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The New Fascism: Terms and Conditions

By       Message Thom Hartmann       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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Let's talk about those pesky terms and conditions.

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Last month, I had a chance to talk with John McAfee, the founder of the popular McAfee computer security programs.

We talked about how people usually don't read the terms and conditions of the smartphone applications that they download onto their phones.

But McAfee did read the terms and conditions of the Bank of America smartphone application, and what he saw was pretty shocking.

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McAfee told me that, by agreeing to the terms and conditions for the Bank of America application, "You give the Bank of America application, which is the remote banking application, the permission to turn on your phone and make phone calls at your expense and without telling you, to turn on your camera and microphone without telling you at any time, and to transmit pictures and sound files."

While you may not exactly be signing away your life to Bank of America, you're giving the big bank a great deal of access to your private life whenever it wants. That's pretty scary.

And Bank of America isn't the only big bank or corporation using terms and conditions to barge in on your private life.

Fellow big bank Capital One sent out a new contract update with new terms and conditions to its credit card holders.

And as the Los Angeles Times puts it, the bank, "makes clear it can drop by any time it pleases."

The new terms and conditions specify that the bank, "may contact you in any manner we choose" including emails, calls, texts, and faxes.

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Ok, that's not terrible.

But then comes the part when Capital One says it might make "personal visits" which can be "at your home and at your place of employment."

So, say you're a Capital One credit card holder, and you forget to make a monthly payment. According to the terms and conditions that you just agreed to, Capital One can come to your office and harass you to make that payment. And if you've left work for the day, bank representatives could come to your home.

And if you're lucky enough to avoid a "personal visit" from Capital One, the bank may still call you at all hours of the night, without revealing its identity.

That's because the new terms and conditions also state that the bank, "may modify or suppress caller ID and similar services and identify ourselves on these services in any manner we choose."

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War (more...)

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