Big Brother is watching

Big Brother is watching by David Parker, September 19, 2007, The Edmonton Journal
It seems that George Orwell got it right in his classic novel 1984, but he was 23 years too early, at least in Alberta. Big Brother is indeed watching us, in the form of the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board. Orwell’s story of Winston Smith’s life in 1984 is a rather depressing one of closed-circuit cameras and being observed at every moment of one’s life. How close are we getting to that here? A government-appointed panel using secret investigators to infiltrate the private phone conversations of a few concerned farmers and environmentalists? It looks more suspiciously like an infringement of personal privacy and democratic freedom, as the details become more evident. Battalions of soldiers are fighting and dying in Afghanistan, and we are told that it is to protect those same freedoms that are being violated right here. Any student of history will tell you how easy it is to lose hard-won rights to privacy, to the right of free speech and the ability to express dissent about government actions. The Alberta government has shown more than once that it does not like being criticized and has little time for opposition


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