There are more than just these touched on in the book, but to provide a brief overview, among others, these are just some of the ways you are being tracked, around the clock in the “land of the free.”
Based on your consumer activities: Federal and State law enforcement agencies have begun acting in partnership, sharing data collected on you, and they’ve collected a lot of data in an attempt to identify what they term as “suspicious persons.”
Based on your public activities: It’s not hard to see which way the wind is blowing. Following the lead of big government, private corporations are jumping into the fray as well, negotiating incredibly lucrative contracts with various law enforcement agencies (at all levels) around the country.
Based on your phone activities: The CIA is on record as having paid AT&T over $10 million dollars a year for years on end, in order to gain access to data on Americans’ phone calls abroad.
Based on your computer activities: Federal agents now employ a number of increasingly sophisticated hacking methods (oftentimes by hiring the world’s best hackers into their own ranks) in order to gain access to your computer activities and “see” whatever you’re seeing on your monitor.
Based on your behavior: Thanks to a flood of federal money, police departments nationwide are able to fund a variety of new surveillance systems that turn the most basic human behaviors into suspicious situations to be studied and analyzed. Police in California and Massachusetts have received federal funds to create systems like that operated by the New York Police Department, which “links 3,000 surveillance cameras with license plate readers, radiation sensors, criminal databases and terror suspect lists.”
Based on your face: Facial recognition software promises to create a society in which every individual who steps out into public is tracked and recorded as they go about their daily lives. The goal here is for government agents to be able to scan a crowd of people and instantly identify everyone present. Facial recognition programs are being rolled out in states all across the country (only twelve states do not use facial recognition software).
Based on your car: License plate scanners, which can read plates from a distance of several hundred feet, can identify the owner of any car that comes within its sights, are growing in popularity among police agencies. High resolution cameras are affixed to overpasses or cop cars, these devices give police a clear idea of where your car was at a specific date and time, whether the doctor’s office, the bar, the mosque, or at a political rally.
Based on your social media activities: The use of social media as a form of surveillance will have some frightening consequences in coming years. As Helen Popkin, writing for NBC News observed, “We may very well face a future where algorithms bust people en masse for referencing illegal ‘Game of Thrones’ downloads, or run sweeps for insurance companies seeking non-smokers confessing to lapsing back into the habit.
Based on your metadata: Metadata is innocuous and almost unnoticed by most, but it is an incredibly invasive dataset. Indeed, with access to one’s metadata, one can “identify people’s friends and associates, detect where they were at a certain time, acquire clues to religious or political affiliations, and pick up sensitive information like regular calls to a psychiatrist’s office, late-night messages to an extramarital partner or exchanges with a fellow plotter.”
From the skies: Absolutely nothing will escape the government’s all seeing eyes, especially when drones take to the skies in 2015. These smart devices, ranging from the size of small aircraft to as small as a grasshopper will have the ability to see through the walls of your home, and be capable of tracking your every movement.
In the end, the author concludes that the surest way to allow the Police State to come to full flower is our own, continued inaction. All we need to do is…nothing. Nothing at all. If we do that, the Police State is inevitable. The author ends on a chilling note: “Thus, we have arrived in Orwell’s world. The question now is: will we take a stand and fight to remain free or will we go gently into the concentration camp?” "