Will Big Brother be watching you?

By Dakota Phillips
August 28, 2013
Filed under Guest Viewpoints

The most appalling aspect of the nationwide spying by the NSA is how anticlimactic it is. Writer George Orwell created the dystopian image of a future brimming with government watch and surveillance, terrifying us all. The spying itself is not so oppressive, it’s simply out there like radio waves. We now live our lives constantly being watched.

NSA_Graphic1WIP

If you don’t have anything to hide, then you shouldn’t be worried. But if you do have something you need to keep undisclosed, you had better find some way to keep it hidden. Still, this new age of acceptance to spying didn’t redefine society. Yes, America has changed, but its citizens still maintain their liberty and power in society. No matter how much Uncle Sam sees us doing, he’ll still answer to us.

Despite all of the outrage, I’m disappointed by how anticlimactic everything turned out to be. I was convinced Orwellian nightmares would have fueled mass riots the minute nationwide spying was officially confirmed. It causes one to lose faith in anti-government sentiment when intrusion is answered with nothing. What’s the point in distrusting the government when all that means is whining about it on message boards?

But what’s most disturbing is how widespread it is. It isn’t just throughout America, it’s bleeding over into other countries. We live on the precipice of America having the single largest concentration of data from around the world. The technology exists and is being utilized for “the greater good,” or whatever that means these days. The justification of this choice of action may just be a glimpse of what we’re willing to condone in order to feel safe.

Perhaps Orwell wasn’t wrong after all. There very well may be a day where we all agree that the best protection of freedom is to abolish freedom. I don’t believe that it is possible overnight, nor do I hope for it to come to pass. I just sense that there is not enough forethought put into decisions that affect so many; decisions which may affect the whole world.

It’s no secret that America plays a big role in international policy, and if people are willing to let go of enough personal liberty to have a sense of safety, then there’s the possibility of a world like “1984.” Things like political correctness pave the way for newspeak, punishment under the Patriot Act allowing Room 101, online opinions betraying thought crimes and the NSA being Big Brother.

However, this future is just as possible as you becoming president: possible but unlikely. We live in a state of perpetual adjustment where little changes occur right under our noses and sink in. If the day comes where there is a true Big Brother, we will not think of it as evil but as the normal state of affairs.

The takeaway from this is to pay attention to what changes go on around you and learn to live your life around it. Remember that there is learning, there is understanding and there is acceptance.

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