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It was a creepy story, but not a surprising one, considering the profusion of computer hacking and surveillance that occurs in our world today. If you are a regular listener to his nationally syndicated radio program, you may have heard Rush Limbaugh relate his experience driving in to work on Tuesday morning. You may know that Rush is a huge fan of Apple products, and he buys the very latest Apple gadgets as soon as they are released.
So, he has his Apple iPhone with the snazzy, Buck Rogers-esque voice transcription software, which records spoken words and turns them into digital text. It did not take waiting until the 25th Century to have such marvelous technology, and this kind of thing is probably the very least of what is out there. I have long believed that if you can imagine it, it has probably already been done, and I am certain that the average Joe Schmoe, like me, is completely clueless as to what our government and military are able to do.
On the way to work, Rush tried to use his voice transcription software to send a message to his wife, Kathryn. As he reported on his show on Tuesday,
“I’m maybe a quarter of a mile from home on the way in to work, I attempt dictation, and nothing happens. I hit the microphone button and I get the three beeps and no connection. It’s not working. So I say, ‘Ah, damn it, the system’s down. Something’s wrong with the servers,’ but I keep trying. The third attempt… I was trying to respond to some stuff Kathryn had sent me. She needed an answer on some stuff. So I said whatever it was my answer was the third time, and what came back to me? This is what you’re not gonna believe. What showed up on my iPhone was ‘Obama’s minions are taking over and there’s nothing you can do about it,’ and I hadn’t said anything like that!”
Cue the Twilight Zone theme music.
Technology is a double-edged sword that can cut for good or for evil, and when you are dealing with a federal government that has been infested with communists at the highest levels, as we have today, then you have the scary prospect of those in power using technology for very evil purposes, indeed. Of course, when it comes to computer hacking, there are an endless number of possible culprits. It is just that we know the Obama administration would love nothing more than to silence the powerful voices of those like Rush Limbaugh who forcefully declare the naked truth about the tyrannical Obama and his fellow-traveling, commie hordes. Naturally, the first thing we think here is that whoever did this is likely tied to the Obama administration, or at the very least, sympathetic to it.
Rush was rightly perplexed and disturbed by this mysterious invasion of his personal electronic space, and he tried to find an explanation, as he reported on his show,
“So I sent this story. I typed this story I just told you and I sent it to a bunch of computer people. I said, ‘What could possibly explain this?’ And the answers I got back ranged from, ‘You’ve been hacked,’ to, ‘Somebody got into your car,’ to, ‘Somebody’s tampered with the Bluetooth module.’
It was, ‘Somebody’s done something. They’re sending you a message that they can do it,’ or, ‘Your Bluetooth module is so totally defective that you need a new one,’ or, ‘There’s something wrong with the LTE hotspot.’ There was no answer that was satisfactory. This has never happened. But that first message that came back was: ‘Obama’s minions are taking over.’ As I say, I can’t prove this, because I didn’t keep the transcriptions. I deleted them. I don’t even know if I actually deleted them. I just didn’t send them. (They are not on the phone. I went and looked.)”
Somebody’s done something, and they’re sending you a message. That may be an understatement. Not only is Rush getting a message, but the entire talk radio world and its millions of citizen listeners are also getting a message. If “they” can do it to Rush, they can do it to any of us. For that matter, if they can hack into super-secure Pentagon computers, which they have, then hacking the computers and smart phones of average Americans is likely as easy as walking through an open door.
Of course, we should realize that our own government has the ability to monitor the contents of our hard drives, each website we visit, and every single keystroke we type on our computers, our so-called “smart” phones—anything. This is actually a timeless truth declared in Scripture: nothing is hidden that will not be revealed. Now, when Jesus made that declaration, he was talking about words spoken in “secret” and thoughts hidden in the hearts of men, which are all in plain sight before God, but it is still a universal truth that applies in the modern cyber world, as well.
The disturbing thing here is that our online activities in our “private” emails or “private” social network pages, and even our offline Internet-connected-computer activities, are able to be laid bare by the cyber-snoops for the nefarious members of this communist regime in Washington or any other cyber-hacking entity.
To those of us with a fertile imagination, the possibilities are chilling. What is to stop the regime’s hacker henchmen from literally putting words in our cyber mouths? How could we ever prove that we did not say or do the things of which we could be falsely accused, such as issuing threats against the lives of government officials? You saw how easily someone changed Rush’s spoken words into something not even remotely related to what he actually said. Could this be a foreshadowing of one way in which American patriots will be falsely accused of being criminal enemies of the state to be imprisoned?
Ultimately, I suppose if “they” want to get us in that way, there is not a whole lot we can do to stop it, short of ceasing to use any electronics and computer devices. Just because these possibilities exist does not mean we should be careless. For instance, if you have traded in your old cellular telephone for one of the new phones that has Internet connectivity—the smart phones—you should treat that smart phone with the same security precautions you would for your home laptop or PC.
Not everyone considers this, but you should always password protect your smart phone. Though not an assurance against hacking, it is better than nothing. Another tip is to learn how to remotely scrub the data from your phone, in the event it is lost or stolen. There are instructions for doing these things available on the Internet.
As I wrote this column on Wednesday while also listening to Rush, he finally made a brief mention of the Tuesday iPhone incident. He said he has not yet heard back from Apple on what might have caused this. The culprits in Rush’s phone hack will likely remain a mystery, but the message is chillingly clear: we can get to you, no matter who you are.
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