It wasn’t always like this. Those books from the 1900’s and early 2000’s? They used to be fiction.
Communication technology was a great thing. Telephony and radio made distances smaller, the internet pulled everyone even closer together. It was ideal. The ability to get in touch with someone from a vastly (or not so vastly) different culture at the mere press of a button was a godsend, exactly the kind of bonding experience we all needed to better understand each other, rather than continuing to fight trivial wars.
But as the peace in the world grew, so did everyone’s passivity. In the beginning, when people discovered entire nations were being wiretapped by their governments, outrage ensued. Wiretapping laws were tightened under the pressure of the public. A small victory for one of the fundamental human rights: privacy. But it didn’t last long. As internet usage grew, so did interest in it as a resource for gathering information. Information on everything. Information on everyone.
Over the years numerous whistleblowers, heroes, brought out into the open the facts governments and corporations had tried their very best to keep secret, whatever means necessary. Communication from allied nations had been spied on. Civilians had had their instant messages recorded. Location tracking, automated blacklisting, literal global camera surveillance. It hadn’t been slowly piling up. Everything had already been there.
The people didn’t care. Those who still participated in battles for privacy had been placated by their small victories over internet censorship, back when that was still an issue. Those battles eventually weakened and faded, their cause taken a crap on by the opposition. Society was deep in. Very deep. People willingly gave away everything there was to know about them. Every super market purchase, every online transaction, every word in every conversation. The people didn’t care.
Of course, whenever some new leak made the news, a small group of people would make an uproar. They’d go on about how it was unacceptable, how shocking the depth of the new reveal was, whatever. They did nothing. The masses accepted it as normal, maybe a necessity for public safety. But wasn’t there relative peace? Was there as big a need for it all as the big folks would say when they got busted again? It didn’t matter, the people didn’t care. They’d gladly take targeted advertisement as a reward as well.
Everyone just supplied the ones playing shady games with information. Endless data. Soon, the heavier pro-privacy groups got crushed. Nothing was outside the surveillance limits anymore. Everything could be monitored. Everything was seen. And we gladly lent them a hand with it.
(Look at the tag in the top right, this is a fiction writing thing. Or is it?)