Project Echelon

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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In today's world you do not have to look very far to see things that very well could have come out of George Orwell's novel 1984. The world is globalizing at an expontential rate compared to years past. With the advent and widespread use of the Internet and inter-continental travel the need for heightened security has grown tremendously. However, how best should our societies deal with this need? Alarmingly, it would seem that the people with whom we have entrusted the authority to make such decisions are overstepping their bounds. The world's policing agencies seem to be taking on the attitude of guilty until proven innocent. The use of Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTV), sophisticated electronic listening equipment, and peeking over the shoulders of internet users from afar has risen sharply in recent years. This trend has also dramatically increased the ability of police, government agencies, employers and even regular citizens to abuse the privacy of the very people they are supposed to be protecting.

Law-abiding people are having their human right to privacy eroded on a daily basis. The place where this is happening at a faster pace than anywhere in the world is Orwell's own United Kingdom.

At present there are at least 1 million CCTV units that are operational in the UK (i-contact). That number is staggering when you consider the fact that it is more than three times as many as there are in the US and in about a third the land size (i-contact). It would seem that London just might be heading more towards Winston's world than we might want to admit. Based on 600 hours of research from CCTV monitoring rooms, findings showed that 'suspect targets' were disproportionately young, male, black and working class. Black men were more than twice as likely to be...