Increased Surveillance, Does This Mean Hello Big Brother?

By: Stephen Morgan

We live in a changed society. Life today is not what it once was. Now before any readers start to wonder what I am rambling on about and think should we call for the ambulance now; let me explain.

By saying that life today is not what it once was, I mean that the day to day threats that society faces are vastly different than they were say 10 years ago.

I live in Northern Ireland, which for the international readers of this article is, as of the date to this article, still part of the United Kingdom. In Northern Ireland and we have had to live with and come to terms with increased security and surveillance of the past thirty years. It is not meant a massive loss in civil liberties rather day to day life becomes a trade off.

The Terrorist that the government faces today is not the terrorist / freedom fighter of yesterday. By this I mean that in the good old days (a slight attempt at black humour here) in Northern Ireland there was certain predictability and a certain cycle to the violence. You knew by and large that if you were part of the establishment (Police, Government etc) that you were a "legitimate target" (more black humour and euphemisms here) for the Provisional IRA. Life dealing with the Protestant terrorists, was albeit slightly different but there was still a black code of honour (more black humour - there is nothing noble or honourable in death from terrorism, it was and still is murder).

However, with the onset of 911and the bombings in London of July 7th, the world as we knew it changed. Fanatics bent on suicide aren't fazed by cameras nor massive loss of innocent life.

Today's terrorist plays by a different rule book. The days of somebody calling a radio station from a telephone box and uttering a pre-agreed and recognised security code and warning are all long gone. Now it is civilisation one minute and carnage the next.

This does not mean however that in our response to these changed threats to our society that we sacrifice all our liberty and freedom that we once held dear; rather we have to embrace a slightly more pragmatic response and approach to the these changed threats.

If in helping to ensure that we all live slightly longer I don't think a few more cameras is a problem. Surely, as I mentioned earlier, some things in life, if not life itself are worth compromising over.

Technology
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Technology
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles