AT THE end of March the free speech and privacy campaigning organisation Open Rights Group published an open letter to Home Secretary Amber Rudd requesting that she extend the consultation into the Investigatory Powers Act.
Despite the fact that the government has now allowed itself to spy on us all ceaselessly, there are still too many people who appear to be apathetic about this enormous breach of human rights.
What’s worse is that the media often joins the government’s call to expand mass surveillance, seemingly forgetting that privacy is so important to their industry.
Fortunately, there’s a video game out there showcasing the sheer scale of the freely, and not so freely, available data that we all have on the internet and the truly terrifying depths to which a paranoid/authoritarian government could — and in Britain’s case probably already does — stoop to access it.
Created by Australian indie developers Osmotic, it’s called Orwell — rather an apt name for a simulation game of this kind — and is available on PC and Mac.
Players take on the role of an NSA/ GCHQ-like state surveillance operative for a government known simply as The Party in an fictional country called The Nation.
The game begins with an explosion in the Nation’s capital. As a newly employed operative working from outside the country’s borders, it’s up to you to track down those responsible for the bombing and to ascertain whether there are more attacks planned.
To do this, you use a state-of-theart computer surveillance programme — Orwell — which stores and cross references the data you gather on the suspects and persons of interest.
It’s up to you to sift through emails, social media posts, text messages, medical records, online dating profiles and criminal records.