We may just be there right now! The US Government is doing things that no government before it had the technology to do. By doing so, it has successfully wrestled Liberty, Freedom, and Privacy away from Americans. But not from distant, anonymous “Americans” who might be terrorists or criminals; because that would be far too vague of a concept. The government wrestled Liberty, Freedom, and Privacy away from YOU! From YOU and everyone YOU know, including YOUR friends and YOUR family.
The US Government managed to successfully do what EVERY dictator in history has aspired and dreamed of doing. But instead of having vast networks of neighbors, children, police, or military personnel providing information to the government apparatus by spying on its citizens in an attempt to know everything they do, the US government is doing it through technology. They automated the process of spying on 300 million innocent people. All in the name of Security!
Coincidentally, security is amongst the repertoire of reasons dictators commonly declare in their quests for power. It doesn’t take much creativity to imagine any dictator promising that he will ensure security of the fatherland and protect it from its enemies. The infamous dictators (you know the ones) of the past all utilized security as a reason to attempt to know what “THEIR” people are doing — in order to keep them and the State safe.
But remember when Benjamin Franklin said: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
It is a horrific conceptual irony that if Saddam, Ceaușescu, Khadafi, Castro, Idi Amin, Stalin, Pol Pot, and yes, Hitler, could have access to total data of who THEIR people were talking to, for how long they were talking to them, and where they were located when they were talking to them, Obviously, those dictators would exploit that technology:
— Technology replaces the neighbor in Cuba that informs the government of the guy down the street planning to escape to Florida on a raft built of scrap wood, rope, and car parts.
— Technology replaces the North Korean whose “friends” inform the government that he has been hoarding food for his family.
— Technology replaces the East German who was working to smuggle people and mail into West Germany.
— Technology replaces the KGB apparatus that oversaw the opening and censorship of every piece of mail that went through the postal service of the USSR.
Police State – A state or condition where the interests of Government are valued above the interests of the individual or the collective interests of the citizenry!
If knowing that your email address, phone calls, location, friends, videos, social network, photos, “likes”, real-time credit card purchases, and Internet history, have all been collected and stored by government doesn’t scare the poop out of you, you should expect government to do more of it. And if you are comfortable with this behavior [because you don’t do anything that requires your privacy], you’re either an idiot, an optimist, or naive. Put yourself in with those peoples who cheered as Communist, Socialist, or even NAZI (Which stands for National Socialists) governments rose to power.