Gen. Burnsides wrote:
Thankfully some of the more important aspects of that society are not quickly approaching. Specifically, people aren't quite dumb enough to believe everything they're told, at least not most of them.
Two words: Fox News.
The internet, especially e-mail, is what keeps a Nineteen Eighty-Four situation at bay because it allows the individual to bypass all the media's self-censorship and propaganda, government propaganda and attempts at censorship.
Through the net, individuals can directly contact each other, making it impossible for a country, even a physically isolated one like the UK, to control 100% of the information people have access to.
Unfortunately, that's not quite true. At present, nobody tries
to completely control it.
If you want to go 1984, here's how you render the Internet useless for your country's dissidents, using a combination of legal and technical measures:
You begin with outlawing crypto<sup>*</sup> for personal use. For the rest you demand key and password access. Then you start filtering all
internet traffic, at the international exchange level and the ISP level (you can do some incredibly neat stuff with packet filtering hardware and software (e.g. Packet Logic) these days). You have of course already instituted laws against using anything other than government-approved communication channels on the 'net (you can, for example, block everything except (monitored) HTTP, FTP, and VOIP traffic). And if you're extra devious, you don't just block all dissident traffic - some you block outright; some you just monitor for your weekly subversive hunt.
Good luck getting through the government propaganda now!
The impression I got from Nineteen Eighty-Four was that none of the events outside of England/UK were actually happening. No floating fortresses, no massive battles, nada. England had gone totally INGSOC and decided to ignore the rest of the world.
Exactly. It could
all be true, but we have no way of knowing - everything we know of the outside world has been filtered through the Party.
Apparently no other country was bothering itself to liberate the people of England, but that would've ruined the plot.
Why would they? Foreign policy and altruism have little to do with each other.
<sup>*</sup> if all cryptography is outlawed, bayl bhgynjf jvyy unir pelcgb.