The Road to Big Brother

brothke writes “In The Road to Big Brother: One Man’s Struggle Against the Surveillance Society, Ross Clark journals his struggles to avoid the myriad CCTV cameras in his native England. That’s difficult given the millions of cameras in public locations there. Before going forward, the use of the term ‘Big Brother’ in both the title and throughout the book is erroneous. Big Brother has its roots in George Orwell’s novel 1984 and refers to an omnipresent, seemingly benevolent figure representing the oppressive control over individual lives exerted by an authoritarian government. The term has been misappropriated to describe everything from legitimate crime-fighting, to surveillance cameras, to corporate e-mail and network usage monitoring. Localities that deploy CCTV cameras in public thoroughfares in the hope of combating crime are in no way indicative of the oppressive control of Orwell’s Big Brother. Should we be concerned that such a scenario play itself out in Ross Clark’s UK or in the US? Likely no, as US government agencies are widely decentralized and isolated. Just getting the networks within a single federal agency unified is a daunting task; getting all of the agencies to have a single unified data sharing mechanism is a pipe-dream. Look at it this way: the US Department of Defense has more networks than some countries have computers.” Read below for the rest of Ben’s review.

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