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“Paging Dr. Orwell…it’s 1984.”

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George Orwell’s seminal classic, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), paints a chilling picture of a future where the government ubiquitously monitors the private and public lives of the population….ummmm weird. Talk about life imitating art.

And when was that supposed to happen…1984? Well maybe Georgie got the date wrong, but we seem to be rapidly moving towards some pretty scary parallels, right?

It seems the great irony of the Internet age is as technology slingshots the global population towards each other, we’re now worried about just how to keep some things to ourselves. In just the last 7 days we’ve seen Facebook CEO Zuckerburg up before Congress debating how to protect our Halloween pictures, the WikiLeaks fiasco (fiasco being a huge understatement), and now a sovereign government tells the world a BlackBerry is; quote: ” a (threat) causing judicial, social and national security concerns.”blackberry1

National Security concerns? Strong language if you ask me. The UAE  (United Arab Emirates) stated the heart of it was the way: “(BlackBerry) handles data, which is encrypted and cannot be monitored for illegal activity”

Well…I’m sure not an expert on encrypted cell phone data, and definitely not an expert on national security matters, but I do know this is a critical issue, that requires a vigorous public debate. It would be naive of us to think that we don’t need some universal standards of privacy protection. We are all aware of the perils that exist in the digital space. But, it would be a even greater tragedy for our global citizenry to not take an active role in finding a solution. These are OUR lives, our children, our privacy, our safety.

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.
-John F. Kennedy
All my best,

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  • There was an interesting “comic” I read once and I went back and found it when I read this entry.

    http://www.recombinantrecords.net/docs/2009-05-Amusing-Ourselves-to-Death.html

    It’s an interesting way to look at it. George Orwell get’s the de facto credit when talking about bleak futuristic outlooks (mostly I think it’s name recognition, I mean 1984 is quite recognizable) but maybe the author of this is right, maybe Huxley had it closer.

    As is true for most things in life, each person takes what they want out of each lesson. There’s something to learn here what will you learn? For me it’s the power of the mind, value of independence (and I do mean on the personal level as well), and the importance of remembering and being who you are.

    Great post as always Jay. Sure keeps us thinking which is always good.