The overwhelming theme of the novel Little Brother concerns the privacy of an individual and a society in all aspects of life. From the moment in which Marcus is first questioned by the National Homeland Security (NHS) until the end of the novel, Marcus highlights to the reader of the many horrifying consequences of a government overstepping its boundaries. Two examples described by Marcus hit me hard about why privacy is vital in having a normal and functioning society.
The first example is after the NHS confiscates Marcus's electronic devices and receiving the passwords of those devices through brute force and intimidation. The NHS tells Marcus that if he truly has nothing to hide, then it should be no problem for them to take a look through his devices. This bothers Marcus extremely; however, he eventually gives in due to the fact that he knows that giving the NHS what they want is the only way for him to be released. Marcus compares this thinking of the NHS to forcing somebody to go to the bathroom in a clear glass room in the middle of Times Square. Although they have nothing to hide or protect, any normal person would want privacy when going to the bathroom and to not be in the public eye. This comparison was powerful in the imagery it invokes. Picturing somebody having to use the bathroom in public shows that Marcus having to give away all of his privacy and dignity is wasteful.
Secondly, as somebody who loves statistics and numbers in general, I also found the example of "false positives" and "percent accuracy" powerful. It demonstrates how problematic and inefficient the search and interrogation of almost everybody throughout San Francisco is in finding the terrorists who blew up the bridge. By displaying that even a 99% accuracy causes the government agencies and police to searching thousands and thousands of people further highlights the inefficiency of investigating people for possible terrorist suspects because in reality, their percent accuracy is closer to 50%. This example shows the reader not only how difficult it is to catch a terrorist in this manner, but also how it complicates and hurts the lives of the everyday citizens.