by Rick Bretz
George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, published in 1949, has been reestablished as the go-to book for all things wrong with government privacy invasion and society’s ills. With government-funded security professionals scrutinizing some or all of the internet usage and phone conversations that are happening today, it does reflect the worst themes of 1984. Of course it is more complicated than the government watching over people. September 11, 2001, showed us that proper vigilance can go a long way toward keeping people safe from terrorists who want to prove a point by killing innocent people. Orwell’s novel remains a commentary on communist practices in the Soviet Union and modern relationships between governments, media and citizens throughout the world.
Some of the themes of 1984, nevertheless, seem to be blanketing our society as we live and work carrying our information devices. Smart Phone and internet monitoring are instances of privacy concerns. In spite of this fact, millions of people publicize their every move on Facebook, Twitter and any other social media. This fact makes it difficult to take the side of a person wronged by the invasion of privacy. People want privacy only on their terms. Like the movie star or celebrity who craves success but doesn’t want the paparazzi baggage that comes with it. If you want safety and security and still need your family and friends to know about last night’s pizza party, you have to compromise a little, maybe a lot.
Below is a 1984 to present comparison.
|Invasion of Privacy-1984————————2014>||Phone Surveillance, internet tracking|
|Constant Surveillance1984———————2014>||GPS Trackers in Vehicles, Cameras on Streets and at traffic lights. Aerial Surveillance|
|Torture (Room 101)-1984———————–2014>||Pick a country|
|Double Think-1984——————————2014>||Advertising, college professors|
Cult of personality1984————————-2014>
|World Leaders, celebrities, musicians, talk show hosts, and televangelist|
|Tele-screens (two-way Monitors)-1984——2014>||Overhead surveillance, street cameras, two-way camera software|
|Class System (Proles, Outer Party)-1984——-2014>||The 1 Percent, Poor, Working Class, Blue Collar, Middle Class, the Power Elite, Educated Elite, Fortune 500 CEOs, Government Officials (Elected and Appointed)|
|News Speak-1984——————————-2014>||Affordable Healthcare Act, (government catchphrases used as titles for legislation)|
|Ministry of Plenty (Food Supply)-1984———-2014>||Rising Oil Prices, Government Regulation, Inflation|
|Ministry of Peace (War)-1984——————-2014>||World Leaders and Defense Ministers|
|Ministry of Truth (News)-1984——————2014>||CEOs and managing editors of news organizations dictate the headlines and stories seen by consumers. Federal Communications Commission. Advertisers|
|Ministry of Love (Dissidents)-1984————-2014>||Whistle blowers usually pay a price|
|Poverty, Vices-1984—————————–2014>||Making vices like alcohol and drugs (marijuana) available control the public and provide needed revenue.|
|Censorship-1984——————————–2014>||If a show or story does not please a power player, they have monetary and power influences to make it disappear.|
|Controlling the Middle Class-1984—————2014>||Taxes, regulations and travel restrictions or religious and government organizations (Republican and Democratic Parties)|
There are many ways to track a person today. It would be difficult to get lost when the hunter really wants to find you. Let me count the ways: GPS Device, Car Computers, Credit Cards, Smart Phone, Home Phone, Social Security Number, Driver’s License, Aerial Reconnaissance, Drones, and Toll Roads just to name a few.
Cars today have what is called a “Breaking Coach.” It tells you that you have driving skills. Don’t kid yourself. It is a way to determine how safe our driving habits are in case we are in an accident. Insurance companies and law enforcement officials really want to know this.
Your MAC (Media Access Control) address is a unique set of digits that identifies your particular computer or Network Interface Card, and with the IP (Internet Protocol) address, can determine your internet history. It’s a digital signature.
When you drive through a toll booth, a camera records your drive through and your license plate and if you have a toll sticker on your window it identifies that too.
Officials in several states are studying the feasibility of adding hardware to vehicles to track the number of miles a car travels on the highway to determine a road tax.
And the hits just keep on coming.