What a surprise: the U.K. government was forced to reveal under Freedom of Information laws more than 1,000 civil servants have ’snooped’ on British citizens’ private data.
At the risk of giving my age away, there was an episode during the first season of the original 1963 "Outer Limits" entitled "O.B.I.T." about a top-secret machine that allowed security people to literally see into the minds of the staff at the research center. The show focused on the demoralizing effect such total surveillance had on the people, and the machine was ultimately revealed as part of a plot to prepare the human population for conquest by destroying their ability to work together. During the hearings before a U.S. Senator, one of the operators described spying on innocent people as an addiction, "You can't not watch!" One of the exposed plotters explains, "The machines are everywhere! Oh you'll find them all, you're a zealous people. And you'll make a great show of smashing a few of them. But for every one you destroy, hundreds of others will be built. And they will demoralize you, break your spirits, create such rifts and tensions in your society that no one will be able to repair them! Oh, you're a savage, despairing planet, and when we come here to live, you friendless, demoralized flotsam will fall without even a single shot being fired. Senator, enjoy the few years left you. There is no answer. You're all of the same dark persuasion! You demand – insist – on knowing every private thought and hunger of everyone: Your families, your neighbors, everyone — but yourselves." The original Outer Limits was a showcase for thought-provoking creative writing now sadly banished from politically correct Hollywood simply because it was thought provoking.