George Orwell had it all wrong
George Orwell's (Eric Arthur Blair) 1984 (1949) depicted a monolithic eye watching over every one of us, over our every movement, every event, every second. Certainly, the novel reflected the period it was written in, the tyrannical near social control held by the Nazi state that meanaced to spread througout the world. Its motifs have stimulated new interpretations, as those found in the movie "The Beach". While today we do fear the control held by large near-monolithic entities, such as Google and the US Government, its use in light of the novel's well known motifs actually makes it difficutl to put into practice, as was the case recently when Google refused to hand over consumer information or the scandal that has errupted over George Bush's NSA telephone monitoring scheme (for which he is now trying to give inmunity to telecom providers). However, little is it asked how smaller but nonetheless powerful institutions actually use information available to them. While your information might contain strict and constitutional privacy walls from misuse by the federal goverment, little is the quesiton raised as to how smaller institutions use the confidential information that they hold in their hands. Who monitors them? Is your bank account truly only avaiable to your eyes? Is your MRI shared with third parties? With the proliferation of small businesses and the 'fall of the corporation', we simply do not know--though I am sure we have all witnessed it at one time or another. In this sense George Orwell was wrong with regard to the scale and nature in which "big brother" ocurred--not monolithically as in 1984, but in tiny bits and bites, here and there, privately amongst acquaintances. George Orwell general concern was right, but his focus was all wrong. We, not IT, are Big Brother--and that makes the problem that much harder to resolve.