- uploaded: Jan 12, 2012
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The popular conception of the police state, derived mainly from works of science fiction, revolves heavily around the deployment of exotic technologies for keeping the populace firmly under the thumb of an authoritarian government.
Winston Smith and the characters of 1984 were surveilled by the omnipresent telescreens. The inhabitants of the Brave New World were controlled by their government-administered soma drugs and hypnopædia indoctrination. Enemy of the State introduced the viewer to worldwide telephone and satellite surveillance. Philip K. Dick's Minority Report had its robotic tracking bugs. And all manner of science-fiction has featured pain devices and bracelets that cause the protagonist to double over in pain at the click of a button.
Perhaps it is the frequency with which these devices are presented to us in fictionalized form that prevents many from noticing that this technology is not the stuff of sci-fi fantasy, but increasingly a part of our everyday lives.