In high school, I was required to read George Orwell’s 1984. In our classroom discussion, I remember being reassured that this sort of thing only happens in Communist governments and not the United States. Fast forward from my junior English class (1966) to August 4, 2009: “Facts Are Stubborn Things.” What got my attention is this line: “If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.” Though to be sure I am not suggesting that the US is equivalent to Orwell’s Oceania and we are not told what the White House will do with the collected information, it is somewhat disconcerting to think that my neighbor might turn me into “big brother” since I do not want Obamacare. Others feel the same way as I do: “White House’s Call for ‘Informants’ Draws Conservatives’ Ire.”
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