The Rise of Little Brother

Written by Daniel Robson

In 1949 George Orwell painted a bleak view of a tyrannical, dystopian society with his masterpiece, ‘1984’. Thanks to his warning against totalitarian authority we have moved away from a future of all encompassing government surveillance and newspeak. But maybe we have let ourselves in for something worse …

When ‘1984’ was first publishedrepparttar Soviet Union had just tested their first atomic bomb. America and indeedrepparttar 139012 entire world were gearing up againstrepparttar 139013 red devil;repparttar 139014 cold war was begun. Orwell portrayedrepparttar 139015 future as it could be if Communism wonrepparttar 139016 day; a dark world of total scrutiny, every individual’s actions underrepparttar 139017 spotlight, every waking moment. A society devoid of creativity or individualism, and kept that way byrepparttar 139018 ruthless thought police. As it wasrepparttar 139019 ‘free world’ wonrepparttar 139020 war, and all were joyful and rejoiced. Now we have to deal withrepparttar 139021 consequences of that victory, andrepparttar 139022 flip side ofrepparttar 139023 coin that Orwell did not foresee.

America isrepparttar 139024 land ofrepparttar 139025 free. Free from persecution, violence and war. Or not asrepparttar 139026 spiralling crime figures andrepparttar 139027 recent Iraq crisis show. But this is not what I wish to talk about. Today we live in a democracy, or so we are told. The government cannot retain any information on you without consent, or at least has to offer free access its records if you so desire. But Big Brother is no longerrepparttar 139028 thing we need fear, rather it isrepparttar 139029 little brothers and sisters who walk among us.

It is almost impossible these days to purchase a mobile phone without a built in camera. Surveillance equipment oncerepparttar 139030 realm ofrepparttar 139031 most expensive secret service is now freely available onrepparttar 139032 open market. Phishing, keyloggers, Trojans, identity theft. Words once unknown that are now part of common parlance. Individuals can build ‘bots’ to harvest e-mail addresses from websites, whilerepparttar 139033 mis-termed ‘hackers’ can break into databases on web servers to take any information they find. There are surveillance cameras sprouting everywhere from schools to companies to government offices. Almost every movement or action a person makes can be tracked these days, be it by credit card trails or ‘web cams’.

To protect themselves several major companies have recently had to implement new rules. Where once only dedicated industrial espionage could have stolenrepparttar 139034 plans for a new computer chip or products from out underrepparttar 139035 noses of a security division, now disgruntled employees simply have to take snaps with their camera phone. So phones have to be banned. Where once it would have been impossible to check up on a suspect spouse, now wives and husbands can simply install software onto their marital partners computers to monitor their e-mail and other online activities. The age of personal scrutiny is here at last, but not as Orwell foresaw it.

Discount cigarettes and cheap tobacco from Europe.

Written by Declan Keane

It never fails to amaze me. HM Customs and Excise are at it again, stopping everyone in this country from gettingrepparttar bargains that we are entitled to. The cost of runningrepparttar 138935 country might in fact be out withrepparttar 138936 Governments budget, but do we have to payrepparttar 138937 deficit?

The fact that we as a Country are part ofrepparttar 138938 European Union and are entitled to free trade across Europe doesn’t seem to matter to HM Customs & Excise. This “law unto itself” outfit are beginning to annoyrepparttar 138939 hell out of everyone who’re trying to buy goods at “proper” prices from retailers across Europe by taxingrepparttar 138940 items that arrive in this country, even though all of these items are “Tax paid” under European law.

It’s nothing less than extortion.

Consumable products such as cigarettes, tobacco, food and drink arerepparttar 138941 targets. It doesn’t matter that we pay massive taxes in this country; our Government wants everything we have. That may onrepparttar 138942 face of it seem a little extreme, but is it?

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