For the record: the omniscience offered by red-light cameras, or mall security cameras networked together and available to State agents upon demand, is horribly frightening, and yes, the general apathetic reaction to the surveillance state likely means it’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.
You feel like Big Brother’s watching. I just hope he is.
—Kim Gold, 48, Wilmington, DE resident. [Virtually Everywhere You Go… They’re Watching]
Ms. Gold, I think you need to re-read George Orwell’s 1984, or if you prefer, watch the movie. Because if you had even the faintest fucking understanding of what “Big Brother” actually is — the symbol of the omnipresent totalitarian State, where thought is crime, the end of human dignity and the death of liberty — I pray to whatever god you believe in, that you’d be singing a far different tune.
Apologetics and rationalizations, like those offered by Gold, or her fellow Wilmington resident Joann “If-you’re-not-doing-anything-wrong-you-don’t-have-anything-to-worry-about” Smagala, don’t rile me anymore. What I find most dreadful (and ironic) is not the degree to which most people apathetically accept these encroachments, but the degree to which they’ve been gone willingly with the program.
Multi-megapixel cameras tucked neatly inside cell phones and PDAs the likes of which would make Maxwell Smart go ga-ga, each containing a tracking device able to give more-or-less precise GPS location at practically any time, and each capable of keeping a more-or-less permanent record of our interpersonal communications, combined with all the transparency and openness of Teh Interweb (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) — hell…
“Big Brother” doesn’t need clandestine operatives to spy on the people, doesn’t need to install cameras on every street-corner, or televisions that watch us. We are already providing, for free and without question, far more information than we’d ever consider giving up if we thought we were really being watched.