George Orwell Could Have Picked Any Year

I was recently reading a magazine article from May 1973 on the uses of surveillance and information gathering on private citizens. Just how far and for long have authorities been gathering information on us is a moot point. But it sounds as if not much has changed since the Nixon Administration or when Eisenhower warned us of the military-industrial complex. With the technology that has made leaps and bounds in the last 40 years, it is amazing how much information can be collected in the shortest time frame.

Wire taps was a common way of accumulating information. I would ask then if a firm was hired to debug a room and remove all the wire taps,  what was stopping them from putting in more. Back in the late 70’s I got into a discussion with a nurse on the streets of Vancouver. They were letting people know of what conditions they were working under at a nearby hospital. I was also employed at the same hospital. I signed their petition and in the next few days I mailed off a couple of letters stating my support for the nurses to their union and a politicians office. Over the next few days after wards I noticed something when I used my phone at home. For at least 3 or 4 times I heard some rapid clicks when I used my phone. Was I being taped as a result for my support for the nurses?

I have to ask what is with the information gathering that the various agencies are into and what are they doing with it? If our freedoms were being tightened up under McCarthyism 60 years ago, can you imagine what it is like these days with the technology we have and how much data can be stored in a computer.

I don’t feel comfortable with the lack of public concern with the rise of surveillance. I heard enough times from people that they don’t anything to hide or their lives are too boring for anyone to take an interest in. This is too much like walking into the cages that the authorities have ready for us. They must feel that it’s better to keep the majority of the population docile. If enough of us woke up from our slumber and saw what was really going on I hope we would have world wide peaceful demonstrations for real changes. I just hope we get leaders with courage not stooges who toe the party line.

I wonder how much of the information gathered is held in strict confidence or is shared with any number of agencies or marketing firms. I don’t even think one has to be considered a trouble maker to be kept watch over. Is the day coming that even one who speaks their mind will be called on the carpet if it goes against whatever official policy of the day is?

This is why authorities want us fearing each other, keeping the us versus them mentality alive and well. We’re easier to control if we are fragmented and fighting amongst each other. A nation in fear is easy to be converted into a police state.

We’re going to have to find strong but peaceful ways of getting our rights back. They aren’t being eroded on a national scale but on a global one. Authorities will use any methods possible to slander dissenting yet legitimate voices.

It can be said that any department is no longer spying on us but can they be trusted on what they say? I like to know if they destroyed any of the information they have.

A few years ago, two Saskatoon police officers were on trial in regards to dropping natives off outside the city limits in sub zero temperatures. As people entered the court house where the trial was held, someone noticed the same van parked across the street day after day. Upon investigation, it was discovered that Saskatoon police officers were in the van videotaping people going into the building. The Saskatoon cop shop were told to cut it out.

The only was I can see things changing for the better if we start working together and claim our rights back.

Ron Murdock
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