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Big Brother By Proxy – Was Orwell Just 25 Years Early

Big Brother By Proxy – Was Orwell Just 25 Years Early?

In 1984, the Orwellian version of the future depicts a world under the governmental control of ‘Big Brother’. Privacy doesn’t exist and cameras everywhere, record every aspect of life. Some would say that, Mr Orwell wasn’t far off the mark. In the UK these days CC TV cameras seem to adorn every street corner and in the US the implementation of some aspects of the Patriot Act, have constitutional attorneys in a frenzy as IV Amendment right seem to be continuously eroded.
In simple language, well lets quote it to be sure, the IV Amendment to the constitution of the USA states,
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Its limitation of government to invade the privacy of the individual was its main purpose, but it seems in todays uncertain world and at the first sign of trouble, 9/11 in this case, it is this very privacy that the government seems willing to erode. The fact that it is the fourth amendment should give us some idea as to the weight that the fore-fathers attached to it and to let its erosion under the guise of threat from terrorists and paedophiles, pass without a fight, would do all, who find comfort in their constitutional rights, a major injustice.
Orwell, who died in 1950, could not have conceived of the computer age that was to come. He did however, come quite close to realizing the scenario now envisaged with the advent of Real Ids and biometric data storage, in which we are all able to be monitored, in all that we do.
As with the Patriot Act, fear has been the tactic to allow these rights to be eroded. In the recent film ‘Untraceable’ featuring Diane Lane, we are given a nightmare scenario, where a serial killer, tortures his victims online and cannot be caught because his location cannot be traced by the authorities. The paranoid among us would see this as just another subliminal message that it is alright to have your computer data available to the government agencies..so they can see what you are doing.
Some states are already considering a ban on the use of proxies, or proxy servers which allow you to effectively hide your identity and location from prying eyes. The Department of Justice has already had talks with the large I.S.P. provider, including Google, to discuss ways of making stored information available for scrutiny. You must remember that the IV amendment only protects you from government search. This means that if Google were to hold your browsing history in storage, it would only take a warrant between the D.O.J. and Google for them to be able to look into your life without you even being able to challenge it.
The use of anonymous proxy can have some drawbacks and the most important thing is to be sure in who you entrust to act for you. As you are effectively routing your server requests through a third party operator, beware of unscrupulous proxy providers who could use your information for illegal purposes.
With this out of the way, it is then possible to maintain your right to privacy. Something you would think that should be free as intended under the constitution. But remember, the constitution was formed by struggle and individual sacrifice and as Thomas Jefferson said, “The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time…”
Maybe that time is upon us again!

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