Terms And Conditions May Apply:

An extraordinary’ extraordinary piece of work from director Cullen Hoback. So much is crammed into this documentary that it’s probably best digested in sections & is the kind of film that benefits from multiple viewings, –  for compression & retention purposes but also to remind of what’s behind the mask. A rough & reduced premise, – this film is about the digital “user agreement”/”terms of use” that is generally a mandatory preliminary for all online “accounts”  (normally a compulsory condition for any access) & also about gigantic state/corporate/private surveillance that runs in direct tandem. It is a meticulously rendered, trenchantly rigorous & factually diligent exposé pulling-in an incredible & numerous cast of industry experts, activists, litigants, science fiction writers, philosophers & much more. It’s also utterly terrifying, incredibly sinister & intensely shocking. Dark, Orwellian & really very’ very disturbing indeed. Very disturbing! Do yourself a very important favor, – stop reading this review now & go & watch this critical documentary if you use the web at all. Seriously! & without dramatization, you need to know what is going on & what you are being subjected to!

Simplified, the now ubiquitous user agreement codex that grants access/creates accounts for virtual use (e-mail, social media, online-shopping, online-dating etc), whether it be commerce or communication, – is actually a rights relegation & disannulment process where the “user” basically submits everything from that point to be indefinitely preserved (even if you delete your account), plundered & used covertly for commercial activity & surveillance purposes by intelligence services, multinationals, private companies & corporate entities (probably with some other unannounced freaks in on the feeding-frenzy too). When you see it all laid-out & fully explained, it’s nothing short of total’ total subterfuge on a barely describable scale. Typically, people presume protection & crucially (& fatally) “innocuousness” from the tech/virtual industry. restrictions, regulations, safeguards & prevention from the total exploitation of personal data, assumed to be enforced by government bodies/internationally recognized legislative treaties & ha ha – “the rule of law”  ……. absolutely no such thing! loud & abundantly clear. You sign it all away/rescind your rights & then you start providing. The customer becomes the commodity. I always knew it was bad news (one of the pillar reasons I have never ever done social media), but I had no idea it was this unpleasant & herculean in it’s utterly surreptitious nightmare nature. Again, no matter how relaxed you are about unwarranted & unconsensual scrutiny from undeclared bodies rummaging, storing, spying & reselling, this is darkly disturbing & profoundly unpleasant stuff that shocks to the depths.

Next, it’s the NSA, CIA & FBI’s turn. The Patriot Act, Third Party Doctrine & most abhorrent of them all, the malefic, barely believable “Total Information Awareness” program, – A truly hideous, úber-Orwellian initiative devised by the US government in 2002 to manufacture a mechanism that would electronically track & log everything on everybody (yes’ really), from phone logs to credit card transactions, to web searches, travel history ad-infinitum. It was shut-down due to public & political outrage. To cut an enormous amount of divulgation & analysis short, it has returned in full sheep’s-clothing, this time guising under social media & being pseudo voluntary (I suffix “pseudo” to voluntary because although people assent to the “terms of use” & upload their details, they are barely aware or informed of what this entails or allows, which rives open an enormously powerful argument for criminality & fraudulent conduct on behalf of the tech companies). There is so much abuse going on by so many corps & comps, but by far the greatest & gravest offenders are Google & most significantly of all – Face Book, & that awful’ awful creature Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg features a lot in Terms And Conditions May Apply as he is the greatest culprit in this concealed heist & secret-shackling. The guy is positively horrific, even amongst the technogarchs & transnational CEO’s. again, there is just too much information to concentrate on here & direct personal viewing of this historic documentary is essential. At one stage, they screen an extraordinary early exchange with Zuckerberg as he boasts about having thousands of Harvard student’s private data that he is willing to hand over to a third party without their consent or knowledge. He writes – “People just submitted it. I don’t know why. They “trust me”. Dumb fucks.” Yeah. This sentiment has clearly been extrapolated to Face Book in general. Considering how much perfidy people have of each other (stranger danger), I am amazed at how much fidelity they grant to banks, governments & corporations, especially considering how much blood is streaming from every possible surface. The only way is out/off…& it’s surprisingly liberating.

An incredible’ incredible documentary & heaving repository of super informative investigative journalism that’s almost beyond exaggeration in its timeliness & urgency. There are so many good contributors, with Chris Soghoian from American Civil Liberties Union & Raney Reitman of Electric Frontier Foundation raining down some of the most significant blows.

Terminate your accounts. Boycott the fucking lot of em’! disconnect & engage in more constructive & sovereign actions.

Hyrax Films/Roco Films

Released – 2013

thanks to Buckingham-Bollock