The reality of movie technology

Have you ever watched a movie and thought that you might have seen all this technology before? We have. Here are the facts behind the fiction.

For us normal people though, a lock pick or a remote control for a full sized car probably isn't what we are looking for in a mobile phone.

However, the way the Ericsson phone was used as a fingerprint as a scanner has some basis in reality.

Last year, the police rolled out handheld biometric devices the size of a smartphone that could read fingerprints around the UK.

The computer instigating war in War Games

The movie: War Games is one of the best geek movies of the 80's, and in it Matthew Broderick played a young hacker who unwittingly hacks into the US supercomputer WOPR and runs a nuclear war simulation, thinking it to be a game.

Of course, Broderick is so clever that he only needs his home computer and modem to hack into the US system. He manages to save the day at the end by confusing the computer with a game of noughts and crosses, which finally realises that there can be no winner.

A small mention has to made to another film where high school geeks managed to use a home computer to build something special in this case the woman of their fantasies.

The reality: Well, its probably unlikely that a rogue hacker managed to bring the world close to nuclear war, but we do have an example of a hacker who managed to break into US NASA and Pentagon computers in our very own Gary McKinnon.

According to the US government, the Asperger's afflicted hacker was responsible for accessing data and causing damage costing thousands of pounds.

Maybe the truth is stranger than reality, as he claims that he was simply looking for extra terrestrial life.

And in any case how on earth did somebody who was unlikely to be able to get access to very hi-tech equipment manage to break into US government systems? The surveillance in Enemy of the State

The movie: In the movie, the character played by Jon Voight is trying to push legislation through to expand surveillance powers to confront the growing terrorist threats to the US.

Will Smith is the unlucky man being tracked, and as he has left an electronic footprint wherever he has gone, the shadowy National Security Agency (NSA) is able to track him wherever he goes.

The tactics the NSA use involves technology that includes bugs and recording equipment. They also have ability to cancel his credit cards and track him through phone calls.

The reality: The film was made in 1998. Three years later it was September 11th, which Bush and co used to excuse legislation in the establishment of the Patriot Act which did erode civil liberties.

The tech in the movie is not science fiction what is used in the movie is generally what anti-terrorist or law enforcement agencies could use in real life.

Everybody leaves an electronic trail even for something as simple as paying using a debit card or using an Oyster card, and this is what could be used to track you.

The current government has forced ISPs to record data about our online usage and even websites such as Google use data to create a certain record of us invasion of privacy or simply something we need to accept?

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