Mobile phones are useful for both us and government. For us they provide almost instant communications with any of our contacts across the globe as well as access to the collective knowledge base of humanity. For government they provide real-team location information and a potential goldmine of evidence, which is why one British judge thinks that there are benefits to forcing individuals to carry their cell phones at all times:
A senior British judge has highlighted the benefits of legislation that obliges people to carry their mobile phone at all times.
Sir Geoffrey Vos QC, Chancellor of the High Court and former head of the Bar Council, raised the prospect of compulsory mobe-carrying in a speech to the Law Society (PDF).
His speech hypothesized a future where everybody is required to carry their cell phone and how that would lead to easier criminal prosecutions. It’s also not an implausible future, especially in Britain. The island is already a surveillance state. Legally requiring individuals to carry a tracking device at all times probably wouldn’t even be noticed in the pile of other tracking technologies already being employed by Big Brother. Moreover, once everybody is legally required to carry their cell phone, another law could easily be passed that mandates that all cell phones have a “law enforcement mode” that allows law enforcers to secretly active a phone’s microphone and camera to collect evidence. That would, after all, make life easier for law enforcers, which seems to be what this judge is interested in.
We live in an time where Nineteen Eighty-Four is not only technologically feasible but is easily implementable thanks to the fact that most people already voluntarily carry around a device that can collect evidence against them.