UN Expert Calls UK Surveillance “Worse Than 1984”

The new Special Rapporteur on Privacy for the United Nations, Joseph Cannataci, has branded the UK surveillance state “a rather bad joke at its citizen’s expense” that is “worse” than the dystopian vision of the future from George Orwell’s 1984. An obvious point of reference, to the point of cliché, but still sadly apposite.

“At least Winston [from Orwell’s 1984] was able to go out in the countryside and go under a tree and expect there wouldn’t be any screen, as it was called,” Cannataci lamented. “Whereas today there are many parts of the English countryside where there are more cameras than George Orwell could ever have imagined. So the situation in some cases is far worse already.”

Cannataci’s fear extends beyond an invasion of privacy, complaining that the commercialisation of user data is just as insidious as state surveillance. “They just went out and created a model where people’s data has become the new currency,” he said. “And unfortunately, the vast bulk of people sign their rights away without knowing or thinking too much about it,” Cannataci told The Guardian.

The UN’s new privacy chief believes the only way to tackle flagrant invasion of privacy is with a Geneva convention-style law to protect against unwarranted digital surveillance, and keep both governments and corporations in line.

“We have a number of corporations that have set up a business model that is bringing in hundreds of thousands of millions of euros and dollars every year and they didn’t ask anybody’s permission. They didn’t go out and say: ‘Oh, we’d like to have a licensing law.’ No, they just went out and created a model where people’s data has become the new currency. And unfortunately, the vast bulk of people sign their rights away without knowing or thinking too much about it,” he said.

Thank you The Guardian for providing us with this information.

Advent Sci-Fi Game Teased by 2K.

2K, the people behind Bioshock, have tweeted an obscure reveal of what looks to be a new game. Of course at this point it could be anything, but the safe money is on it being a game.

So what is this Advent? From the look of the images that have been released and the quite informative in-world website, it looks to be a futuristic city. One that you wouldn’t be shocked to see Rick Deckard running amok in.

On the website there is a pamphlet that details the Advent gene therapy that apparently has saved millions, boasting a world without illness or pain. So what else could it be other than a George Orwell inspired, too good to be true, futuristic dystopia.

The website, tweet and pamphlet all leave a lot to the imagination, but there are theories out there that this could be the new X-COM game. Or more probable, the universe that follows on from Rapture and Columbia in the Bioshock series. This could all be wrong, as internet theories usually are, and be a new IP for 2K. What look to be a screen shot of the in game world don’t look to me as sequels to either of the aforementioned games, it looks more like a Sim City style game. All this is conjecture, it’s only one little glimpse of an otherwise mysterious thing. I’m sure the internet will be rife with more theories about what this new game is, but the only true way is to wait and see what 2K has in store for us.