Surveillance in 1984 by George Orwells and the Modern World

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A world beyond what George Orwell could imagine has been created in modern society through the use of not only government surveillance, but also corporate and consumer spying where users are often unaware of spying.. 1984 is set in a neo-communist society where the government controls production of goods and spies on its citizens in order to maintain power. In the modern era, surveillance takes a different form. Often the methods for spying on citizens in the US do not involve a direct line from the NSA to the citizen’s home, it usually takes a detour through a commercial setting. By partnering with major companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon, government surveillance programs are able to collect far more information than could be gained by simply tapping telephone lines. This is more disturbing since many companies including Verizon, AT&T, Apple, and Amazon do not require a warrant to supply information to investigators, and do not notify users of data requests. The government in 1984 maintains power by using constant surveillance and suppression of citizens. Unlike the modern era, all citizens know they are being watched and are cautious about their actions. Winston says of the telescreen, the Party’s method of espionage: “Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it [the telescreen], moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as
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