1984 to 2010

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We are in the process of formalizing our IT and Electronic Access Policies. In this process, often the team drafting the initial proposal finds it pretty easy to switch to the Orwellian mode of 1984, wherein Big Brother is always watching.

Although the intent of these people often stems from the fact that they desire to protect both the system and it’s users, but that sometimes requires that extra bit of control. However, it becomes extremely difficult to tell the need for control from genuine to paranoia.

Further, due to some unforeseen events happening in the recent past, these rules are doubly strict ensuring that the past mistakes of a few have to be borne by the entire team. Only to ensure that something that happens out of the blue should not happen again (and rightly so!).

The problem at hand is how to ensure that people are enabled to work and co-create with each other, but are still protected from any malicious ill will that might exist outside (and even within the system). How can Big Brother start co-operating instead of watching?

One clear method is to assume that all people are good and need to be enabled. The other is to work closely with them step-by-step and layout a simplified process and get the end-user buy-in on each of the steps. Till that happens, Big Brother will continue to exist … we are watching you!