- Big Brother isn’t watching. Big Brother’s busy holding your attention every moment you’re awake. He’s making sure you’re always distracted. He’s making sure you’re fully absorbed.
At a time when technology has made pervasive surveillance possible, governments around the world are trying to persuade and train people to ignore their privacy. Many of the platitudes have long been familiar in order to make people tolerate serious encroachments on their private sphere.
In China, many people say the same thing as those in power, either that highly intrusive surveillance systems are really for the safety of the people, or that they are powerless to please those in power by following the rules. American society used to have a very similar perception, not just because people were ignorant, but more because the propaganda of those in power was too effective.
The revelations, which include a number of internet giants echoing these absurd views, have shown that these agencies have been complicit in the government.Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, once bluntly denigrated the fundamental human right to privacy in an interview with CNBC, saying: “If you don’t want people to know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t do it in the first place.”
Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, who is now swamped by a scandal involving betrayed users, showed the same ferocity when, in a 2010 interview, he said: In the digital age, personal privacy is no longer a social norm a claim that is nothing less than the most outrageous defence of the surveillance capitalism in which technology companies resell users private information.
Duplicitous surveillance supporters
Beginning with disdain for the Communist Party’s misogynistic behavior, and the fact that all dissent and criticism has been severely repressed, Chinese society has developed a far-reaching tendency to refuse to think about the problem itself, including, but not limited to, unconditional identification with the Silicon Valley giants. The state of mind may seem cautiously understandable, but what can be called bigotry is holding back the democratic perception of Chinese society, which means that citizens should monitor the regime, ensure that policies work for the public’s benefit, and that citizens should be constantly on guard against abuses of power. And what these Internet giants are saying is precisely that they are violating people’s rights by conspying on capitalism with the transnational corporations that are depriving billions of Internet citizens around the world of their right to privacy not just to basic human rights, but to privacy, not only in the United States. By the same token, the overseas expansion of China’s internet giants, who dream of becoming Big Brother, is reversing GFW.
In fact, people who demean privacy, who say it no longer exists or is optional, won’t even believe themselves. Google has consistently refused to communicate with reporters at CNET, a technology information site, only because CNET has published Eric Schmidt’s personal information, including salary and campaign contributions, all of which were obtained from Google searches in order to highlight the dangers of CNET’s intrusion.
Meanwhile, the privacy-defying Zuckerberg bought four buildings around his home for $30m just to tear them down to protect his privacy.As CNET puts it: “Your personal life has become something that Facebook makes money for, and their CEO’s personal life has nothing to do with you.”
Likewise, people who shout that privacy is not important, that surveillance is not important, or that the real name is not important, will still have complex passwords for their email addresses and bank accounts, and won’t tell you the passwords. They’ll be like everyone else when they take a bath, they won’t have sex on the street, they won’t tell anyone their confidants, and won’t allow you to install a camera in their bedroom. After Snowden’s leak, Dianne Feinstein, then chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, insisted that the NSA’s massive collection of surveillance data does not constitute surveillance, because it does not include everything that is communicated. Protesters demanded that she back up her statements with action: would the senator make public a list of the names of all the people she communicated via e-mail and telephone?
The point is that the desire for privacy is an important characteristic shared by all and is the key to who we are as human beings. In the private sphere, we are free to do what we think, what we say and what we do without caring about the judgment of others. Privacy is the core condition of being a free human being.
Why privacy matters? The most famous statement is that of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in Olmstead vs United States in 1928: “The right of a person to be alone is the broadest of rights, and the value of privacy is greater than the scope of civil liberties.”
The framers of our Constitution laid down favourable conditions for ensuring the pursuit of happiness. They recognized that the spiritual essence of man lies in his emotion and intelligence, and that only a part of life exists in the material world for pain, pleasure and contentment. They tried to protect Americans by faith, thought, emotion and feeling. They were given the right to privacy as a counterbalance to the government.
Privacy is freedom, and creativity is guaranteed by privacy.
Privacy is essential to one’s freedom and happiness, and many people understand it, at least instinctively, as people have shown in the subconscious act of self-preservation. Although its specific reasons have not been fully explored. You certainly have the experience, for example, that when you realize that someone is staring at you, behavior changes dramatically, and you begin to adhere strictly to accepted social conventions to prevent you from being seen as deviant and deviant.
