Right to Privacy

George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 described the Government of Oceania, a country of perpetual war, around the clock government surveillance, and citizen mind control. It was a place watched over by Big Brother where you could be imprisoned for thought crimes. It’s a society of socialism where propaganda rules the airways and everyday is a lie. No right to privacy.

It’s nearly 30 years beyond 1984. You might think in a free society such as the USA constant government monitoring an a total loss of personal freedom is not possible.

Is it?

A blog ran at MSNBC yesterday, a  frightening report of privacy invasion and violation of our fundamental rights living in a free society. It is possibly an early volley in our journey to Oceania.

The headline read:

[box] Govt. agencies, colleges demand applicants’ Facebook passwords[/box]

It’s becoming common practice for employers and colleges to demand that applicants reveal their Social Media passwords during the interview process. In Maryland, applicants to the Department of Corrections are sat in front of a computer, told to access their Facebook account and allow the interviewer to look over their shoulder as they scan through wall postings, photos, videos and friend list.

Before the ACLU filed a complaint last year the Maryland DOC was asking applicants for their user name and passwords so they could scan your account at their leisure.

It seems the government isn’t letting something as simple as constitutional rights stand in the way of their thirst to invade your privacy.

It’s amazing to me that any free thinking American would think for a minute this was acceptable. I’m not convinced it’s even legal. There is such a thing as the First Amendment, right to privacy and free speech.

I’m going to be watching this one closely. The Patriot Act was just the beginning and the question is – where does it end?

Before it’s over I could be at the Minitrue rewriting history with Winston Smith at my side.

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