Big Brother Broadband: Are you watching us?

09 Dec 2010


So the government are saying the whole of Britain will be blessed with super-fast broadband by the year 2015, even simple country folk stuck out in rural areas (is anyone really ‘stuck out’ in rural areas in Britain these days?).

Yippee. This is great news. It will help us find jobs, boost our economy and also give us the title of best broadband holders in Europe (I’m not quite sure why this last bit is important, but apparently it is). That aside, it will be brilliant for those people (like me) who pay for fast broadband from their service provider, only for it to move at the speed of my partner when you tell him it’s his turn to wash up.

It will help us stay in communication with each other and the rest of the world, search for jobs, find jobs, and work from home – whatever it takes to give our economy a much-needed boost. We can become the slickest, fastest, most productive country in Europe…

But. And this is a big but – the conspiracy theorist in me also can’t help thinking that it’s all just a ploy to keep track of our every move. I find it upsetting and annoying that the government already have ways and means of spying on us – council snitches, CCTV, Google Earth, nosey neighbours, and now this – a massive internet audit. It probably sounds ridiculous but I do get scared that Big Brother really is watching.

We’ve all heard the hoo-hah about illegal downloading and the fact that the government are in cahoots with service providers to catch and prosecute downloaders; what if this is the start of the ‘nanny state’? What if it helps them come up with new ways and means to spy on us? Each of us may have a catalogue of mundane crimes held against us without our knowledge (I’m not saying that illegal downloading is ok by the way folks, I just don’t like the fact the government have the power to spy on us) and one day they’ll all come crashing down around us with a big bang.

Of course we could never or would never give up Broadband. Mine may be slow but I can’t live without it – it’s what helps me work from home and stay sane every time my daughter is ill or I’m snowed in. You may wonder why I chose to live out in the sticks when I obviously still like modern living and technology. Think about all the movies where the protagonist is on the run, or know something about the state they shouldn’t; they live in very remote areas…

Am I being silly? Very much so. Have I watched too many movies? Definitely. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not real. In fact, someone could be watching my every word in this blog…So if I’m not back in over the next few days and I’m not at home or answering my phone, it’s because I knew too much…