1984 Is Happening

By Jeremy Reid (Contributor)

The right to privacy has been an issue of varying importance over the centuries, and, like much else in our culture, new technology has changed how we approach it. Notably, the transition of social interaction onto the “cloud-based” platform brings with it an ever-present danger: invasion of privacy.

In the past week, several nude photographs of celebrities, apparently lifted somehow from their phones, were posted onto 4chan.org. This event has since spread to Reddit, Tumblr, Imgur, and many hard drives. This happenstance has sparked the overdue question – which of our most private moments are being watched and enjoyed by strangers?

Source: Flickr
Source: Flickr

The answer is readily available: all of them, at least potentially. Most internet-users know that the NSA has access to their activity. Companies such as Facebook and Google record every witty or inane tweet, pretty sunset or nude selfie, and even goodnight texts and pornographic searches. Furthermore, this information, according to several scandals and lawsuits, is easily available to the companies, or individuals, who can afford it.

Perhaps this sanitary method of intrusion seems acceptable to the majority, or the size of the operation inspires apathy, but one way or another, we ignore this ubiquitous surveillance. However, many are rattled now that public figures like Jennifer Lawrence are made victims. When perversion is shoved in our faces, we become briefly incensed – but never for long. Soon this will become a distant reminder of vague danger when we send a flirty Snapchat or sext somebody we like. Eventually, however, we must come to realize how our publicized lives depersonalize us, and the extreme, undemocratic control we ironically choose give to governments, out of complacency. If we don’t, we’ll simply fade into the world that Orwell, Lowry, and many others have been warning us about.

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