04 October 2012


      In 1949, a British gentleman named George Arthur Orwell1 wrote an apocalyptic and dystopian novel titled 19842. In it, he predicted that we 

would eventually give all personal power over to the government. One of the 

things he predicted, which has become a common  cliché today is the 

“Thought Police”; ie. a  bunch of bureaucrats watching over our every word 

and deed in an effort to keep us in the “Party line”.

      So powerful and accurate were his writings that we regularly use terms like “Orwellian”, “doublethink” thoughtcrime” and “newspeak”3.
     Many years before personal computers, digital recorders, closed-circuit TV 

and the internet, Orwell foresaw a society where the government – through 

it's placement and use technology like ubiquitous video surveillance 

cameras– tracked our every move. With all the cameras in places like New 

York City and London and tracking equipment like OnStar , many people 

believe that we are almost there.

      I disagree on both points.

      First, we're not ALMOST there. Folks, we have arrived. Unless you live 

completely on the fringe of society paying for everything with cash, riding a bicycle and living in the forest or in a 3rd world country, the government (or 

anybody else with a computer and some spare time) can track your every 

move from the time you get get up 'till you go to bed. Cradle to grave. The 

ability to track us may not be absolute yet, but its existence is not in question.

      The second place I disagree is the actual point of this article. The 

government isn't putting tons of technology in place all over the country to 

keep track of us. They don't have to.

      Wake up, people. We're doing it to ourselves.

       Big Brother (another term coined by Orwell) doesn't have to track us 

down. They just have to read our Facebook page. Want to know what

someone  is doing right now and who they're with? Check out their tweets. 

Need to know someone's political and social leanings? Just read our(my?)  

blogs. Many people even put their most personal thoughts and schemes into 

on-line diaries. Now that's a good way to protect your privacy. Even our 

business plans and dealings are getting out of offices and homes and onto the 

internet. Supposedly protected by strong encryption, yes. But who wrote the 

encryption? Beware of The Cloud!
     No! No one has have to work very hard to find out any information they 

want about just about any one in the country. We are lining up to give it to 


       The government already has more tools than it knows how to – or is 

willing to use. According to Larry M. Elkin: Business Insider, Oct 9, 2012:  

“...I think the risk of large-scale government abuse of enhanced surveillance 

tools is pretty low. If the rules are implemented, law enforcement will 

probably be criticized more frequently for not making use of the tools at its 
 disposal than it will be for using those tools too broadly.4
     Just think of the times every day that you use plastic money, sign your 

name on something, show your driver's license and drive by or walk under a 

surveillance camera. Then pay attention to all the very personal information 

you put on the internet for anyone and everyone to see. Forever. We ought to 

be on the FBI's payroll. If they want to keep tabs on us, we're doing all 

their work for them.

At least that's what I think. What about you?

I recommend that everyone who is concerned about where our freedoms are going read 1984. It's available in print or on video from Amazon.com and most major book and video outlets. Also watch the very compelling George Lucas movie: THX1138 with Robert DuVall.


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