When people feel that someone is looking at them, the choices they consider making can be significantly limited, and the denial of the right to privacy can greatly limit an individual’s freedom of choice.
One of the arguments with a group of privacy-defying Chinese who argued that “surveillance doesn’t matter” was that God is ubiquitous. Indeed, some religious beliefs use the same methods as the government to teach obedience, such as “God is watching you”, meaning that you can never escape the scrutiny of the highest authority, so you have no choice but to obey the will of authority.
It is in the ruler’s interest that all repressive authorities, whether political, social, parental, or religious, rely on this important doctrine as the primary tool for enforcing orthodoxy, forcing obedience, and suppressing dissent. The main purpose of the propaganda is to convince people that no matter what you do, you cannot escape authority .
The qualities that are directly linked to quality of life are lost when the private sphere ceases to exist. You act from the heart when you are alone, whether you dance, show affection, share untested thoughts, and are sure to be ashamed when you find that what you are doing is clearly seen by others.
It is only when people decide that no one is looking, that they feel free, that they feel secure, that they really try, that they explore boundaries, that they think in new ways, that they can come up with ideas, that if they know before they start thinking that the results of their thinking must be within a framework that satisfies the watchman, that creativity dies before it is created.
The Internet’s original appeal lies entirely in its ability to speak anonymously, an essential condition for personal exploration, so that only the private sphere is about creativity, allowing dissent to manifest, and challenging orthodoxy.
Orthodoxy means not thinking–not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.
The obsession with the so-called orthodoxy is one of many obvious problems in Chinese society.As Orwell put it, orthodoxy means a culture of unconsciousness, unthinking, fear of change, deference as a virtue, and no separate personality. This is why many Chinese have no sense of privacy as a fundamental human right, or even a complete opposite understanding of it; and why almost everything in Chinese society has been plagiarized, including the misdeeds of the regime, without evil.
Any regime that conducts mass surveillance is demonstrating that it is necessarily an oppressive regime, even if its unscrupulous officials take the opportunity to profit for themselves, which is the very nature of its practices. Whether the results of surveillance are misused or not, there is no escaping the crux of the matter: it is, by its very nature, a gross violation of freedom.
You may not really understand Orwell
The quote to George Orwell is a clich, and although many backsliders do not really understand 1984, Orwell’s warning does not do enough, at least in China. I am referring to people who do not really understand 1984 because it does not describe just surveillance itself.
The Communist Party, for example, is developing a new system of social control (sic, but not new, on the contrary the oldest) that gives it greater control over citizens lives, the RFA reported, citing the news agency. The system divides communities into a grid of 15-20 families per household and provides a special monitor for each grid to report residents to the residents committees.
China’s neighborhood committee has long overseen the activities of ordinary people in a given region, but the report says the new grid management system will allow the Communist Party to manage the daily lives of ordinary people more closely and report potential “dissent pitfalls” at an early stage-so-called “pitfalls” involving almost all aspects of residents ” lives, political views and complaints.”
Last November, Chinese state media reported that some neighborhoods in eastern Zhejiang province had recruited networked surveillance workers offering 5,000 yuan ($792) a month in salary,” the source quoted.
Part of the news comes from citing official media reports, meaning that the message itself has an obvious propaganda purpose. We may need to consider what it means when it appears in the near term. Is it that the authorities feel that face recognition technology, mass interception systems, and predictive criminal systems all fail to make ordinary people feel real fear and instead promote the Stone Age Stasi routine? Or are the effects of those technologies in China that do not satisfy those in power?
I asked the question, but the response showed that no one was feeling the problem. As described in 1984, Big Brother did not need to stare at every moment. He needed only to let people know that he was being watched at all times, and that was enough-it was this uncertainty and the ubiquitous possibility of surveillance that made everyone listen to the government.
Big Brother isn’t watching. Big Brother’s busy holding your attention every moment you’re awake. He’s making sure you’re always distracted. He’s making sure you’re fully absorbed.
Simply put, human rights end up being scared to death, rather than being directly “killed” by surveillance.
In theory, this stone-age method of mass fighting was not really effective. It relied more on people than on highly intrusive technology, who were the most unstable, volatile, difficult to master, and out of step with the Communist government’s basic desire for full mastery.
