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George Orwell’s 1984 And The Nsa

890 words - 4 pages

Mass surveillance is a word that has been thrown around every so often in the last few decades, especially ever since George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four. Although this book was released over 60 years ago, some aspects of the book are seeming to become true in the United States, and other parts of the world today. The idea of mass surveillance isn’t so taboo anymore, as there are several programs ran by sovereign countries around the world which monitor their domestic citizens, as well as citizens and leaders of other foreign countries. With all of our technological communication advances since 1949, this age of information is only going to get more severe, and more tracking and monitoring will be done. The biggest offender of doing this is the NSA, shortened for National Security Agency. The NSA is an organization that was made by the US Government to monitor intelligence, and collect, translate and decode information. What’s important about the NSA, is that this most recent summer, a program named PRISM was revealed by a whistleblower, and in summary, PRISM monitors everything it can, including our own citizens in the United States. This “scandal” had a lot of air time for many months, and is still in the news today. The revelation of what the NSA is doing behind our backs is what made the basis of this essay, and made me think of how similar this entire situation is to Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a novel which was released in 1949, and has had massive success, reaching best-sellers list on popular websites like Amazon, among others. Nineteen Eighty-Four is considered a classic among many of those same websites (Amazon, 2013), and although George Orwell may not have received many awards for it, Nineteen Eighty-Four will be considered one of the greatest literary works of all time to many and remain a household name for years to come. So, how does PRISM relate to the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four?
If you haven’t read the novel, or read any reviews on it, I will give you a brief summary of what happens and what popular concepts came to light and are now used today. Nineteen Eighty-Four takes place in the year 1984, in a dystopian state (“an imaginary place or state in which the condition of life is extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression, or terror” (My Free Dictionary)), named Oceania. In this state, the people are always monitored by an all seeing, omniscient leader named Big Brother. The main protagonists name is Winston Smith, and he is a low-ranking member...

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