Kindle Orwellian Nightmare

This post at Technovelgy ask the question, Could Amazon, via the Kindle, end up being the Big Brother of 1984 fame? Or at least his proxy?

"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."

Read the rest here.

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Buying a Kindle

And I already wanted to buy one. :(

today this almost seems

today this almost seems prophetic. Kindle, at publisher's request, removed all paid for digital copies of 1984 and Animal Farm from existing users and credited their accounts. what irony.

yeah, the "high school" version of a 1984 nightmare.

omygod, the US government is at war with Islam.... ooohhh.... my liberal hackles are up. is this Mr. Ericson's high school debate class? Today, I will defend Islam against US Imperialism.

imagine a more realistic scenario... you buy a pro "National Socialist" book for your Kindle and take a trip to Germany. once there, you access Amazon.de and the server determines that your book violates current German law banning Nazi propaganda and deletes the book (or simply makes it unavailable while you are using the German site). that's much more likely to happen today.

Not Quite That Scary

Unless the book in question was rather obscure, I think this sort of malevolent textual "correction" would have a hard time going unnoticed. As recent events have made clear, people are watching Amazon closely. This kind of act would almost certainly be caught eventually with increasingly likelihood rising with the popularity of a given text.

Also, I'd have to agree with the previous comment too. Amazon is a huge provider of access to content, but the content itself is not really created by Amazon so the necessary monopoly is lacking.

Scenario

This scenario assumes people are getting info from only one source. For the Kindle 1984 idea to work the government is going to have to have total control of the entire Internet. Could happen but I am not having problems sleeping at night.

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