If George Orwell would have lived to write a sequel to his classic book 1984, it could have aptly been titled 2002. That is because the United States seems to be deriving some of its governmental tactics from Oceania.
A new law that became effective Nov. 6 requires male international students from certain Arab countries to essentially pre-book themselves with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Males over the age of 16 coming from the countries of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Syria must visit a local INS office and register. Registration includes being photographed, fingerprinted and subjected to an interview under oath.
Students across the country, including a handful of USF students who come from Syria, must report to a local INS office for registration by Dec. 16 or risk being detained.
The new law is despicable but not surprising.
In fact, on Wednesday, the Pentagon announced its plans to track every purchase made by every American citizen as a tool for combating terrorism.
Sound impossible? Not really. The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will be in charge of making the system work. DARPA is the same group that built the framework for another well-known system widely used today: the Internet.
With this “supersnoop” mentality a driving force behind American government, it now appears that every American is now a suspect in the vaguely titled “War on Terrorism.”
Under the recently passed homeland security bill, the government now plans to track what you buy, where you surf on the Internet, to and from whom you are sending and receiving e-mail, where you travel, who you call and where and when you do your banking.
The government seems to think instilling fear in the mind of Americans is an effective way to combat terrorism, while terrorists seem to think instilling fear is the best way to combat our government. Who knows. At the rate which the government is diminishing its citizens’ privacy, maybe soon, around every corner, everywhere you look, there will be a picture of President George W. Bush.
It should be clear now — Big Brother is watching.