Virtual Imprisonment as Big Brother Interactively Listens From Cradle to School to Prison to Parole to Grave
by Ed Lyon
In today’s world of technological marvels, electronic monitoring has far surpassed being useful merely to virtually imprison pretrial releasees and parolees. Nanotechnology has enabled parents to keep their children on an electronic tether while Big Brother sees a lot more than most people would ever believe — and listens in on many more things that is legally permissible.
Five years ago in 2014, a Prison Legal News article revealed the fact that ankle monitors on pretrial detainees, probationers, and parolees had interactive communication abilities. Monitoring personnel could activate the monitors and listen in at any time without notice. This facilitated eavesdropping on privileged communications includes attorney-client conversations as well as spousal, clerical, and physician interactions.
In Chicago, Illinois, pretrial releasees and juvenile offenders are still required to wear ankle bracelets of this type. Not only is the wearer’s location continually monitored, but a microphone in the bracelets can be activated by several of Big Brother’s little helpers, such as social workers, social services, and probation officers.
Leaving no child behind, Verizon markets a gadget called the GizmoWatch for young children. There is even a Mickey Mouse version, but this technological marvel is everything but a blast from the past in its capabilities to do far more than merely tell the time. Straight out of a Dick Tracy comic, two-way conversations may be held with the youngsters wearing this ultra-smart watch to include parents and up to nine more pre-approved persons. The device has a GPS tracker, counts the child’s steps, and reminds the child to get up and go when she/he has been inactive for too long. All in all, an ingenious way for Verizon to get children accustomed to wearing a smart watch. There is an app available that enables parents to closely monitor the child’s school assignments, grades, and overall scholastic progress. “US consumer groups are now warning parents not to buy the devices, and they’re asking the government to investigate if the devices run afoul of laws concerning privacy and consumer protection,” CBS News reports.
In today’s electronic society, cameras monitor street lights, street corners, storefronts, back alleys, and private homes. Where cameras are not installed by Big Brother himself, insurance companies, smaller versions of Big Brother, require insureds to maintain video surveillance in order to remain indemnified. Technology that was not even clouds on yesterday’s horizon is now uploading intrusive, usable memory to the “cloud” that overshadows us all.
Even George Orwell would be shocked and astounded at Big Brother’s wholesale invasions of people’s privacy in this “Brave New World” of ours.
Source: thenation.com, cbsnews.com
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