Many segments of Little Brother brought up interesting points about the frightening consequences of complete government surveillance and its relation to security. One passage that caught my eye was in the beginning of Chapter 6 when the Turkish coffee shop owner told Marcus about the newly implemented Patriot Act II. In this fictional world, Congress passed Patriot Act II, which let the government monitor just about everything, including every time someone used his or her debit card, as a means to increase security following the terrorist attack.

I do not think that the government should be allowed to monitor its citizens so closely. I reacted to this passage because of its applicability to real life. After massive acts of terrorism, security is usually heightened. For example, after the horrific 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Patriot Act, which vastly expanded the government’s authority to spy on American citizens. In Little Brother, the fabricated Patriot Act II represents a whole new level of increased governmental surveillance that goes too far. Will the US government ever try to implement such a law? This passage made me reflect on the future of our nation and what would happen if our society eventually mirrored the one portrayed in the novel.

The topic of my first paper was data mining. Data mining is a way of increasing surveillance and reducing one’s privacy, and can be related to Patriot Act II because of this. Will data mining progress into an uncontrollable amount of surveillance? Should data mining be allowed? Is it ethical? Every time you relinquish some amount of your privacy to the government, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, the government’s power increases. This novel shows the destructive nature of extreme governmental authority, which is something we all need to be aware of and watch out for in our current society.