Let’s face it, in all its democracy, the blockchain does give authorities the power to abuse its technology in order to turn a dystopian projection such as George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four into a dark and realistic prospect. And it looks like the UK government are wanting to just that.
Take the ‘Big Brother’ theory, and add the blockchain, The Big Blockchains Watching You.
To quote Orwell in the famous Nineteen Eighty-Four:
“The Brotherhood cannot be wiped out because it is not an organization in the ordinary sense. Nothing holds it together except an idea which is indestructible. You will never have anything to sustain you, except the idea. You will get no comradeship and no encouragement. When finally you are caught, you will get no help. We never help our members. At most, when it is absolutely necessary that someone should be silenced, we are occasionally able to smuggle a razor blade into a prisoner’s cell. You will have to get used to living without results and without hope. You will work for a while, you will be caught, you will confess, and then you will die. Those are the only results that you will ever see.
There is no possibility that any perceptible change will happen within our own lifetime. We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing. It might be a thousand years. At present nothing is possible except to extend the area of sanity little by little. We cannot act collectively. We can only spread our knowledge outwards from individual to individual, generation after generation. In the face of the Thought Police there is no other way.”
You might be asking what this is all about? Well, according to The Next Web, in a recent publication by HM Courts and Tribunal Service (a branch of the UK Government) a Technology Fellow at Imperial College London, Dr. Sadek Ferdous has made a presentation that outlines a concept for a blockchain based digital evidence trail.
According to The Next Web, Dr. Ferdous refers his vision for a blockchain future as:
“A chronological record of system activities which capture how digital evidence has been created/accessed/modified by which entity, from what location, in such a way to enable the reconstruction and examination of the sequence of events, and actions leading to the current state of the digital evidence.”
This has been referred to as a solution for a traditional challenge and honestly, it stinks of dictatorship.
How will this work?
The idea is to use blockchain technology as a way of storing data on our movements (via things like CCTV, GPS etc) that could be used as evidence at a later date to settle a range of different scenarios. If you’ve ever seen the recent film Anon, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Can it work?
In theory yes, but do the government really think the citizens of the UK will allow such a thing to happen? Whilst blockchain technology can indeed be used in this way, it can also be subverted and reverted, it won’t take much for people to introduce counter measures to such a dystopian idea. So, yes, it can work but honestly, I don’t think it’s a very realistic plan.
Sorry government, but get back to sorting out Brexit and leave the blockchain out of it.