It wasn’t the prospect of an all-seeing, all-knowing Big Brother like dictator, as envisaged by George Orwell in his novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, that we had to worry about when it came to the sanctity of our privacy… rather it is our own family, friends, and even ourselves, who through the likes of smartphone cameras and social media, are to thank for the increasing public surveillance we are now subject to.
As the Internet proves every day, it isn’t some stern and monolithic Big Brother that we have to reckon with as we go about our daily lives, it’s a vast cohort of prankish Little Brothers equipped with devices that Orwell, writing 60 years ago, never dreamed of and who are loyal to no organized authority. The invasion of privacy – of others’ privacy but also our own, as we turn our lenses on ourselves in the quest for attention by any means – has been democratized.
How relevant does George Orwell’s classic novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which depicts a bleak dystopian future for humanity, remain 60 years after its publication?
The Competitive Enterprise Institute, which opposes increased regulation, used the anniversary to put out a press release arguing that “the crusade for global governance led by environmental activist groups in the name of combating global warming” represents a 1984-style threat to personal freedom today. The CEI has released a video clip based on the famous 1984-themed Apple Computer ad in which Al Gore appears as Big Brother lecturing a zombie-like captive audience in gray uniforms on the perils of global warming.
Are Botnets Run by Spy Agencies?
In other words is Big Brother indeed watching?
But consider this – having remote control of millions of PCs, and a large percentage of the world’s PCs seems like a very tempting target for the world’s various intelligence agencies. Most zombies are used for external purposes, but it would be easy to have them searching their own disk drives for interesting documents, and sniffing their own LANs for interesting unencrypted LAN traffic, or using their internal state to get past firewalls.
NSW Police ask public to be cameraphone cops
Never mind Big Brother watching you, now everyone will be watching you.
NSW Police Minister, David Campbell, has revealed details of a new project encouraging citizens to capture video and photographic evidence of crimes on their phones and upload it securely over the Web to law enforcement agencies.
Microsoft seeks patent for office ‘spy’ software.
Microsoft is apparently seeking to patent new software that sounds a lot like something out of a science fiction story…
The system would allow managers to monitor employees’ performance by measuring their heart rate, body temperature, movement, facial expression and blood pressure. Unions said they fear that employees could be dismissed on the basis of a computer’s assessment of their physiological state.
It sounds like more medical software. Perhaps it would actually be better deployed in a hospital?