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.