Your home appliances will soon be remotely controlled by the government

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Increas­ing­ly, our free­dom and auton­o­my are threat­ened by those who seek to mon­i­tor and con­trol every aspect of our dai­ly lives. George Orwell’s “Big Broth­er” from the nov­el 1984 is a pale threat in com­par­i­son to the dystopi­an real­i­ty our lead­ers which have cre­at­ed for us since that book was pub­lished more than six decades ago.

Orwell clear­ly fore­saw a future in which the state watch­es over and micro­man­ages the lives of its sub­jects, but even he could scarce­ly have imag­ined the degree of sur­veil­lance and con­trol that tech­nol­o­gy would make pos­si­ble.

I also believe that he hoped we would avoid allow­ing this to hap­pen — it seems clear that the book was designed as a warn­ing, as were many oth­ers that were pub­lished in the 20th cen­tu­ry. Bradbury’s Fahren­heit 451 and Huxley’s Brave New World are just two famous exam­ples that come to mind.

One of the prob­lems is that our free­doms are tak­en away incre­men­tal­ly, in small units and in the name of “nation­al secu­ri­ty” or “tech­no­log­i­cal progress” — we don’t see the cumu­la­tive effect until it’s too late to do any­thing about it.

The lat­est encroach­ment on our pri­va­cy and dai­ly actions comes in the form of what is being called “smart grid” tech­nol­o­gy.

UK util­i­ty com­pa­ny North­ern Pow­er­grid Hold­ings Co. (which is owned by mega-bil­lion­aire War­ren Buf­fett) is coop­er­at­ing with Siemens AG towards a planned test of a smart grid which will be able, accord­ing to, “to con­trol when con­sumer appli­ances will be used in the home.

Being able to bet­ter man­age when elec­tric­i­ty flows allows util­i­ties to low­er con­sumer costs by reduc­ing the need for new equip­ment, and to bet­ter han­dle surges and gaps from inter­mit­tent sources such as wind and solar. The pilot pro­gram, known as the Cus­tomer-Led Net­work Rev­o­lu­tion, involves just 12,000 house­holds in the U.K. and is one of only a few such projects being test­ed world­wide.”

It seems clear that the term “Cus­tomer-Led Net­work Rev­o­lu­tion” is designed to give the impres­sion that con­sumers are some­how behind the imple­men­ta­tion of this tech­nol­o­gy, which is high­ly unlike­ly indeed.

The truth is that the smart grid will not only allow the providers of elec­tric­i­ty con­trol over con­sumer usage but will also pro­vide a detailed pic­ture of the customer’s ener­gy con­sump­tion habits.

This may seem innocu­ous enough on the sur­face, but it’s not hard to imag­ine this abil­i­ty being used to invade pri­va­cy and keep an even clos­er watch over the dai­ly activ­i­ties of cit­i­zens.

Soon, the author­i­ties may be exam­in­ing your behav­ior at home in detail: “What’s he doing in his work­shop at 3am? Could it be crim­i­nal activ­i­ty?”, etc.

It’s inter­est­ing how the War­ren Buf­fetts of this world seem so intent on help­ing us man­age our lives. It seems very con­sid­er­ate, but I often won­der what the real pur­pose is.

And, as Melis­sa Melton of The Dai­ly Sheeple points out, why is it that the pow­ers that be are so con­cerned with help­ing us save mon­ey on elec­tric­i­ty, when they active­ly dis­cour­age any efforts towards inde­pen­dence of the grid on our parts?

In Melton’s words:

Smart grid tech­nol­o­gy is one more rung on the lad­der to a com­plete tech­no­crat­ic slave grid where aus­ter­i­ty and arti­fi­cial scarci­ty rule the day.”

In some states in the U.S. (includ­ing Flori­da and Texas), it is vir­tu­al­ly ille­gal to live off the grid. There have been sev­er­al cas­es where those who have man­aged to live inde­pen­dent­ly off the pow­er grid have been treat­ed as crim­i­nals.

We once lived in a soci­ety where self-reliance and inde­pen­dence were con­sid­ered pos­i­tive qual­i­ties. It seems that nowa­days these traits are deemed not only as out of fash­ion, but as direct threats to the cen­tral author­i­ty.

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