“(O)stensibly the leader of Oceania, a totalitarian state
wherein the ruling party Ingsoc wields total power ‘for its own sake’ over the
“In the society that Orwell describes, every citizen is under
constant surveillance by the authorities, mainly by telescreens.…The people are
constantly reminded of this by the slogan ‘Big Brother is watching you’: a
maxim that is ubiquitously on display.
“In modern culture, the term ‘Big Brother’ has entered the
lexicon as a synonym for abuse of government power, particularly in respect to
civil liberties, often specifically related to mass surveillance.”
As brilliant as Orwell was, something continuously struck me as
incorrect as I read 1984.
Orwell’s government – was extraordinarily competent in its
totalitarian imposition of technological power.
In Reality – no government in the history of man has ever been
even remotely close to that competent.
For Orwell’s Big Brother dystopia to become Reality – Big
Government would need private sector help.
Enter private sector Big Tech.
Big Tech has delivered much of the technology Orwell
envisioned. As but one of many examples – Orwell’s telescreens:
“(D)evices that operate as televisions, security cameras, and
microphones….(T)elescreens are used by the ruling Party in the totalitarian
fictional State of Oceania to keep its subjects under constant surveillance,
thus eliminating the chance of secret conspiracies against Oceania.”
“The study found that digital assistants (Google Home and Amazon
Echo) can be ‘awake’ even when users think they aren’t listening….
“(T)he devices listen all the time they are turned on – and
Amazon has envisioned Alexa using that information to build profiles on anyone
in the room….
“Amazon filed a patent application for an algorithm that would
let future versions of the device identify statements of interest, such as ‘I
love skiing’, enabling the speaker to be monitored based on their interests and
targeted for related advertising.
“A Google patent application describes using a future release of
it smart Home system to monitor and control everything from screen time and
hygiene habits, to meal and travel schedules and other activities.
“The devices are envisioned as part of a surveillance web in the
home to chart a families’ patterns….”
These four spying companies – are currently worth a combined
$3.7 trillion. Our nation’s entire economy – is $19.4 trillion.
Which mans these four companies – all by themselves – are worth
19% of the United States.
But it’s Big Tech doing the spying – not Big Government.
Anyone who looks at Big Tech’s all-encompassing spying ability
and thinks Big Government is capable of doing anything remotely similar –
hasn’t paid attention to the past 10,000 years of human history.
The ONLY way Big Government can impose Big Brother – is to
partner with Big Tech.
“It first gained attention after the revelations of NSA whistleblower
Edward Snowden in 2013. Congress is in the process of weighing reforms for the
program. It must vote to renew Section 702 before the end of the year,
otherwise it will expire.
“The letter, addressed to the chairman of the House Judiciary
Committee, asks Congress to consider several reforms to the program to ensure
greater transparency and privacy protections.”
We can now officially refer to those – as the Good Old Days.
Why would Big Tech fight Big Government – when they can get paid
to join them?
And the Big Government-Big Tech surveillance state – is getting
closer and closer to home.
“Police departments across the country, from major cities like
Houston to towns with fewer than 30,000 people, have offered free or discounted
Ring doorbells to citizens, sometimes using taxpayer funds to pay for Amazon’s
“While Ring owners are supposed to have a choice on providing
police footage, in some giveaways, police require recipients to turn over
footage when requested….
“(T)he sheer number of cameras run by Amazon’s Ring business
raises questions about privacy involving both law enforcement and tech
giants….(C)ritics have pointed out the retail giant’s (other) ventures with law
enforcement, like offering facial recognition tools….
“More than 50 local police departments across the US have
partnered with Ring over the last two years, lauding how the Amazon-owned
product allows them to access security footage in areas that typically don’t
have cameras — on suburban doorsteps….
“‘What we have here is a perfect marriage between law
enforcement and one of the world’s biggest companies creating conditions for a
society that few people would want to be a part of,’ said Mohammad Tajsar,
staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California.”
“If you want evidence that US intelligence agencies aren’t
losing surveillance abilities because of the rising use of encryption by tech
companies, look no further than the testimony…by the (then) director of
national intelligence, James Clapper….
“Clapper made clear that the internet of things – the many
devices like thermostats, cameras and other appliances that are increasingly
connected to the internet – are providing ample opportunity for intelligence
agencies to spy on targets, and possibly the masses. And it’s a danger that
many consumers who buy these products may be wholly unaware of….
“Privacy advocates have known about the potential for government
to exploit the internet of things for years. Law enforcement agencies have
taken notice too, increasingly serving court orders on companies for data they
keep that citizens might not even know they are transmitting. Police have
already been asking Google-owned company Dropcam for footage from cameras
inside people’s homes meant to keep an eye on their kids.”
Orwell got the tech right – just not Big Government’s ability to
create it for totalitarian ends.
Freedom has allowed for the free markets – that allowed the rise
of the private sector Big Tech Orwell thought Big Government would produce.
And now Big Tech and Big Government are partnering – to end that
Well…for we plebeians, anyway.
I’m sure Big Tech and Big Government will be just fine.
World’s 1st remote brain surgery via 5G network performed in China Published time: 17 Mar, 2019 13:12 · A Chinese surgeon has performed the world’s first remote brain surgery using 5G technology, with the patient 3,000km away from the operating doctor. Dr. Ling Zhipei remotely implanted a neurostimulator into his patient’s brain on Saturday, Chinese state-run media reports . The surgeon manipulated the instruments in the Beijing-based PLAGH hospital from a clinic subsidiary on the southern Hainan island, located 3,000km away. The surgery is said to have lasted three hours and ended successfully. The patient, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, is said to be feeling well after the pioneering operation. The doctor used a computer connected to the next-generation 5G network developed by Chinese tech giant Huawei. The new device enabled a near real-time connection, according to Dr. Ling. “You barely feel that the patient is 3,000 kilometers away,” he said.
From Amazon to Wal-Mart, digital retail is producing more jobs and higher pay Written by Mitchell Schnurman, Business columnist May 30, 2017 Retail trade is one of the biggest job sectors in America, and the vast majority of those workers still clock in at brick-and-mortar stores. But the big growth is coming from e-commerce, which happens to pay a lot better, too. This is a promising development for retail workers who worry about thousands of store closings and the march of automation. E-commerce also offers a potential antidote to years of low productivity growth and income stagnation. “If this new pattern continues, it will raise real wages across the economy and rejuvenate the middle class,” said a report by economist Michael Mandel of the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington. By his definition, e-commerce includes online shopping, mail order and warehousing. That’s a more expansive category than usual and was created to capture the growth in what M
Too Much Power to the People? A Food Safety Site Tests the Limits Several national chain restaurants have been the target of complaints on IWasPoisoned.com since the site began in 2009. By KEVIN ROOSE FEB. 13, 2018 Dan Laptev, an electronics analyst, was making his way through the Charlotte, N.C., airport this month when he stopped at Starbucks for a light dinner — a ham-and-cheese sandwich and a cup of hot chocolate. He ate, drank, boarded his flight and got home. And that’s when the trouble started. Mr. Laptev spent much of that night hunched over the toilet with a violently upset stomach. Suspecting his Starbucks meal as the source of his ills, he sent a complaint through the company’s website, but got only an automated form email back. So he did the next best thing: He logged on to his computer and went to IWasPoisoned.com, a website that allows users to post reports of food poisoning, and submitted his saga. “I wanted to let people know to stop eating at Star