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
of bureaucrats watching over our every word
and deed in an effort to keep
us in the “Party line”.
powerful and accurate were his writings that we regularly use terms
like “Orwellian”, “doublethink” thoughtcrime” and
years before personal computers, digital recorders, closed-circuit TV
and the internet, Orwell foresaw a society where the government –
it's placement and use technology like ubiquitous video
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.
disagree on both points.
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.
second place I disagree is the actual point of this article. The
government isn't putting tons of technology in place all over the
keep track of us. They don't have to.
up, people. We're
doing it to ourselves.
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
Need to know someone's political and social leanings? Just
Many people even put their most personal thoughts and schemes into
on-line diaries. Now that's a good way to protect your privacy.
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 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
government already has more tools than it knows how to – or is
willing to use. According to Larry M. Elkin: Business Insider, Oct 9,
“...I think the risk of large-scale government abuse of enhanced
tools is pretty low. If the rules are implemented, law
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”
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
surveillance camera. Then pay attention to all the very
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?
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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