New law: Teachers to spy on children with ‘terrorist inclinations’

January 7, 2015
Santiago, Chile

It’s been 66 years since George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 was published.

In it, Orwell depicts a future where the UK (and the whole world really) descends into a totalitarian regime that’s in a perpetual state of war, propaganda, and persecution.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the story is the omnipresent government surveillance and complete lack of privacy.

People live in apartments equipped with two-way telescreens so that they could be watched and listened to at all times.

Public spaces are similarly littered with recording devices and microphones so that everyone is kept in check.

Undercover agents pose as normal citizens and report any person with subversive tendencies. Children become government spies. Everyone snitches on everyone else.

A lot of these elements are too familiar today.

There’s a complete lack of privacy online, with governments brazenly snooping on every activity from tracking people’s movements, to trolling social media, intercepting and storing emails and instant messages, listening in on voice conversations, etc.

Most public spaces are full of CCTV cameras.

Financial privacy of course doesn’t exist anymore—financial nudity is the norm today. Everyone from bankers to brokers to payday lenders are forcibly being drafted into the ranks of unpaid government spies.

1984 takes place in the UK—it was Orwell’s view of what his country would develop into in the future.

The irony is not lost on us as we regrettably report today that politicians in the House of Commons in the UK are right now debating legislation put forth which would require teachers in nurseries, elementary schools and other educational institutions to report children between ages 3 to 11 with ‘terrorist inclinations’.

The legislation is part of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill that’s currently in Parliament in London.

It says nurseries should ensure proper training to give staff the “knowledge and confidence to identify” and “challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimize terrorism and are shared by terrorist groups.”

It will become teachers’ duty to monitor, track, and report children’s words and actions that show signs of sympathy with terrorists or is a risk of potential radicalization.

Now, this is happening in the UK, but it could easily be anywhere in Western Europe or North America.

Not long ago the West used to stand for something. It was the beacon of freedom, liberty, human rights, and hope. The West gave people the chance to rise in life.

Now, sadly, it’s turning into Orwell’s dystopian version of itself. Soon, a teacher won’t just be someone charged with the education of our children… but rather another unpaid government spy.

Life really does imitate art.

Back in 1984 when the West was fighting Soviet ideology, could we ever have imagined something so intrusive?

And yet, thirty-one years later, it’s sadly happening.

The West is in a perpetual state of decline, both in terms of economics and freedom.

It doesn’t happen overnight (until it does). But when you take a long-term view, it’s hardly recognizable.

Is the country where you’re living the same place you remember a decade ago? Thirty years ago?

This decline is one of the biggest stories of our time. And it’s about time to start looking at options.

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