In fact, propaganda such as Chaoyang Masses and KOL for whistle-blowing , which have become widely known in recent years, are of the same nature. Some argue that this is a double threat using technical and human monitoring, but objectively speaking, it is unnecessary and superfluous. At least, the technology development itself is already huge, and the whistleblowers and those in charge of surveillance outlets have been spending a lot of $5,000 a month (that Beijing believes).
Assuming that double intimidation is true, it is likely that this confirms what we have long feared, namely that much of Chinese society has until now been completely unaware of the evils of tech surveillance Big Brother the unprecedented invasion of privacy, as evidenced by evidence that is not limited to private investors coveting of AI surveillance technology companies, private technocrats quest for jobs in industries that aid such abuses, and widespread protests against Chinese privacy authorities, including those engaged in high-risk professional investigations, such as pro-security, .
It is the resistance barrier that is not intended to create a climate of fear, and I know that this does not require a superfluous explanation, but in a society where there is no real resistance, or even a weak sense of resistance, it does not seem to be easy to understand the above.
Returning to the logic of 1984, Orwell’s description is, at least in part, a warning against self-censorship, not exactly censorship itself. Self-censorship is something more terrifying than censorship, because it runs through a person’s entire mind, from conscious to subconscious, and no technology can do it all the time, but it is the very existence of surveillance technology itself that triggers the devil’s psychologically designed by Bentham in the 18th century.
Similarly, China’s networked regulation does not require that all grid leaders the small-footed old ladies and the voluntary 50 Cent Party remain loyal to the leadership of the Communist Party, or even catch many dissidents, except that the existence of the censorship framework is widely known, creating a social environment in which everyone is dismayed.
So that no one dares to act rashly, but follows the rules and obeys them. The hope of a united revolt is completely extinguished. This is the revolutionary effect of psychological suggestion on the realization of manipulative behavior.
Interestingly enough, Rosefield, Iyouport’s editor-in-chief, once observed that their push in and out of China’s GFW had a very different effect: virtually no response in the GFW, while on Twitter, there was a clear growth trend. Because iyouport’s blogging site was not blocked by the GFW, there was no flip wall problem, and their reach was about three times higher than on Google + Twitter.
Another Chinese media editor told me privately that it is better not to praise content and subjects of obvious political sensitivity, you know, they will see … The they here refer to big brother. As the bilingual European independent media iyouport never does any self-censoring, they simply do not understand the red lines of Chinese censoring.
Wilde once said that by giving people a mask, they can tell the truth. In other words, when people know they are being watched-their faces are recognizable-their comments are likely to be unconscionable. Within China’s GFW, the trend of “from self-censorship to self-preservation” (our article of three years ago) is not incomprehensible, though technically speaking only the Chinese equivalent of tweeting and tweeting.”
WeChat is transparent,” as it has been known for years, but Ma can still claim brazenly that his monthly active accounts have topped one billion and privacy defenders have been humiliated, just as Zuckerberg was able to make unaffected advertising profits after the Cambridge scandal, because they have become an important part of the lives of billions of people, and for these users they have cut themselves out of their lives.
Based on this, we give more tips, including ways not limited to encrypting Twitter messages, using Tor and Privacy Badger for anti-tracking, meaning you can continue to use these apps while sufficiently reducing the pressure to be monitored. But what technology can’t fix is that the presence of these surveillance behaviors has taken root, and the inertia of self-censorship has been largely implanted into consciousness.
At least as one Chinese friend put it, information encryption does not protect you from the eyes that exist around you. Yes, the danger of Chinese society also lies in the whistleblowing mechanism that the government has been promoting, which constantly implies that the agents of the government are with you and that you do not know who they are.
The Chinese government’s propaganda has always been that, whether it is surveillance technology or the Stasi style of mass fighting, those in power are eager to tell you that these things exist, whether they work at all times or not, it doesn t matter, and you can t know, but you have sensed a status quo where you have nowhere to run, and surveillance has its own purpose ensuring that power works automatically.
The exercise of power over an individual in the form of continuous surveillance, in the form of control, discipline, compensation, in the form of amendment, is the shaping and transformation of the individual to the satisfaction of the perpetrator of the surveillance… Michel Foucault, Power
To be continued…