Thursday, August 7, 2014

Controlling the past

George Orwell in his novel 1984 wrote 'He who controls the past, controls the future,' adding also 'he who controls the present controls the past.' Orwell wrote it as a warning, the problem is many of the powers that be seem to have taken it as an instruction manual in how to run the state.
Civil servants used government computers to update Wikipedia pages downplaying killings of Jean Charles de Menezes, Lee Rigby and Damilola Taylor
Electrician was shot dead by police officer at Stockwell tube station in 2005
Investigation finds Wikipedia page on death edited by government computer
Suggestion he was on drugs added, and immigration information removed
Pages on Lee Rigby and Damilola Taylor also altered to downplay deaths
De Menezes family spokesman calls page edits 'low and callous'
Cabinet Office says any breaches of civil service code 'will be dealt with'
In June a civil servant was sacked for posting offensive comments about Hillsborough disaster on Wikipedia.
According to a Channel 4 News investigation, users of government computers added inaccurate suggestions that the 27-year-old may have been on drugs, deleted information about his immigration status, and removed a section on his death from a page about the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Changes were also made to pages on the deaths of Lee Rigby and schoolboy Damilola Taylor from government computers which downplayed their deaths, the investigation found.
The updates were made from computers using the government's secure intranet service, which is used by the civil service and police officers.
Now it may be simple malice or a desire to present things in the best possible light by individuals, though personally I suspect otherwise and believe the dead hand of the state is trawling through certain things and making sure that any controversy is removed before the public can read it. Not that it will always be politicians, but Acpo the company run by the chief inspectors of the police have also got an agenda via common purpose which is wildly at variance with what the public want. Others may such as in the case of Lee Rigby want to make sure islam and muslims names aren't dragged through the mud which may be the work of individual muslims, though knowing the states love affair with islam it may very well not be as witness the support they give to various groups who promote it and spew hate against those who oppose it.
Either way, it does appear that government and state computers are being used to rewrite history and downplay certain events and Wikipedia is the natural area to start as unfortunately it's the first port of call by many looking for evidence or knowledge and sadly it's also the last too. People tend to be lazy and will use a product to the exclusion of others such as Google and Wikipedia and the state has cottoned on to this hence their attempts to block Google reporting on their mistakes and rewrite Wikipedia to gloss over the past.
I suspect Orwell had it wrong in 1984, he meant 2084 and the problem we have is we'll never really know unless we remain vigilant.

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