Science Nonfiction

1109 Words5 Pages
You are being watched. Your phone calls are listened to, your internet usage is monitored, and almost everything you do is tracked. The technological invasion of privacy that takes place in 1984 by George Orwell is a realistic warning about life today, which can be supported by current technology, potential technology, and the real-life “Brotherhood” movements in the world today. Although not prevalent knowledge, the electronics portrayed in 1984 are already being used to violate civil rights in 2011. For example, in the United Kingdom, ironically where George Orwell lived, the BBC claims that there are currently over 4.2 million closed circuit television cameras – about one for every fourteen people. In a passage in the book, Winston explains that “It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of […] having something to hide” (62). While obviously there is no one barking at the citizens of the United Kingdom through these security cameras, the potential is still there as the number of cameras installed constantly increases. Another example of current technology similar to that of Oceania is RFID, or radio-frequency identification, which is currently implemented in passports, transportation payments, and credit cards, among other devices. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, these small chips can be scanned from more than 69 feet away, and besides being used by the government, they can reveal personal information to anyone who breaks through the weak security. In 1984, Winston Smith fears that he will be tracked and cau... ... middle of paper ... ...of speech. They have been associated with acts such as “Operation Payback”, where attacks on anti-piracy websites were launched, as well as various operations in which they delivered materials to and supported revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East. Unarguably, the “Brotherhood” described in George Orwell's 1984 wasn't simply a foreshadowing but a true prediction of the state of the world in 2011. The society pictured in 1984 was incontrovertibly an omen. Taking into account today's unconstitutional electronics in use, the Orwellian technology in development, and even the genuine Brotherhoods, it is clear that George Orwell's prophecies published in 1984 have already begun. Ultimately, although 1984 was written as a fictional novel, the technological reflection in existence today provides evidence that Orwell's story has elements of prophetical nonfiction.

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