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We Can Avoid a Surveillance State Dystopia 267

Posted by Soulskill
from the with-only-the-power-of-love-and-maybe-some-napalm dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After the past year's revelations about NSA spying, it's hard to read any commentary about society without dire warnings of the coming (or already present) surveillance state. Sci-fi author Ramez Naam makes the point that while government surveillance needs to be fought, it's actually not as bad as what we were promised in decades past. 'Aldous Huxley published Brave New World in 1932. And while Brave New World is remembered more for predicting government-controlled biological engineering of the masses, it also features government surveillance, media manipulation, and thought control. This is an old idea. Yet somehow, today, in most of the world, governments have dramatically less control over their people than they did when Huxley and Orwell wrote those words. Indeed, the average person on Earth is more free today, in 2014, than he or she would have been in the actual year 1984. The arc of history has bent towards more freedom.' Naam also explains that the technological advances allowing the bulk collection of personal data also provide us with cheap and easy means to fight government overreach."
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We Can Avoid a Surveillance State Dystopia

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  • Re:Wait what (Score:5, Informative)

    by Killall -9 Bash (622952) on Friday February 21, 2014 @07:44PM (#46307641)
    In what country did you grow up in the 80's in, because all of the terrorism I remember happening in the 80's happened in other countries.
  • Re:Wait what (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21, 2014 @08:47PM (#46308071)

    LOL so did I 'constant real terror attacks'

    yeah what 4-5 things happened which where hugely hyped up through the media,.. couldn't be a distraction from

    Iran - 1980 - Americans aborted a rescue attempt to liberate 52 hostages seized in the Teheran embassy.
    Libya - 1981 - American fighters shoot down two Libyan fighters.
    El Salvador - 1981-92 - The CIA, troops, and advisers aid in El Salvador's war against the FMLN.
    Nicaragua - 1981-90 - The CIA and NSC directed the Contra War against the Sandinistas.
    Lebanon - 1982-84 - Marines occupied Beirut during Lebanon's civil war; 241 were killed in the American barracks and Reagan "redeployed" the troops to the Mediterranean.
    Honduras - 1983-89 - Troops sent in to build bases near the Honduran border.
    Grenada - 1983-84 - American invasion overthrew the Maurice Bishop government.
    Iran - 1984 - American fighters shot down two Iranian planes over the Persian Gulf.
    Libya - 1986 - American fighters hit targets in and around the capital city of Tripoli.
    Bolivia - 1986 - The Army assisted government troops on raids of cocaine areas.
    Iran - 1987-88 - The United States intervened on the side of Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War.
    Libya - 1989 - Navy shot down two more Libyan jets.
    Virgin Islands - 1989 - Troops landed during unrest among Virgin Island peoples.
    Philippines - 1989 - Air Force provided air cover for government during coup.
    Panama - 1989-90 - 27,000 Americans landed in overthrow of President

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