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[FYI] Not just Big Brother - we're all watching you


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                 (The weekly technology and science download from
                 Electronic Telegraph) Text-only version Thursday 10
                 June 1999 

                 Not just Big Brother - we're
                 all watching you

                 Information technology and poor legislation
                 have brought Big Brother to life, says Simon

                 FIFTY years ago this week, a bizarre and terrifying
                 new novel went on sale in bookshops across the world.
                 George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four caught the
                 imagination of millions, and in the process
                 catapaulted "Big Brother" into the international
                 lexicon. For socialists and libetarians alike, the
                 phrase became short-hand for the power of the state,
                 and the fear of intrusion by authority.

                 For the digital generation, large computer systems
                 have begun to represent the all-seeing, all-knowing
                 Big Brother. An adult in the developed world is
                 located, on average, in 300 databases. As these
                 converge with the telecommunications spectrum, nearly
                 everyone becomes entangled in a web of surveillance
                 enveloping everything from bank accounts to email.


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