Big Brother’s nastier sibling

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Today’s news that the nation’s thousands of red light and speed cameras could be fitted with automatic number plate recognition technology has been predictably derided as ‘Big Brother at work’ by civil liberties groups. But forget about Big Brother for a second, what about little brother? If civil liberties groups put away the scripts of outrage they pull out every time there’s talk of ID cards or other privations initiated by the state, maybe they’d see we’ve got much more to fear from Big Brother’s love-starved younger sibling. But who is little brother? Are you intrigued? Well read on.

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5 Responses to “Big Brother’s nastier sibling”

  1. Amy Bradney-George Says:

    This might seem a bit left of field, off topic or unusually pedantic/questioning but don’t you think that “little brother” is just another form of Big Brother? I mean, the metaphor being based on 1984, there were individuals in that who helped maintain Big Brother’s authority by noticing the faults in others and reporting them. I don’t know, maybe that was your point? Or maybe I’m reading into the metaphor a bit too much…
    I just think that the idea of Big Brother was there is no privacy, due to technologies which, in turn, made people self-censoring. Whether that is from the government or from the “little people”, it’s still the same. A spade being a spade and all that.

  2. Tim Says:

    I think there is a subtle difference. Libiterians always go on about state surveillance. They’re obsessed. But I’m worried about something knew – that everyone has the capacity to be a big brother. It’s just a change in focus.

  3. Tim Says:

    Groups like the ‘Michigan Militia’ etc say they are worried about big government and it’s encroaching on personal freedoms – freedoms of the individual. But they seem to forget about facebook and other corporate big brother’s as well as this new ‘little brother’ phenomena.

  4. Amy Bradney-George Says:

    ok, I’m humouring the idea now I know where you’re coming from.

    So my next question is do you think the evolution of “little brother” is connected to the increased popularity of human interest stories that we’ve seen in journalism in the past few years?

  5. Tim Says:

    Um…not really. Well maybe actually. We are becoming alot more focussed on people’s stories, so I suppose that kind of personality based journalism is fuelling the general trend – taking things that once were considered private and making them public.

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