It’s a given that Big Brother is always watching us.
Unfortunately, thanks to the government’s ongoing efforts to build massive databases using emerging surveillance, DNA and biometrics technologies, Big Brother (and his corporate partners in crime) is getting even creepier and more invasive, intrusive and stalker-like.
Indeed, every dystopian sci-fi film (and horror film, for that matter) we’ve ever seen is suddenly converging into this present moment in a dangerous trifecta between science and technology, Big Business, and a government that wants to be all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful—but not without help from the citizenry.
On a daily basis, Americans are relinquishing (in many cases, voluntarily) the most intimate details of who we are—our biological makeup, our genetic blueprints, and our biometrics (facial characteristics and structure, fingerprints, iris scans, etc.)—in order to navigate an increasingly technologically-enabled world.
As journalist Anna Myers notes, “Fingerprint readers, eye scans, and voice recognition are no longer just the security methods of high-tech spy movies. Millions of mobile phone, bank, and investment customers now have these technologies at their fingertips. Schwab uses voice recognition, Apple uses fingerprints, Wells Fargo scans eyes, and other companies are developing heartbeat or grip technology to verify user identity. Whether biometric technology will thrive or meet its demise depends not only on the security of the technology, but also whether the U.S. legal system will adapt to provide the privacy protections necessary for consumers to use it and for companies to invest in its development. Currently there is no federal law and only one state with a law protecting biometric information.”
Translation: thus far, the courts have done little to preserve our rights in the face of technologies and government programs that have little respect for privacy or freedom.
Consider all the ways we continue to be tracked, hunted, hounded, and stalked by the government and its dubious agents:
By tapping into your phone lines and cell phone communications, the government knows what you say.
By monitoring your movements with the use of license plate readers, surveillance cameras and other tracking devices, the government knows where you go.
By mapping the synapses in your brain, scientists—and in turn, the government—will soon know what you remember.
By mapping your biometrics—your “face-print”—and storing the information in a massive, shared government database available to bureaucratic agencies, police and the military, the government’s goal is to use facial recognition software to identify you (and every other person in the country) and track your movements, wherever you go.
And by accessing your DNA, the government will soon know everything else about you that they don’t already know: your family chart, your ancestry, what you look like, your health history, your inclination to follow orders or char