George Orwell 3.0

The Architecture of Consent

In his iconic novel, '1984', George Orwell warned that powerful special interests would one day use ubiquitous surveillance to manipulate and exploit human behaviour.

He was off by a few years.

Then came George Orwell 2.0.

When the US secret service tried to deprive Barrack Obama of his private citizen's cell phone, they retreated, not because the President overruled them, but because they were themselves astonished to discover that, properly configured, a Blackberry was indeed immune to eavesdropping.

At this stage, long before Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, politically and technically savvy people began putting their private records into encrypted envelopes before entrusting them to any electronic or digital communication service.  

The first counter tremors to this trend appeared when the government of India threatened to expel Blackberry from all of South East Asia precisely because their voice and messenger services were too secure. Blackberry Messenger was a private fortress that even state-sponsored crackers couldn't hack. Ironically, that's when telecommunications managers the world over began insisting that only Blackberries would be allowed inside corporate firewalls. Inexpensive eye candy from Nokia and Samsung were to be left at home.

Then, during the night of May 9, 2011, Microsoft Corporation bought Skype for $8.5 Billion. Cash. The world wondered why. When China subsequently threatened to expel Google and Twitter unless they provided back doors to their customer accounts, we had our answer.

George Orwell 2.03 had arrived and the majority of ordinary citizens suddenly understood that the 'smart' in smart phones referred to what these devices could now reveal about us, not what they could do for us.

In a single historical nanosecond, the veil was rent.

The forces of Orwellianism had blown their cover. They couldn't keep their activities secret much longer. They began to prepare a coup de grace the audacity and subtlety of which would amaze even the most dire adventists of George Orwell 3.0.

The Sanhedrin itself encouraged a wave of crypto-mathematical baptists crying in the righteous wilderness, whom they briefly condemned as Manningian and Snowdenean heretics, all the while secretly welcoming this diversion to camouflage their final thrust.

During the otherwise quiet Autumn of the year 2016 ME, with the world attending to the bread and circus distractions of outgoing President Obama's last minute pardon of Manning and Snowden, a signal advertisement slipped into view, hiding in plain sight.

It was the last mile in the long Orwellian journey.

The immense satellite and sub-oceanic fibre optic networks that link continents and countries were already in place;  national grids linked metropolitan areas; even the few remaining meters linking each house within neighbourhoods had all been upgraded.

All that remained was to start monitoring each individual room within those houses.

Rogers Advertisement:  "Knowing with certainty that your kids are safe when you're not there is what Smart Home Monitoring is all about. Unlike traditional security systems, you know instantly what's happening at home using your smart phone. You can actually see your kids come in the door! Thanks to our dual cable and wireless networks, this is a security system whose reliability you never have to worry about. Get peace of mind knowing your kids are safe."

(Embedded assumption:  Home Monitoring is all about surveillance. Using your smart phone to access your home. Through NSA and PRISM-susceptible networks, you and your kids will now be monitored in house, with your consent, and, talk about audacity, at your expense!)

The brilliance of Homeland Orwellian Preemptive Excision 3.0 is that it assumes Main Street will  'choose' the final implementation of uber-surveillance believing it protects their latchkey-offspring. 

That's George Orwell 3.0.  Universal penetration.  Acquiescence, access and acquisition.  

"And on the seventh day the NSA rested.  And its PRISM control rooms saw to it that we were good."

The audacity of H.O.P.E. indeed!

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PS:  If you doubt the intent,  I suggest you review the associated budget numbers.