Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Welcome to 'Prison Earth'!

Perhaps this is my last post of 2008. Here's wishing you Happy Holidays!

I end the year with a little chilling piece that I wrote for my 'official' blog. I leave it with you:

Welcome to 'Prison Earth'!

Recently, I read a story in The New York Times about a brothel in Prague. It is called the Big Sister (perhaps an allusion to the Orwellian Big Brother) which touts itself as the world’s biggest Internet brothel.

Big Sister marries the virtual with the real, leading to an unusual business model. Customers can have free sex at Big Sister. In return, they will allow the brothel to capture their exploits on film. The resulting porn is streamed live onto Big Sister’s website.

But the newspaper report was not about the innovativeness of Big Sister’s business model. Through the brothel’s example, the report highlighted how the ongoing global financial crisis was affecting the brothel’s business as the number of sex tourists coming to Prague had diminished.

The reason I cite this example is not because I want to talk about pornography or the economic crisis. My intention is to illustrate how people willfully submit their privacy (a human right) to profit-seekers.

In Big Sister’s case, the momentary carnal pleasure comes as freebie but the ultimate price that is extracted from the revellers is priceless—human privacy. Moments of compromised privacy is broadcast to those who find value in it on Sky Italia and Britain’s Television X, or sold as a DVD, like ‘World Cup Love Truck’.

What’s scary here? One’s privacy is gone for ever but it has not been taken at a gun point. One has willingly signed it off for a (Faustian?) bargain.

What’s the connection, you might ask. Replace sex with search, and you will get the point.


And if you have time, watch this interesting video:

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