Harvard Professor Foresees an Orwellian Future For Us All

Photo: Big Brother by Glasseyes View/ flickr
Photo: Big Brother by Glasseyes View/ flickr

A Harvard professor said some pretty confronting things at the World Economic Forum which finishes today at the Swiss ski resort Davos.

What Margo Seltzer, a professor in computer science at Harvard University, said in a forum on Thursday is typically the kind of things that so-called conspiracy theorists get criticized for warning about.

Professor Seltzer said she saw a future where robotic mosquitoes would zip around collecting people’s DNA to be used by governments or large corporations.

Taking a step back from the future, Professor Seltzer said that today the notion of personal privacy is now effectively nonexistent.

“Welcome to today. We’re already in that world,” she said according to AFP.

“Privacy as we knew it in the past is no longer feasible… How we conventionally think of privacy is dead.”

Invasions of privacy are “going to become more pervasive,” she foresaw.

“It’s not whether this is going to happen, it’s already happening,” she added.

“We live in a surveillance state today.”

Several other of her Harvard colleagues made mention of other not so comforting scenarios regarding the use of our personal genetic information and how government agencies will further control how we use the digital world.

“Governments are talking about putting in back doors for communication so that terrorists can’t communicate without being spied on. The problem is that if governments can do that, so can the bad guys,” Political scientist Joseph Nye told the forum.

“Are you more worried about big brother or your nasty little cousin?”

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