Technology advances at a huge rate. Two years ago his mother didn't even know what the internet was. Now she has three email addresses, two websites and a member of several online communities. The change with this new technology has happened quickly, but almost imperceptible for many.
No new crimes with the internet, just new tools. Amazing advances, but some worries. A 1984-like uber-state is possible, but we haven't got it. But it's possible. For example:
- Software that can monitor screen radiation, interpolate results and view what's on your screen from quite some distance away. Will become more widely
- Laser audio surveillance: Point a small laser at a window in which conversations happening, and can use the vibrations from the window to record audio.
- Tiny cameras, pinhole-sized.
A legitimate concern. Can't outlaw this: people should be free to innovate. Can't return us to the stone age. Technology isn't evil, just how some people use it. If outlawed, then only outlaws and governments will have this technology.
Why can we be free to say what we wish here today? Freedom is not a technological problem, it's a cultural problem. What really keeps us free is our cultural aversion to being bossed around. We don't need to worry NOW as long as we do still have the freedom to criticise and we do still have the western cultural tradition that values freedom.
Technology will keep improving, but it's not something to worry about. But we should remain vigilant.