Has 1984 arrived?

Jason Kottke in Always on edge comments that Dan Gilmour's piece, Why we may never regain the liberties that we've lost, represents the arrival of the Orwellian society. Certainly the threat of terrorism hangs over "Oceania" and allied states like at no time before and it seems that not a day goes by without another instance of liberties being restricted with a plethora of projects, initiatives and legislation; Total Information Awareness project, CAPPS II, the UK Terrorism Act 2000, the UK Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act and of course the USA Patriot Act whose name in itself strikes fear into civil libertarians.

The "Students for an Orwellian Society" sardonically report a "Plusgood" Ingsoc condition alert (at least for the US) which demonstrates that "civil liberties are largely repressed. National Guard troops may be used in place of civillian police. Immigrants' rights are largely to totally curtailed. The Fourth Amendment is switched off."

I hope that the voice of democracy makes clear that both liberty and security are important and that they are not mutually exclusive concepts. Better resourced intelligence and policing can protect us while ensuring that there are societies left worth protecting.

Posted by Paul at April 7, 2003 06:32 AM |
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