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May 14 / Dominic Nanni

What Would George Orwell Say?

George Orwell created Big Brother in his novel “1984,” a parody on life in a society completely controlled by government. Other writers such as Ray Bradbury and Aldous Huxley continued this tradition after Orwell. Recent events about the Obama Administration and his Justice Department are bringing new and contemporary meaning to this phrase.

As reported by the New York Times yesterday:

“The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.

The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.”

This is an important issue and one we should be looking into. If there was a legitimate national security concern that was used to justify these actions by the government, then I believe it is permissible. However, if the government did it just for the hell of it, then there should be serious consequences. Orwell’s novel was not meant to predict the future, it was meant to warn us of a possible future in which we could be subjects of the government. That being said, we should cautious and not rush to judgement, but also weary of what the consequences of actions such as these.