26 May 2008

Funny what Technology has Created...

In 1948, George Orwell wrote a book; the book was called 1984, and it basically looked a few decades into the future, to a time when totalitarian governments started monitoring people, placing huge two-way TV screens in the streets and in their houses, and informants everywhere else, to make sure everyone conforms to a specific system of doing things, and to 'worship' authority. A total system of censorship, no one could speak bad of the government, and images, posters, books and publications were all edited to appear in a certain way. Surveillance was supreme, to ensure everyone adapted and followed the system.

The book was a huge hit around the world, and was even considered as one of the top 100 English books of all time. As the year 1984 got closer, people started getting more and more worried of the 'prophecy' coming true. The year 1984 however, came to be and passed, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

Perhaps Orwell just got the date wrong. Take a look at this:

UK Plans To Store Details of Every Phone Call, Email and Web Page Visited by British Citizens
May 20, 2008

The Home Office will create a database to store the details of every phone call made, every email sent and every web page visited by British citizens in the previous year under plans currently under discussion, it has emerged.

The Government wants to create the system to fight terrorism and crime. The police and security services believe it will make it easier to access important data as communications become more complex.

Telecoms firms and internet service providers (ISPs) have already been approached by the Home Office, which would be given customer records if the plans were realized.

Link to Article

Scary stuff; in a world where everyone's personal privacy is being invaded, and where your government can know everything there is to know about you at any time, what freedoms does that leave us with? And this is the UK; for so long we have actually looked at them as a beacon of light in comparison to our human rights issues in this country, but somehow their modern living standards are being contested. Perhaps the UK is becoming the surveillance society George predicted; besides their new legistlation, they currently have over 4.2 million CCTV camera's sprinkled around the country. That's one for every 14 people, and so whether you like it or not, you're almost always being watched.

Let's see how this plays out over the next few weeks.


Dr. Shale bin Agnon, Ph.D. said...

The UK have been doing the likes of that for years. They had a phone monitoring service that watched out for things like 'bomb', and 'IRA'. The building that was used in the movie based on 1984 is in London. Britain is not a republic.

Abid said...

Is that a real poster???

It says "In suspicion we trust".

Might as well put:
(Also from 1984).

Zhu said...

The longer I live in North America, the more I quote from 1984. Everything, from the "newspeak" to the rules are relevant.

Scary yeah. Especially that we get used to it little by little.

flymenian said...

Scary stuff! Tell me about it, But by the way it is not a new plan to monitor each and everybody's moves, words, or in general (behavior). The Big Brother didn't start in our last century but it has started ages ago almost with the start of civilization .

Think about it humans have tried to control each others behavior through so many way such ethic, manners, and even religion was a way to control people I'm not trying to say that ethic, manners are bad or even religion is not bad but if you use it in the wrong way.

As in control the way people walk talk or do things some silly matters but the mind always questions like for example not to walk under a ladder, not to eat with the knife, not to trim you nails at night, and so many things.

Now the easiest way for governments to control us is by actually watching us. think about it (the all seeing eye) does that sound like something you know maybe.

I hate the fact that someone out there knows everything about me even how many times I walk in the toilet but Big Brother thinks it is for the best interest.

Qute said...

Thats very interesting and true...

Now in the US they want to create this chip that can go with your credit or cell phone so that it can know where you are at all times when you move around.. So when you enter a shop for example a wireless detector detects where you are even if you dont use the phone or the credit... it is denflty the world of 1984 from Goerge Orwell.. Politically and intellectually...The Media and pple with tthe doublethought and also this life ''scanning''

KJ said...

You should also read Aldos Huxley's "Brave New World". It is similar to 1984 in concept but deals with different issues (basically drugs, sex and racism). I was freaked out to know that the book is a 100 years old and the author predicted things so well.

Looking at things closely, it is a spiral, this war between citizens and governments. If citizens didn't terrorize and steal and had criminal minds, governments wouldn't put tabs on them... but when governments put tabs and censor, it breeds worse generations of rebellious citizens because they just want out and don't know why they should suffer for their parent's mistakes... repeat cycle.

ammaro said...

shale; i know that. similar things have been used in the states too. surveillance is supreme. who said britain was a republic?

abid; its a scary poster huh?
not the poster itself, but what it implies

zhu; true. back in the 40's, when the novel was written, it all appeared extreme. however, with time, the small issues were thrown at you in bite size pieces,and you just take them for granted...

flymenian; good points. yes, i guess i do agree, humans are controlling in nature. the elite always try to force their way upon those lesser than them.

qute; oh, i have a million examples i can sit and talk about here...

KJ; i've been meaning to read that book for a while but never got around to it. i love the concept