In the 1980s, a group of young dissidents in San Francisco's financial district got together to create a #Zine

"Processed World" is now available at the Internet Archive. Brace yourself for a world of subversive commentary and #Cyberpunk


@cypnk wow, Spring, 1986 issue 16

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@iks Folks were very perceptive early on. Too bad most people didn't listen early enough

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t is impossible for ordinary people today to

control, or even to find out, what is known about

them. Not only do dozens of government agencies
maintain files on us, but each time we buy a book, pay a
tax, or phone a friend, records of our transaction are
created and filed. Most people consider such records, if
they consider them at all, as simply the price of modern
convenience. Yet when the size, sophistication and
number of today鈥檚 databases are taken into account,
together with their increasing interconnection and use, it
may not be entirely paranoid to wonder if something
other than convenience has come to be at stake.

Private credit agencies like TRW and Equifax aggregate
individual transaction records into more than 150 million
dossiers, each of which typically contains a full name, social
security number, address, telephone #, name of spouse,
workplace, salary, other income, credit grantors, payment
history, arrest and conviction records, bankruptcies, tax liens
and lawsuits. The data in these dossiers is often inaccurate. It
ts commonly collected by low-wage investigators expected by
their supervisors to find dirt and find it fast. But once
collected, it is bought and sold millions of times each day,
linked with other data by the techniques of 鈥榗omputer
matching,鈥欌 and even鈥攍ike any other property鈥攄isposed of in
bankruptcy proceedings. The Washington-based Privacy
Journal (PO Box 15300, Wash. DC 20003) recently quoted
Richard D.C. Whilden, the head of TRW鈥檚 huge Information
Services Division, as saying that TRW is actively looking for
鈥渘ew ways to package and sell the information鈥 in its gigantic

We are still in the early years of the computer age The
computerization of the home鈥攙ia cable TV, microcomputers

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