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Subsequent to Snowden, another whistleblower, John Crane, came forward supporting the information delivered by Snowden. The irony was that Crane, formerly an assistant inspector general at the Pentagon, was in charge of protecting whistleblowers but when the system failed felt obligated to become one himself. While there was a public outcry after Snowden’s disclosures, there was little change in opinion demonstrated by several poll. In 2006, a NSA surveillance poll indicated that 51 percent of those surveyed found NSA’s surveillance policy to be acceptable while 47 percent found it unacceptable. In a Pew Research poll carried out a month after Snowden’s disclosures although there was some indication that people changed their behavior in terms of electronic security, attitudes about government surveillance remained similar. According to the Pew Research Center:In summary, George Orwell’s novel, 1984, presents what is often considered to be a frightening picture of the use of surveillance data collected by the government. While much of what Orwell seemed to fear has become a reality in today’s world, the current reality of the negative
consequences of participatory surveillance far surpasses what Orwell envisioned. Participatory surveillance is engaged in when individuals knowingly allow websites to access personal information entered in profiles and online forms as well as when easily gathered recordings of oneself and others through commonly owned mobile technology. This process is a type of passive permission for others such as insurance companies, marketing firms and service providers to gain access to our online information even when we have some semblance of a reason to believe it will be kept anonymous or private. The novel 1984 was authored by a liberal and objective socialist not long after the Second World War had ended. The book discusses a future in a totalitarian state where people’s thoughts and behaviors are minutely monitored, interpreted as indicating party alliance or party misalliance and controlled
to increase or decrease them depending on the valence.