The saga of governments snooping into our private lives continues. Did the Americans listen in to Angela Merkel’s mobile ‘phone calls? Are they listening in on Pope Francis? Is my cyber life an open book to GCHQ?
What is it that bothers so much about the spooks? I think it is the hangover of 1984. Not the year – the book by George Orwell. Orwell paints a picture of post war Britain. Everyone is spied on by ‘Big Brother’. Thinking the wrong thoughts will result in being sent to Room 101. Not the TV programme with Frank Skinner, a terrible place where you are confronted by your worst fear; the fear that lurks in the back of your brain, buried so deep you are not aware of it. That could be Frank Skinner for all I know, but, unlikely.
Do you begin to see the extent of the problem? 1984 permeates our culture so deeply, tv programmes named from it etc, that it has become our secret fear. A change of image is needed. Why should Big Brother be a frightening image? Why not a helpful big brother?
What about a big brother like Uncle Buck – remember him, the John Candy character from the film? If the security services are monitoring all our communications they could make themselves useful. When they are monitoring my telephone calls they could intercept calls from sellers of PPI claims, double glazing, kitchen makeovers and boiler room scams. They could warn them off in a way that only James Bond and his buddies can do – licence to kill!
They could provide a downloadable plug in for Windows, Mac OS etc that puts a big red button on your desktop. Anytime you have a problem just push the button.
“Big Brother here – what’s the problem?”
“I can’t remember the password for my WordPress account!”
“Hold on I can tell you, or better still, I’ll type it in for you”
Problem solved. Now that’s a big Brother we all want and need. If they know all this stuff about us then they should make themselves useful. We would all be much happier if we could instantly call on MI5 to help us out. Just think; dementia would cease to be a problem.
Walk into a room, can’t remember why you are there? – Push the red button. “Big Brother, why did I come in here?”
“You are looking for your reading glasses. They are in the top drawer of your bedside unit.”
“Thank you Big Brother”
Hell, they could even become proactive. What’s wrong with getting a message from Big Brother telling you that your supply of red wine is getting dangerously low and, since the weather will be bad in the next 24 hours, you could find yourself dangerously sober?
Come on ‘M’, a change of image is required. Where’s my big red button?