The Road to Digital Dictatorship


By Mark Antony Rossi

The road to digital dictatorship might have begun when we ditched our film cameras for digital photography. Seeing is no longer believing in a cyber-cynical day when digital enhancements are capable of altering an image to suit a prejudice or move forward a dark agenda. The cellular phone phenomena only worsened the situation by spreading digital pics faster than dysentery in a flood zone.

People are now fond of snapping hundreds of billions of random photos and uploading them to public social media sites where privacy is blasphemy to cyberspace religion and the pictures are often used as a source of intelligence by federal agencies, police departments and insurance companies. More than fifty years ago it was in vogue to worry about Big Brother invading our lives. About fifty minutes ago you and I are quickly becoming Big Brother – Sister – Advocate or whatever approved jargon makes it seem perfectly fine to spy on neighbors and strangers.

Humanity cannot regulate a proper maintenance of history if we cannot insure an accurate memory. Digital storage of data is vulnerable to hackers, electrical corruption and ultimately to irreversible loss due to system failure; thus erasing evidence of personhood and past events. This central weakness defeats the so-called superiority of convenient electronic organization and fast cloud transfer.

When society loses control over its history its memory slips to distortion and slowly its identity is changed in a manner inviting mortal danger. The leap of faith for technological promise is an enormous gamble risking personal and societal civility. Advanced machinery absent of ethical consideration is blind to future impact and threatens to dissolve democracy by replacing consent with compliance.

The road to digital dictatorship is paved by people trading security for liberty and hoping for the best in a world skeptical of the benefits of freedom. Yet what have we gained for the human species if our scientific achievements ruin privacy, rewrite history, erode memory and eradicate identity. Better we revert back to an agrarian existence where reality and nature forge a partnership to keep us honest. Lest we devolve into machine-toting monkeys too impressed with the mirror to realize we never really matured past the jungle.

About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York.

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