Big Brother 20 years late, but here now!

Contributed by David John Weaver

When George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty Four, he warned of a world of government control over every aspect of our lives. He modeled his fictitious world on the Communist societies of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the People’s Republic of China. He warned us to be vigilant and to keep an eye out for government intrusion into our lives.

During the Nineteen Eighties, Ronald Regan beat the pulp out of the USSR without a shot; he invested in better technology like the M-1 tank, the AH-64 attack helicopter, and the Star Wars missile defense. Each of these systems was designed to defeat tens of Russian counterparts since we could not compete with them in numbers alone. We NEVER thought that George Orwell’s vision was going to happen. Nineteen Eighty Four came and went without event.

Here we are twenty five years past 1984. We have survived 9/11. We have a Patriot Act that allows the government to listen in on anyone without a warrant. It also allows the government to hold people indefinitely. Last time I checked unreasonable search and seizure is unconstitutional and so is indefinite incarceration without trial; Fourth and Six Amendments to the Constitution.

Now, we have a proposed Internet Kill Switch! This proposed law would allow the President to shut off the Internet in the United States for up to 120 days. This sounds necessary to protect us from cyber attacks and hacking by foreign powers and enemies of state, but it also prevents texting, instant messaging, emailing, blogging, etc. In other words, it prevents First Amendment protected communication.

You may ask yourselves, ”who cares”? You might say, ”if the President needs to shut off the net, let him”. Just remember the Founding Fathers included this ”Inalienable Rights” for a reason. King George of England violated all of them. His army would search without cause. They would silence voices of freedom. They shut down printing presses. They would hold ”enemies of the state” indefinitely.

Remember Benjamin Franklin’s words, “Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security”.

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2 Comments to “Big Brother 20 years late, but here now!”

  1. I thnk George Orwell’s biggest mistake was naming the book “1984” ~ had he named it something like “The Not Too Distant Future” or something similar, people would still be reading it ~ and would still be on guard against it.

  2. I know “1984” is far better known but I think the story that best illustrates the world we are headed toward is EM Foster’s 1928 short story “The Machine Stops.” It is absolutely fascinating that decades before TV – or even Al Gore – he had already conceived of the Internet and the virtual lives we might be living as a result. Take the time to read it and you will never look at Facebook the same way.

    Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Machine_Stops

    The story: http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/prajlich/forster.html

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