Bill Maher Attacks Government And Corporate Surveillance

Bill Maher, on Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher, announced his frustration with the constant presence of surveillance in America. As our lifestyles have grown more digitized, thanks to smartphones and the web, they’ve also grown less private. And Maher is far from happy with this trend.

“The ad-slogan, ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,’ must be expanded to include the entire country, and then written into the constitution as a proclamation that we are tired of everyone watching us all the time.The NSA tracks your calls, your web browser, knows you like nipple slips, and Verizon knows when you call your dealer to ask if those ‘shirts’ came in.”

Maher then launched into how Facebook tailors its ads based upon your purchasing habits.

“Last week I bought a pair of shoes online. I don’t know who told Facebook, but now it thinks I’m obsessed with shoes. Listen Zuckerberg: I don’t need shoes, okay? Because I just bought some. But you already know that, don’t you?”

Maher is referring to how Facebook uses cookies to track your activity on sites like Amazon or eBay. Once the social media company is equipped with that information, your Facebook will be filled with products that the social network thinks you want. Outside of social media, Maher was concerned with current events around our right to privacy.

The comedian brought up the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was used as justification for convicting Khairullozhon Matanov (who knew Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev) with obstruction of justice. The FBI found out that Matanov had cleared his browsing history, which was grounds for the conviction. The problem is, the Sarabanes-Oxley Act doesn’t directly refer to browsing history, as Maher pointed out.

“The Sarbanes-Oxley Act — that’s a law that was written to stop traitors from destroying records that reveal fraud — but now its being used to charge anyone with the crime of merely clearing the browser history on their laptop. And if married people can’t clear their computers how can they indulge in the sick perverted fantasy life that keeps their relationship healthy?”

After wailing against our lack of digital privacy, Maher criticized the security cameras we find across major cities.

“There are over 6,000 surveillance cameras on the streets of New York, and former Mayor Bloomberg said: ‘The argument against using them is just this craziness that oh it’s big brother, get used to it.’ Well, I don’t wanna get used to it. I don’t like strangers watching me, present company excluded. We’re not all Kardashians, we didn’t all sign up for this.”

Maher then defended Donald Sterling, the former owner of the Los Angeles’ Clippers, against how the video of his racist comments surfaced.

“Donald Sterling is a number of not great things, like creepy, a bad team owner, slum lord, and such a fool he thought a young girl found him attractive. Even though she had to wear a welding mask to f**k him. But it’s just plain un-American that he was drummed out of his own life for something he said in a private conversation in his living room.”

The talk show host also found the way the FBI investigated former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, who was discovered molesting a teenage boy, ridiculous.

“Former house speaker Dennis Hastert is another creep, but I don’t see why he should be indicted, as he was, for making bank withdrawals of over $10,000 of his own money, which banks must report to the government. Hastert it turns out was making hush money payments to a former student he molested back when he was a wrestling coach. But he wasn’t charged with diddling kids, the FBI understands that’s just a part of being a wrestling coach. No, no, no, we got Hastert for the inappropriate way that he touched an ATM machine.

“Of course it’s easy to point to a Hastert, or a Sterling, or a Wiener, or a Spitzer, and say ‘Oh look we caught a guy doing something bad, isn’t surveillance great?’ No. Ask anyone over 40 how thankful they are they got their first job at a time before every stupid thing you ever did was recorded and uploaded to the internet for all eternity.”

Watch Maher’s tirade below.

[Photo via YouTube]