Technology and Regime Change

I’ve been pondering for a while the consequences of regime change and modern technology. In other words, what would happen if today’s technology tools were available to an extremist government?

If you re-read Orwell’s 1984, all the surveillance and monitoring techniques are already deployed and more – even he didn’t envisage a scenario where all our email correspondence, online behaviour and mobile calls could be monitored, where we all carry a tracking device on a voluntary basis and where (in the UK at least) there’s a video camera on almost every street corner. Let alone when every citizen routinely carries a video camera, with which to monitor and record their fellow citizens. All we need now is regime change and it’ll make the reach and power of an organisation like the KGB appear childlike. And this kind of coup can, and regularly has, happened in recent history.

Cory Doctorow’s excellent new short story “Scroogled” brings it to life.

Are we going to stand by and let it happen? Damn right we are.

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