Big Brother is back

Don’t panic, I’m not about to reveal the return of the Channel Four TV series, but more the counter terrorism behaviour that is beginning to resemble something out of 1984.

I was reading an article in the New Internationalist yesterday on global counter terrorism movements that have developed since 9/11, with some bordering on the ridiculous.

–          Earlier this year the London Police ordered Austrian tourist Klaus Matska and his 15 year old son to delete all the photos of London buses from their cameras. But this was no April fool; they were asked to give their passport numbers and told that photographing anything to do with transport was ‘strictly forbidden’. Despite the fact you can easily get such images on the internet….

–          In 2002 Hasan Elahi was detained at Detroit Airport after having mistakenly been put on the FBI terrorist watch list. Extensive questioning and nine lie detector tests later, he was set free, but without the all-important FBI clearance. In retaliation to the humiliating treatment he had received, he posted his location, financial statements and even images of every toilet he has used on a website, turning the process into a form of artwork.

–          Homeland security courses are a lucrative business in the United States, with various qualifications offered at over 300 US colleges and universities. At a school in Maryland, located close to the National Security Agency, the course covers some unexpected connections, such as security issues in Romeo and Juliet, developing skills for dealing with infiltration in the family….

Makes you wonder if George Orwell was just a little ahead of his time….

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Published in: on October 22, 2009 at 11:34 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Wow, that is pretty crazy. I wish we could better communicate with lawmakers and officials, that although we want to be safe, we are willing to tolerate a certain amount of risk in order to live reasonably independent lives. The cost in humiliation, broken trust, misunderstandings, wasted time, and negative all-around sentiment is only in addition to the millions of pounds that taxpayers pay to get this ‘security’.

    Not worth it!


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