Would you sacrifice your freedom for security?
If you are a senior at EPHS, you probably know about George Orwell’s novel, 1984. The novel was written in the 1940s and when people were reading it then, it was frightening. In 1984, people did not take the novel seriously as Orwell’s predictions did not come true. Today, twenty eight years later, the plot of the novel is provocative for all readers. 1984 does not stand simply for a date, but generally for the future.
The novel is about a totalitarian society in London. The people have absolutely no privacy and are constantly being watched by the government through large telescreens. The people honor Big Brother who is the head of the Party (the government). Emotions are not allowed, except for fear and the love of Big Brother. The government has so much control that the people are not even allowed to think for themselves.
Some seniors who are reading this book may be frightened by some of the things that are happening today that sound a lot like Orwell's predictions. For example, in EPHS we now have cameras on the first floor. Yes, they are there for our security and many people do not have a problem with them but the reality is we are being “watched.”
Google is a popular web service that has over 1 billion visitors each month. Does Google know exactly what 1 billion people are looking at on the internet every time they turn on a computer? How much does our government know? Is it for the safety of the country? It is a lot to think about.
According to recent news, the FBI is creating a new 'Biometric Database' which would eventually use facial recognition and iris scans to recognize people. They are also discussing data sharing between agencies.
Many people believe that if you have nothing to hide then you should not care about how much the government intervenes with your privacy. Privacy is privacy and everyone’s privacy should be respected. I suppose that time will tell if Orwell's predictions come true – but just remember that Big Brother MAY be watching.