As I was watching a TV show last night I noticed that much of the plot of this FBI drama revolved around modern day technology and the ability to track, listen and trace a person's whereabouts, preferences and likes through their cell phone usage. This particular FBI computer geek was able to find a perp by using the GPS in the phone to locate the suspect. After 9/11 and the Patriot act it became mandatory that all cell phones have a GPS for Homeland Security. We have to be able to locate the terrorists, you know. Now, even if a phone is not turned on, it can be located. And of course, every call you make, every text you take, they are watching you. Each time you use your cell phone you are creating a record of where you are and what you are doing. Every time you text a message it goes onto the big storage disk in the sky. Once it is written it is public knowledge. I wish I could make my daughter understand that.
I was born well before George Orwell's 1984. I remember the furor the concept of constantly being watched produced. I awaited the dreaded time when my every movement would be catalogued by a giant computer in the sky. 1984 came and went and no Big Brother, Orwell was well ahead of his time. It took until 2010. Finally the day has arrived and we have barely noticed. Our cell phones are not only a means of communication but it allows us to surf the web, text and light our way through a dark bedroom so as not to disturb your spouse. My sister recently posted on her Facebook status, "I am old enough to have lived half my life without a cell phone and now, when I misplace it, I feel as though I am missing an appendage." And the cell phone is so much more. It is a security badge to the restricted area of your life. It is the private key that opens the door and allows special, by invitation only, access. It can offer up an alibi should you ever need one or it can pinpoint you at any place at any moment in time. (Note to self, if I ever commit a crime, leave the cell phone at home connected to my sister's message center.)
I suppose I should be more concerned about this, after all, Big Brother is, in fact, watching. I suppose I should be concerned that my civil rights are being violated, that the constitution is being trampled, that the Patriot Act lives. But to be honest, I'm not. I don't do anything nearly covert enough to worry about who knows where I am. I am not planning any terrorist activity, at least any outside of a novel, that anyone needs to worry about. If someone out there in cyber-space has nothing better to do than track my movements I would have to worry about them. Join a gym, get a pet, go to dinner, life is more interesting than I am. Same reason I don't care if the bedroom drapes are closed all the way. I should mention that our bedroom looks out onto an empty field but if someone wanted to crawl back there and peep just to get a look at an old guy in his underwear, knock yourself out.
Yet this wonder of modern technology is not everything it is cracked up to be and Hollywood needs to present it in a more realistic manner. I spill a few drops of diet Pepsi on my cell phone and it shorts out. Jack Bauer on '24' takes the sim card from the stomach of a terrorist, wipes it on his pants and it still works. I mean, really?
Causes Thomas White Supports
Kerry Daveline Memorial Golf Tournament for the Melanoma Society. http://www.hacknsmack.org/