Owing largely to progress in communications and other technologies, governments and businesses today have more power than ever to monitor and influence what we buy, were we go, what we watch or read, and what we believe. Recent terrorists attacks in the United States of America (most notably, the destruction of the twin World Trade Towers in New York and the Pentagon, and the delivery of Anthrax spores to public officials and the media in the U.S.A.) has most citizens more willing than ever to give up more individual freedom and privacy in exchange for the promise of greater security. Long denied the right to violate basic individual rights and freedoms and privacy, the worlds law enforcement and surveillance communities and their governments are seizing the day, and making rapid steps to pass relatively permanent legislation giving the government powers which – prior to the acts of September 11, 2001 – would have been considered by the general populace to be powers properly unleashed only for temporary periods of national emergency.
In the process, questions are being raised as to whether the surrender of individual freedom will actually result in greater security, or whether we, in giving up freedom for security, are satisfying the aim of the terrorists to begin with: to undermine individual freedom of choice, equality under the law, and the dignity of every individual.
1984 has long been the first book to which we have turned for a vivid picture of a government that has used war to justify infringement