’ve charged them $100 each to come in!!

Could’ve saved on dogfood, too. And if you recorded it all, a fortune on televisionrights for the networks and ad-generation on youtube?

How did you know it was on the listing?

You guys might want to do a little research into Google founder and Transhumanist Ray Kurzweil and his philosophy on “The Singularity”. It’s very disturbing. Current Google owner Peter Thiel is also a Transhumanist who funds research on artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, RF ID chip technology, and memetics. Memetics is an interesting theory and it is why they study everything that you like and all of your opinions and why they give you personality tests. Peter Thiel and Elon Musk are members of the National Space Society (formally L5 Society) which are planning colonies for the elite through their SpaceX program. I’m talking about the basis of movies like Elysium and Interstellar. Peter Thiel is also a current member and attendee of Bilderberg and owner of several software companies that aid the NSA.

Theil is also a vampire in the news recently touting transfusions of young people’s blood

”With space, do you mean the thing over our heads and planet, or the holes in our planet?”

You need to check out Netflix’s new over-hyped series “Stranger Things” which is about MK Ultra!

Personally I couldn’t care less.I don’t like to put my real name or photo anywhere be it youtube fb google account they can take the info and shove it up their asses.It’s all bogus names and expendable email adresses anyway.Everyone should do the same.

I.P. unless you’re using tor, but even then it ain’t foolproof. I’d much rather put my real one in…. More of a fuck you. They can get my body if they want, but my soul? That’s another matter entirely.

wpDiscuz