Kindle Orwellian Nightmare
The apparent success of Amazon's wonderful Kindle has everyone's head full of blissful visions of instantly updated newspapers, books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs - every last error corrected and every last and most recent version included.
Well, maybe not everyone's head.
At UrbZen, the following scenario is presented:
Consider what might happen if a scholar releases a book on radical Islam exclusively in a digital format. The US government, after reviewing the work, determines that certain passages amount to national security threat, and sends Amazon and the publisher national security letters demanding the offending passages be removed. Now not only will anyone who purchases the book get the new, censored copy, but anyone who had bought the book previously and then syncs their Kindle with Amazon—to buy another book, pay a bill, whatever—will, probably unknowingly, have the old version replaced by the new, “cleaned up” version on their device. The original version was never printed, and now it’s like it didn’t even exist. What’s more, the government now has a list of everyone who downloaded both the old and new versions of the book.
I'd hate for a device as friendly and cheerful as the Kindle to be used in this way by the State, but it would be a lot less work than George Orwell wrote about in 1984:
And when all of the changes that happened to be necessary in any particular number of the Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs - to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date...
All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place...
For fun, take a look at this article on Electronic Erasable Paper - Xerox Seeks E-Palimpsest. If this article results in wrong thoughts about the Kindle, please be sure to practice crimestop.
From Amazon Kindle = Privacy FAIL via Rough Type.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/16/2009)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 6 )
Related News Stories -
Organic Photonic Skin Display
'A strip of readout skin on my wrist...' - John Varley, 1992.
Samsung Patent For Smart Contact Lens Camera Granted
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.' - Vernor Vinge, 2001.
LG's Rollable Display Video Is Amazing
Rollable maps, oh yes, please.
LG's Rollable Newspaper Display
'A wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling colour....' - EC Tubb, 1958.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Mobility Scooters Go Offroad
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'
RAMST - Robotically Assembled Modular Space Telescope
'The eight thin metallic legs were pointed downwards, balanced delicately...'
Terminal Snooping At Bloomberg
'The evidence began with a slowed response at her computer terminal.'
Will There Be A Digital Afterlife?
'A quick exchange of energies resulting from the relocation of discorporate states.'
ROCKY - Resistive Overload Combined With Kinetic Yo-Yo
'Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses..'
China Bans Self-Driving Car Testing
Innovation hits some bumps.
Robotic Lawnmower Fulfills SciFi Homeowner's Dreams
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself like a contented hen...'
7-Eleven Drone Delivers Chix Sandwich And Slurpee
'It was a smooth ovoid floating a few inches from the floor...'
Beta-Ti3Au Titanium-Gold Alloy Hardest Tissue-Compatible Metal
It needs a more science-fictional name!
Solar Plane Circles The Globe
'Tropism-like pursuit of the sun across the sky as they recharged their batteries...'
Audiobooks - Fastest Growing Format In Publishing
'The public preferred lectons...'
SuperMeat - Crowdfunding Pohl/Kornbluth's Chicken Little
'Chicken Little, who would be sliced and packed to feed people from Baffinland to Little America.'
Martian-Grown Food Might Be Fine
'I don’t want to come off as arrogant here, but I’m the best botanist on the planet.'
MARLO Robot Attempts Wave Field
'It is apparent that he will walk before his human brother.'
3RDiTEK Lifeblogging Headband Camera
'It's logging anyway - everything you see on duty goes into the black box.'
3D-Printed Biohybrid Is A Tissue-Engineered Robot
'The directing neurological tissue that forms the basis of the swibble is alive...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories