Alerted by the folks at my favorite quiz show, QI, I find that Big Brother was indeed watching Mr. Orwell:
It has been revealed that MI5 spied on "Animal Farm" and "1984" author George Orwell for over 10 years, as they suspected him of being a communist. Papers released by Special Branch have shown that they monitored Orwell (real name Eric Arthur Blair) since January 1929, when he began working as Paris correspondent for the "Worker's Life" (later the "Daily Worker"). It goes as far as January 1942, whilst he was trying to recruit Indians to work for the BBC's India Service. One Sergeant Ewing wrote that, "The man has advanced communist views ... He dresses in a bohemian fashion both at his office and in his leisure hours."
Well, there you go. [Full story at the Guardian.] By that measure, I must assume I'm already under observation.
Gene alerted me to the QI page and their home at Oxford, where they have a vodka bar -- swank! I'll be dropping by QI headquarters next time I'm in Oxford.