If anybody believes that they have the slightest privacy in this electronic age they are totally deluded. Some police forces have number plate detection cameras atop their cars that record every vehicle they pass such that everywhere that vehicle has been for years, and presumably that vehicle’s owner in most cases, can be extracted from a database.
Our smart phones enable enough data about our movements, history, life preferences and politics to be grabbed by governments and companies to fill volumes. Numbers of shopping centres round the world are dipping into data from such phones and sending it who knows where? Much of the data ends up in the USA where they maybe some constitutional protections for its own citizens but none for the rest of us.
If that isn’t enough our use of Facebook etc. gives governments even more information about ourselves to fill in any gaps in their knowledge. Doubtless, my views expressed in this blog have been collected somewhere by various government authorities. However, I am probably too insignificant for them to be bothered by them.
Edward Snowden’s revelations caused considerable protest against US spying by governments in Europe and elsewhere. Unsurprisingly, the Australian government along with both major political parties said nothing. It just hoped that the public would forget about it quickly.
Unfortunately, democracy is only as good as its Lowest Common Denominator. That translates as “democratic governments reflect the values and attitudes of the lowest level of their citizens where that lowest level boasts large numbers.”
It would seem certain that power brokers of our planet will destroy the environment and any semblence of a decent society at the same time as politically destroying the last vestiges of human freedom. In his vision of the future the only thing that George Orwell got wrong was the date!
As more information comes from Edward Snowden’s leaks of NSA documents it is apparent that he is the hero of the hour. It is blatantly obvious that there is little privacy in the modern world as it is but it seems that the USA and other powers will stop at nothing until they have a created a world with no freedom, no rights and no joy. They aim to create a world such as that portrayed in George Orwell’s novel, ‘1984.’ It would seem that Orwell was on the right track and only estimated the date wrongly. The coming world will much more resemble ‘1984’ than Aldous Huxley’s portrayed one in ‘Brave New World’ as in the latter one at least the populace were given drugs to keep them content. Our world wants to tax or remove any chemical help and leave control by terror.
Edward Snowden is leading the charge in the fight against this future, along with Julian Assange and Bradley Manning.
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Privacy, Freedom and Security?
Since the recent whistle-blowing of Edward Snowden there has been a huge interest in the USA and elsewhere on the questions of Privacy, Freedom and Security and the price for each. The fact that these questions are even being asked reflects poorly on the intelligence and education of the common man. Privacy, Freedom and Security are all very relative concepts. In absolute terms there is no real freedom in the world and never has been. The freedom of everyone of us has always been constrained by natural limitations and the freedoms of others. Our freedom is always limited by the freedom of others. No-one and nothing is ever really free!
As to Security, no-one and nothing is ever really secure and never has been. We can all be struck down at any moment by a huge number of unpleasant possibilities. It is very relative. The question is the possibility of disaster v the probability of the same. This is the area of security v relative freedom trade-offs.
As to Privacy, that may once have existed to a considerable extent but anyone in the modern world who believes that we have any serious degree of privacy is a fool. It is possible to find out almost anything about anyone. Many politicians and famous people have learned this to their detriment. It was different in the times of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. In the contemporary world the technological sophistication of spying techniques is such that none of us have any real privacy anyway. At present, at least our thoughts are private but how long that will last is anyone’s guess. It may well be that George Orwell merely got the date wrong in his novel, “1984.”