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Surveillance today does seem to go beyond what Orwell presented in his novel. For example, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has warned of a secretive surveillance tool being used by the FBI which acts as a face cellular tower. These devices, called Stingrays, lets the government search large geographical areas for a particular cell phone signal. In the process however, the devices collect information on thousands of other cell phone signals belonging to unassociated people, which happen to also be located in the same area. More recently local law enforcement personnel have used the device in order to avoid limitation
provided in the Constitution including the requirement the issuance of individualized warrants Cox. While in the novel 1984 surveillance of the population is presented as something the government puts into place to control the society for the governments benefit, the reality in today’s world is that data mining of social network pages, email, location information, individual search histories and data bases that include information of interrelated people goes beyond governmental involvement. Termed participatory surveillance, individuals using sites such as Facebook voluntarily provide personal information about themselves in a profile and knowingly give permission for other sites to access their profiles in order to gain access to news, weather, and other information or even to be able to play games online. Most social networking sites ask their users to provide these kinds of details. This information commonly appears in casual digital conversations within given social networking communication platforms. Consequently, personal information about people is not something necessarily hidden that must be uncovered or retrieved using exotic technologies, human agents or advanced bugging equipment. People themselves are knowingly publishing
this information on public websites accessible by almost anyone with internet access and often available without cost.