I am a big fan of TV Series - Person of Interest. One reason is that it is from Jonathan Nolan, brother of Christopher Nolan who are the men behind Prestige and The Dark Knight series. Other reason is that my peculiar interest in finding the big brother because of my paranoia. Also, I was interested in knowing about the idea of creator of big brother and the possibilities of such a big brother (if it exists). Person of interest neatly presented this in an action fuelled drama and I loved it.
In reality, I was always in a state of fear about its existence. Recent developments have been a bit of shocker but frankly “every one saw it coming. But they wanted to believe or believed that it did not exist”. Nobody knows the scope and extent of snooping into the privacy of a citizen. What is more alarming will be the hounding response (if at all there is one) from “big brother” against those who oppose and expose. Hmmm.
Firstly The Guardian broke this news in this article and ever since there has been a serious outrage of epic proportions. India too is coming with a “program“, if reports are to be believed. We are not sure about the scope of this cyber snooping in India. Let us assume that it is not very bad as it might eventually turn out to be.
You know what will be answer from any government which does this “big brother” activity.
“I see a different world than you do, and the truth is that what I see frightens me. I’m frightened because our enemies are no longer known to us. They do not exist on a map, they aren’t nations. They are individuals. And look around you – who do you fear? Can you see a face, a uniform, a flag? No, our world is not more transparent now, it’s more opaque! The shadows - that’s where we must do battle. So before you declare us irrelevant, ask yourselves - how safe do you feel?” – M, Skyfall
“Larger Good” will not justify any such action that violate the fundamental right of a human being. What if a highly motivated individual with all the power in world and who happens to be on the other side of angels have control over this “big brother”. And in history, we have seen such individuals rise above everything and everyone. That is when the repercussions will be unimaginable.
I read an interesting quote from Jason Crawford - “History will not be kind to the people who say nothing. At it will be even less kind to those that mislead us “.
What should be our answer?
“The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.“
- Ulysses, Lord Alfred Tennyson