Tuesday, February 14, 2006

1984 took a little longer than expected

I ran across the following three articles within about two minutes of each other, and the headline above is the first thing that came to mind. (All three came to me via "Wren's Nest Spirit News", which generally includes a lot of interesting articles. I'm quoting a small subset of what she quoted.)

"E-Tracking Through Your Cell Phone" (from CNet)
You may already know this, but your cell phone happens to be a miniature tracking device that can be used to monitor your location from afar. [. . .]

But the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice have seized on the ability to locate a cellular customer and are using it to track Americans' whereabouts surreptitiously--even when there's no evidence of wrongdoing.
(The government says "Trust us; we'll only do it to bad people. We promise.")

Next, we have
"US Group Implants Electronic Tags In Workers": (From the Financial Times)
An Ohio company has embedded silicon chips in two of its employees - the first known case in which US workers have been 'tagged' electronically as a way of identifying them.
(The company explains there's nothing wrong with this--why, it's just like an ID card. A permanent, surgically implanted ID card that lets people track you surreptitiously.)

Finally, after both of these is the following story, which may explain why I don't feel an overwhelming sense of trust about the first two stories:
"Mere Mention Of Violent Talk Brings Silence" (From The Albuquerque Tribune)
I would have told Laura Berg that, until she came along, I hadn't heard the word sedition since journalism school. [. . .]

I would have asked her if the guys who took possession of her work computer not only peeped all around it, but maybe left a little something inside it. In a memo, her lawyers say, the VA said it suspected her of committing an act of sedition. [...]

I would have said all of that and more, but these days, Berg isn't talking. Not after her employer of 15 years, the Veterans Affairs Hospital, took offense at a letter to the editor in which she sharply criticized the Bush administration.
That's all I have to say about that for the moment.

No comments: