There’s a hot book on the scene — have you heard about it? It’s this wacky vision of a dystopian future where the government is always listening. And oh yeah, it’s George Orwell’s 1984, which was published 64 years ago. Sales of the futuristic cautionary tale to society have been hopping in the wake of the National Security Agency surveillance scandal, with one edition jumping from No. 73797 to No. 125 on the Amazon.com best-seller list. [More]
As part of a settlement with the customer who sued Amazon over the 1984 fiasco this past summer, Amazon has clarified under what circumstances it can delete your books. Notably, Amazon is not saying that it will never again delete books, which keeps the Kindle in the “do not buy” list for consumers who want unequivocal ownership of the items they purchase. In fact, despite the muted praise Amazon is receiving for doing this, the best we can say about the clarification is that it’s about time, but that it still doesn’t address the fundamental ownership issues raised by the Kindle licensing system.
So you’ve got a Kindle, and you have books on it, and you want to keep those books—no matter what Amazon or a publisher decides you deserve in the future. Your legal options are limited, but you do have some.
The L.A. Times read the privacy policies of several bundled service providers and found that they are feverishly monitoring their subscriber’s activities. With the ability to monitor internet, phone, and television preferences, bundled service providers are able to track nearly every aspect of their subscriber’s digital lives. While Google retains personally identifiable for less than two years, some ISPs like Time Warner cling to your data for an astounding fifteen years in order to “comply with tax and accounting requirements.” It gets worse.
As all men know, in our dystopian future, bar codes will be tattooed directly over our pineal gland for easier government processing. This is supported by a vast library of dystopian fiction and comic books. And — as those high school sophomores who will so feverishly insist that 1984 is Orwell’s line by line premonition of the Bush Administration well know — these things always come true. So those of us with a flair for fashion should probably start thinking ahead about what statement we want our bar codes to make.