1984 Final Essay: Privacy Is A Luxury Of The Past

1003 words - 5 pages

You’re being watched- everything you do is being recorded by the government. One might think the sentence before is referring to to a dystopian novel, such as 1984, only, it’s not. This is a startling truth of the twenty-first century. Along with rapidly advancing technology, the government is following the average American citizen closer. To the shock of the public in June 2013, Edward Snowden released information concerning a government programme, the National Security Agency, that has been listening in on virtually all phone conversation and viewing almost all internet activity(Gidda "Edward Snowden and the NSA files – timeline".)If Oceania had the technology that is available to society today, our world would parallel that of 1984.
Since 1948, technology has become extensively more high-tech. Unforeseen items such as the modern day computer, video game consoles, cellular telephones, and the internet have become realities. Prior to Edward Snowden, many were unaware that the government was tracking their every click and navigation. Not to mention every call, text, posting, and email. In June 8th, 2013, Snowden publicly released information on a tool that the National Security Agency uses to collect information on its citizens (Gidda "Edward Snowden and the NSA files – timeline"). This information is supposedly supposed to foil the plot of future terrorists, but even high government officials doubt its actually use. Instead of using the mass collection of data, obtaining a court order or warrant would align better with the wishes of the constitution on which the country is based (Elliot "Is the NSA Really Preventing Terrorist Attacks?".) For example, in the news six muslim men have even been allegated as terrorists because of their internet activities ("NSA spied on porn habits, HuffPo reports".)
So what does the National Security Agency do with the people that are flagged? In several cases, they may be placed on the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center master list. This also means that they cannot board any plane (Conger "How to Land on the Government Watch List".) “In 2008, the American Civil Liberties Union claimed that an Inspector General of the Department of Justice report found at least 700,000 individual names on the database maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigation sub-office ("Over 700,000 people on US watch list: Once you get on, there's no way off - RT USA"). ” Not much is needed to get onto this list, however, you just need to know how to do the paperwork correctly. In one case, a Middle Eastern family was pulled off of a Jetblue plane because their 18-month toddler was supposedly on the no-fly list, though it was just a mix up (Dolan "Muslim Baby Ordered Off Plane For Being On No Fly List".)

In George Orwell’s 1984, the government controls almost everything, and the people are constantly monitored. The technology is not only limited, but it doesn’t exist period. The...

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