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Big Brother at the Movies: Can They Really Do That?


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When it comes to portraying Big Brother on the big screen, how close is Hollywood fiction to real-world fact? 

Intercepting private cell phone calls. Deploying machines to do full-body and iris scans. Using Global Position System (GPS) data to track people in real-time.

With the advance of technology, those scenarios have moved from the stuff of sci-fi fantasy to the realm of reality. But, digital rights advocates say, privacy law has not kept up.

"We're in sort of a new world where we've got social networking, we've got location-based services, we've got search. We've got all of these things that weren't around in 1986 when our last electronic privacy law was written," said Nicole Ozer, technology and civil liberties policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union. "Four years is a lifetime in the technology world, 24 years is like the dark ages."

At this year's South by Southwest Interactive conference, an annual social media festival that ended earlier this week, Ozer and Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Kevin Bankston used a handful of Hollywood flicks to highlight the importance of balancing the government's ability to surveil with an individual's right to privacy.

From ABC News
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