Herald editorial on Big Brother

The NZ Herald editorial from yesterday discusses the advent of Big Brother.

What would George Orwell make of surveillance we live with today? The “Big Brother” of his novel?Nineteen Eighty-Four?was watching an entire population by mysterious means.

These days there is no mystery involved, and no state control of the cameras. Just about everybody is carrying one, and many are filming anything out of the ordinary they see.

News media are not complaining. Our cameras cannot be everywhere. Many an instant event that would have had to be reported without pictures in past years, is now almost certain to have been caught by someone’s smartphone, and quickly posted on the internet. Within minutes it may be shared around the world.

This may be less scary than an all-seeing state but it is just as pervasive.?

Cameras have proliferated today, on car dashboards and around private homes. Our report today says home surveillance systems have dropped in price to the point they can be found in an average house, and smartphones mean owners do not need to engage a monitoring company.

Declines in crime in many countries in recent years are probably attributable to this sort of technology.

Dashcams, we report, are not as popular but often bought by drivers who have been in or near a road accident and wished for evidence of what they had seen. Police are not exactly encouraging the trend because this sort of evidence, posted prematurely, can hinder more than help them.

But like them or not, the ubiquitous cameras are not going away. Be careful, you could be in the shot.

The left-wing, mostly, agitate against state surveillance, yet they happily buy iPhones and other smart phones. It isn’t the state you should be worried about, they have laws controlling what they can spy on. It is fellow citizens and tech companies that you should really be frightened of. The very tools that people use to exercise their rights to freedom of speech are actually spying on them, actively.

The phones have become spying devices, and are used by Facebook, Google, Apple and other big players to literally listen in on you. I know this is occurring because I was talking to a mate the other day who had been having coffee with someone and they were discussing a person, trying to remember who they were. During the discussion they mentioned their workplace. In the end he decided to Google the workplace to see if he could identify the person, but amazingly Google already had the details and Facebook and already identified who the person was they were talking about…without any direct input from either party. The only way this could have occurred is if the phone was actively listening.

Big Brother is here, and it wasn’t government that brought it to us. It was you and your mates.

I don’t suppose we will be seeing all those losers on Twitter who complain about spying by governments abandoning their smart phones anytime soon. It is actually hilarious to see people protest like that but use software and tools that are doing way more spying than any government will do to them.


-NZ Herald