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In the contemporary world, the Internet is the key place of our every move. The internet and innovations make it possible to collect all the things we perform, which can be reached by millions of people in a brief amount of time. This highlights the issue of privacy these days. In George Orwell’s novel “1984”, the lead character Winston Smith and the other population of Oceania are subjected to a survey. All their actions are monitored through television screens, introduced to avoid political revolt and loss of control. The government controls all the doings of people, even when they are in their own households. The Party even introduced an unusual language designated “Newspeak”. The newspeak was implemented to get rid of all protest ideas that the citizens might have. Winston is deeply irritated by the Party and purchases an illicit notebook, which serves to record his reflections. Collectively with his colleague Julia, Winston clandestinely joins an exceptional Brotherhood that opposes the Party. The confidential organization distributes forbidden books to members for perusal. The other character, O’Brien, secretly pretends to be a member of the Brotherhood, but is ultimately instructed to capture Winston. Winston became brainwashed and terrorized to such an extent that he captured his beloved Julia and defected to the Party. Currently, in the United States the issue of privacy is broached in the same way as in the story. Nevertheless, the constitutional rights that do exist ensure a liberal and democratic community.
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The issue of privacy in “1984” and in today’s world
Oceania is a totalitarian community that is influenced by the government in numerous ways. The government maintained control over the lives of the population adopting a technology that was known as Big Brother. The citizens were frequently informed by posters that Big Brother was keeping an eye on everyone. However, people were not aware of what it was and what it appeared like. All people realize is that all their actions are transparent and controlled. Cameras are placed throughout the city strategically, and children have to spy on their own family members. In addition, law enforcement is accessible and possibly able to track people’s thoughts. Although we do not live in a totalitarian system similar to the one portrayed by Orwell, our world nowadays is relatively similar to the one presented in “1984”.
These days everyone can become a spy and track others. Today we monitor social networking content on multiple platforms. Social networks such as Facebook and Instagram provide an opportunity for people to reveal their routine activities in the same way as Big Brother observes the inhabitants of Oceania. Nevertheless, in the modern world we have breached our privacy without recognizing it. Social networks and the Internet as a whole have broken the barrier in human communication and interaction. In addition, these platforms allow for the sharing of information in real time, which can lead to a lack of privacy or democracy. Because of the existence of Big Brother and the authority of the Party, people including Winston were defenseless to resist the Party’s ideology.
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Big Brother similarly imposed obvious knowledge that no one doubted. According to the U.S. Constitution, today we possess a sufficient level of freedom. The First Amendment enables every individual to openly speak his or her mind. This right allows all people to reflect and express their convictions independently. Furthermore, this amendment defends the right to petition the government, which was not possible in Oceania.
Falsification of history in “1984” and in the present
More importantly, in 1984, the Party changed history to maintain absolute control over its people in Oceania. Big Brother and the Party arranged for records to be fabricated and destroyed, as well as dates to be changed. The goal was to falsify history and confuse everyone into believing that the Party has never committed any harm. The authorities also intended to manage the historical memory of the citizens.
In the current reality, some laws in place prohibit rewriting or changing history to suit the interests of the government or officials. In addition, there are various laws and certain procedures that people must go through in order to adjust something. For example, in the process of changing a name, one must adhere to the procedures and regulations established by the particular state. The Internet has created different weaknesses that can be exploited through hacker attacks, where information on websites can be altered to mislead other people into false convictions. Social networking sites have jeopardized our freedom and right to privacy, contributing to the feeling that each of us is being Big Brother.
Under the United States Constitution, our fundamental rights are upheld to preserve a liberal and democratic society. Winston Smith was helpless to escape the monitoring eye of Big Brother. Fortunately, we have the power to switch off our devices and limit the amount of private information we allow to be shared with others. Big Brother instead contributes to the creation of an oppressive society, which should not be repeated in the modern world.