Monday, November 10, 2008

The Stepford Society

I will be posting something about the current crackdown on alcohol very shortly, but thought this article from Computer Weekly would be of interest.

In a keynote speech to delegates at the City IT and IT Security Forum, Ian Pearson, a former BT "futurologist" and a chartered fellow of the British Computer Society, spoke of a backlash against the government's preoccupation with surveillance technologies. He warned that IT suppliers who collaborate with the government on the increasing surveillance of law-abiding citizens face a public backlash, and may be at risk of acts of violence, including the smashing of computer centres.
Within five years Pearson predicted that the government's crackdown on law-abiding people could lead to marches in the street, demonstrations outside some computer centres and - if the government takes no action - targeted acts of violence.
I've said it before, and I will say it again, it worries me that it's mainly people involved in IT that seem to be the most aware of the totalitarian state in which we are living. The Register often points out the worrying use of IT to monitor the general population, and here we have Ian Pearson saying that IT will be used to monitor the law-abiding citizens. Can everyone else please wake the fuck up?

He told the invited audience of some of the UK's largest IT suppliers and users, "By 2012 to 2013 tops you will see a technology backlash in the major population. Why is it relevant to you? Because if your firm is providing services to government authorities, which help the government to crack down on law-abiding people, you are in the firing line. Be very careful you are on the right side of the line when the [backlash occurs]. You need to be very careful indeed."

Indeed you do. Come the glorious Revolution the piano wire/lampost combination will be a fetching look for politicians and their assorted hangers on, we don't need geeks up there unless it is strictly necessary.

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