It’s bad enough that the United States National Security Agency has been illegally collecting data on millions of innocent Americans, but now they’re also reportedly denigrating citizens by referring to iPhone users as “zombies.” But do they have a point; has George Romero’s critique of modern consumerism finally come full circle?
A recent report from Der Spiegel suggests that the NSA is able to exploit smartphones due to the carefree approach many users take with the device, referred to as “nomophobia,” or “no mobile phobia.” Apparently the only thing many users worry about is losing reception!
In three consecutive transparencies, the authors of the presentation draw a comparison with “1984,” George Orwell’s classic novel about a surveillance state, revealing the agency’s current view of smartphones and their users. “Who knew in 1984 that this would be Big Brother …” the authors ask, in reference to a photo of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. And commenting on photos of enthusiastic Apple customers and iPhone users, the NSA writes: “… and the zombies would be paying customers?”
Comparing oblivious mobile phone users to the walking dead is certainly nothing new. In fact, it’s become something of a cliché recently. But this government report combines concerns over personal liberty, privacy rights, consumerism and the role we willingly play in our own surveillance. Is the NSA correct; are we happily paying for the privilege of becoming zombies?
You can read the original article online at Der Spiegel for more information about the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance programs. And be sure to check out the Huffinton Post to see the actual slides featured in the report, including a photo of “zombies” celebrating the purchase of their new iPhones!