Tech News: An Honest Big Brother

Reeling from Edward Snowden’s revelations, as a collective Western society, we aren’t too sure whether to be impressed by the American (and presumably British) governments’ spying capabilities – after all, it’s fairly extraordinary to discover such a reach and penetration might have been possible without many of us suspecting – or to feel angered and violated.

The recent announcement that Google, Apple and other tech-giants are requesting permission from the US authorities to regularly publish stats about government requests for information is interesting.

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It suggests that there has been a general acceptance of the premise that governments should be allowed to transcend privacy rules in order to gather as much information as they want, so long as we, as a public, are allowed to be made aware of the sort of information they are collecting.

Ten years ago, you couldn’t get into a discussion about CCTV and ID cards without someone flying off the handle-bars about police-states or quoting George Orwell.

These days, it seems, we’ve come to understand that Big Brother states are almost inevitable in the modern world.

One of the most prominent themes pervading discussion of Snowden’s exposition is the sinister secrecy with which governments can go about looking into your private information. So, does making Big Brother honest alleviate any of our concerns?

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