All seeing eye
Is there any doubt domestically, we're becoming the United States of Surveillance, though cloaked in the guise of protecting the people? Examples proliferate.
Of course that is readily apparent at the nation's airports with the TSA screening all passengers. But surveillance cameras are popping up everywhere often hidden as an easy means to nab offending motorists and one supposes to free up police for other law enforcement duties.
Sure a case can be made for cameras at school crossings and road construction sites to protect kids and construction workers. EZ passes are supposed to ease travel at toll booth interchanges and new toll roads have no toll booths but just take a picture of a vehicles license plate and then commuters are billed using motor vehicle registration records.
But all these "conveniences" are also a means of monitoring people's movement.
Cell phone use is easily monitored. The internet has opened up new vistas of learning but also easy access to governmental snooping. It's well known the communications industry has provided the government access to cell phone records. Is there anyone out there still believing their cell phone calls aren't monitored or the online connection to the internet isn't being data mined by NSA type snooping?
All credit card transactions are tracked by the merchandisers for their benign purposes but also for the government to potentially keep tabs on our movement.
GPS devices may provide the correct route and keep people from getting lost but (you get the idea?) also a means of tracking and monitoring our movement.
If FICA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) rules of warrantless wiretapping are easily evaded and we've learned the NSA during the Bush years monitored American citizens calls, do we believe this monitoring has ended?
Throw in the draconian NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) signed into law by President Obama on December 31, 2011 whereby he can authorize the military to hold anyone, including American citizens indefinitely without charges and due process (to say nothing of the president's "kill lists" targeting anyone, anywhere for assassination), are we not on the road to totalitarianism, again cloaked in the guise of protecting the people, defending the nation AND all made "legal" by Justice Department memos but kept secret for reasons of national security?
Looking back in Nixon's day (quaint compared to today's standards) he had his "enemies list" compiled and monitored using illegal phone taps and petty break-ins. But that was during electronic technology's infancy.
With today's advanced satellite technology and monitoring ability George Orwell's prescient "1984" fictional novel has become all too real.
Many people in the U.S. appear to be oblivious or unconcerned to the insidious nature to which they are being monitored.
In the bad old Soviet Union the people knew the "enemy" and didn't say anything publically for fear of being sent to the Gulag.
We in the U.S. seem more like the Jews in 1933 Germany who didn't believe Hitler and his Nazi henchmen would really target them. For many Jews Germany was a sophisticated, advanced industrial society that included them, a culture that spawned the likes of composers and philosophers, Mozart, Bach and Beethoven, Kant, Hegel and Goethe. That was before "Krystallnacht" in 1938 that broke their spell of disbelief and finally made them aware of what was really happening.