The personal computer is an ideal portal for anyone and everyone to see what the world is up to. It is a spy tool and a big glass window at the same time. Privacy as it was meant does not exist anymore. It means that everything of personal value can be accessed by others. It is impossible to keep secrets. Or so it seems.
In most western democracies, someone who has commited a crime should be considered not guilty until proven otherwise. But with the recources availiable to the police (and everyone else) the reverse is often the case. There is database upon upon database which stores all the web-traffic and everyone is tracked down to the smallest movement. The NS (National Rail) for example is experimenting with a credit system like the London ‘Oyster’ card and to do this they register all the personal information about every traveller on every Dutch train. This would not be a proplem if customers could choose whether to pay in cash or buy one of these cridit cards. However, the NS is making this credit system compulsory. Because of this, the government can see that I travel from The Hague to Utrecht and back on most days. I’don’t have anything to hide because I am boring. But I am sure that the Arab man who bought a bit to much firtilizer for his back garden in a different place than his usual commute will be localised and interrogated in no time at all. That poor Arab man ofcourse is not a terrorist and he was not going to biuld a bomb. Double standards if you ask me.
This tracking of movement has been going on for a long time, in fact ever since we started using moblie phones an PIN machines. And these two inventions have become so useful that most people can not do without them. Most people would much rather send a txt mssge that write a letter, let’s face it. The NS credit system is just the next thing in a line of ‘Orwellian’ technologies. Many people fear a society as described in 1984, but these people are hypocritical enough to still use a mobile phone and make digital transactions.
Besides, Orwell’s Big Brother was a mean basterd! I really think that the person who sits in an office checking my rail behavior and online activity has the dullest job in the world. The system has been designed to locate criminals, serious and petty ones. Now, the number of extreme criminals who have been arrested is rather low, whereas the number of people being fined for speeding has increased. It’s the people being fined who complain that they don’t have privacy anymore, but if you don’t want to be fined, don’t go carreering through a red light. Also, the bad criminals who don’t get caught are smart enough to know that it is still humans who are operating the system and that humans make a lot of mistakes and are easily decieved. Joran v.d. S. is the perfect example. He just lies to everyone and therefore no one knows what to believe and he can’t be locked away. So if you are worried about a lack of privacy: Don’t worry, because only friends and family really care about what you are up to, and if you really get into trouble and you don’t want to face it you can always just lie about everything.