iPhone, GPS technology opens door to Orwellian society
September 28, 2010 9:12 PM
The new iPhone 4 has been praised for its many useful applications, such as the ability to video chat, an unparalleled screen and a GPS tracking system.
Amateur criminal Horatio Toure learned this fact the hard way in a case of sheer irony.
While a woman was giving a demonstration on the benefits of the GPS application, Toure biked alongside her and snatched the iPhone from her hands.
What he didn't know was that the woman worked for a communications technology company and was field testing their latest application, Alert and Respond, which tracks the location of the device in real time.
Because the application had been activated, police were able to track the thief and found him less than a half-mile away, only fifteen minutes later.
While this is a hilarious example of criminal stupidity and karma, we must realize what this means. With applications like GPS tracking and real time activation, your exact location can be tracked at any time, by virtually anyone.
In this instance, it served as a benefit. It only takes a minute to think of how many different ways this could be used to cause harm.
Tracking and surveillance was given the green light in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 2001 with the passage of the Patriot Act.
The bill gives the government the right to monitor people under the guise of national security.
The general public has only recently gained access to this technology, but the government has had it for years.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the government was justified in planting a tracking device on the car of Juan Pineda-Moreno, an Oregon native who was suspected of selling marijuana, which was parked in his parking lot.
Not only is this appalling and borderline schizophrenic, it also sets a dangerous precedent. This ruling basically says that it is alright for the government to track you whenever they feel like it. You may not know it, but you're probably not alone.
Where will this technology take us? Now that the government has the go-ahead to track people with almost no cause and this same technology is readily available to civilians with nearly no regulation, are we headed toward an age of paranoia?
Is the bleak and unnerving world of George Orwell's 1984 turning into more than science fiction?
Are your movements being tracked? Are people watching you? Would boring life as a college student really be worth monitoring?
The truth is you'll probably never know.
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