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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Who Invited Big Brother Over?
Wednesday, July 19, 2006

We as Americans have always been very aware of the Big Brother concept, the idea that the government is far less concerned with watching out for us and far more concerned with simply watching us. The Patriot Act and government phone taps are at the tips of everyone’s tongues when people start talking about the invasion of civil liberties in the U.S., but how much of that invasion are we bringing on ourselves? From Blackberries that have us checking our email everywhere, to cell phone headsets that have drivers looking like AT&T operators, we as a people are becoming little online servers with arms, legs, and occasionally personal lives. With every cord that we plug in and every wireless device we sync up to, however, we give people the opportunity to look at what we’re doing. Spying on us has never been so easy.

It was only a handful of months ago that Paris Hilton’s Sidekick was hacked into, revealing a massive phone list and quite a few interesting photographs. If a hacker can do that to a celebrity what do you think the government can do to you? The answer is pretty simple: anything they want. We continue to embrace technology as resources for work, which they can be. They can also be incredible weights chaining us to our jobs, causing us to work significantly longer hours than any previous generation. The problem with the national, almost blind, embrace of new technology is that we rarely take a step back after saying “wow, that’s really cool” to think about the potential repercussions of what we’re suddenly lusting after. What negative affects can it have on our lives? How easily can people tap into it? How close to the government is the company that makes the product?

Less than a decade ago the vast majority of the country didn’t have a mobile phone, now not only does everyone have one, but a good percentage of those people feel that every phone call is so important that they don fairly ridiculous looking headsets while driving. Remember when we had answering machines and didn’t feel that missing a call was the end of the world? Over the course of the past decade we’ve been convinced that not only are all our calls important, but they all must be answered right away. It’s this line of thought that makes it so easy for us to be listened in on and traced and tapped. If you never get off your phone, if you never turn it off, it makes it all the more easier for a pro, and we all know anyone the government hires is a pro, to find their way into your life without you knowing it.

Over the past few years Blackberry’s have also become very popular. These little devices allow people to check their email from basically anywhere. Great, right? Yeah, sure if you’re really that busy and important a person, but the problem is most people are neither but they use the technology anyway. Millions of people are checking their email on their Blackberries, leaving themselves open to God knows what. Back in the day pirate radio stations existed because people took control of the airwaves, so who is to say this can’t, or isn’t, happening with the Blackberry technology? If the technology can be invented there’s going to be someone who can figure a way to take advantage of it.

Just as fast as new technologies are being discovered the government is looking for ways to exploit it for their wants and needs. This is true of Republican, Democrat, and any other kind of government. The American public is the government’s favorite reality TV show, and we’re the ones bringing the cameras into our own homes. For people who scream about civil liberties and not wanting to be watched we’re sure giving the government plenty of opportunities to peek in on our actions.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:40 AM  
  • At 9:58 AM, Blogger Ketchums said…

    Dope article, I enjoyed it. I have a Blackberry that I've grown very attached to haha, but your points were very well-taken.

    Check out my newest entry @ http://ketchums.blogspot.com, I think you'd enjoy it.

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