View Full Version : Surveillance Society

04-18-2008, 09:39 AM
How do people feel about a state that has total awareness of their actions?

This is creeping up on people unawares. There are many stated motives such as public safety, cost cutting etc. Some see this as a price worth paying, others see it as a concentration of power in government hands.

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Clearly the law agencies are building a DNA database to identify criminals in the same manner as fingerprint databases. In other countries these databases are extensive. The laws are extended to allow them to take a sample (eg a hair) when they stop you on the roadside, even if no offense was committed. Now there are calls for everyone to be included, with new borns profiled at birth. A comprehensive fingerprint and DNA database would assist in crime detection.

There are already parents that have their children chipped. This mean inserting a tiny locating device under the skin enabling the child to be tracked to 25km out. The parent can look up the current location of the child on the computer or track its historical movements. This could be extended to chip everyone. Whenever a crime is committed all you have to do is look up who was at the location.

If you live in the city you are captured on CCTV hundreds of times per day. The police use these cameras to see who entered and left an area at the time of a crime. If you had a bomber you could match the people and vehicles at both incidents to pinpoint who the bomb layer was. Thus once again crime is reduced.

These systems are becoming ever more sophisticated. Vehicle license plate recognition systems are becoming common. The computer knows every journey you make. Its clearly a good thing to spot stolen cars, uninsured cars etc. More recent systems use facial recognition systems, thus even walking your every movement is logged. In central London they have attached microphones to the cameras. An operator, suspecting a crime is imminent can listen in to the conversation.

There are already calls to eliminate cash. The advantages of a credit account are that you know every transaction anyone makes. This would be a great help in detecting drug dealers etc. Other advantages are that you could turn it off. Thus someone on the run would be unable to purchase goods and services. Equally that person would be unable to sell his labor having no account into which to transfer the funds.

The patriot act gives the government wide powers to tap phone calls and emails. Computers have no problem is scanning every single email that is sent. This allegedly gives the government info of terrorist plots. However it also gives them a whole lot of other information.

So should we embrace a total information society with all the safety advantages it brings? Do you feel that this is oppressive extending the power of the state over the individual with the power to misuse it?

Motor Jax
04-18-2008, 10:00 AM
it is the people that had put the people of the state into power

it is an over-use of authority

but as long as they don't abuse it, i guess it would be ok

it just means i would have to start living off the grid

Motor Jax added to this post, 4 minutes and 30 seconds later...

oh, and we are being watched here

04-18-2008, 10:32 AM
Ben Fanklin: "A person who would sacrifice their liberty, to gain a little temporary safety, deserves neither liberty nor safety."

It's slippery slopes like that that end up toppling empires. Hopefully the system of gov. we have set up in American will catch that sort of thing before it can get out of control and reign it in. If it doesn't, oh well. Every single civilization in history has fallen eventually. Sometimes the power structure just needs to be shaken up.

04-18-2008, 11:00 AM
:) This wasn't known by you guys decades ago?

Surgical Assassination is the way to change things. Also, I live off the grid as much as is possible, with several identities to fall back on, and different accommodations all paid for in cash. Preparation for Zombie Apocalypse has certainly helped.

I'm only an ENTP who read the anarchists cookbook when he was 14. You guys are INTJs, the ultimate contingency planners. You should be able to set up back up plans for SHTF/GTFO (S*** hits the fan/Get the f*** out) situations easily. In fact that's your assignment for the next month. Have 4 backup identities prepared before june, and 10 safe houses prepared.

04-18-2008, 04:13 PM
The problem with a backup identity, unless you have tons of cash to carry around, is that you are back to square one in whatever career you choose. Screws your whole life and chances of retirement. I read the anarchist cookbook too as a child ;) I remember trying to convince my parents to buy me solidox so I could try to use it to build a wicked solid fuel rocket engine.

04-18-2008, 06:31 PM
"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork."


- George Orwell, 1984

04-18-2008, 09:58 PM
That's why It's easiest to work from a worst case scenario. Just consider that every intelligence agency on earth is assigned to monitor you. Worst case scenarios are the best to plan and think about because it means all your surprises are happy ones.

04-19-2008, 01:02 AM
"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork."


- George Orwell, 1984

That was exactly what I was thinking. :thumbsup:

antisocial one
04-21-2008, 04:27 AM
I am surely for surveillance society because new tehnologys are far to dangerous. For example genetic or nuclear tehnology.So surveillance society is only way to solve these problems. But goverment is bad choice for the job. They simply lack number and they become too powerfull that way.
What I am saying is that everybody should have right to spy everybody else and have access to these tehnology.
In that society it will be very hard to be successful criminal or terrorist.
And because everybody can do It there will not be antigoverment movement and entire. thing will be more stabile.Also goverment will have hard time to scare people whit terrorists Because they are working on their own safety. Also it will be smart to have drastic measure in entrance(read borders). Maybe it will be smart to have a law wich says that every person has to spy others for 2 hours a day and in night there will be definitivly lack of eyes so computers could inform eyes that are watching that there is some movemet in area of their intrest. This will also increase tehnological literacy and solve many problems on society.
I know this is megalomanic aproach but if you take care of all the details, why not? Because this could be very successful and happy society

04-22-2008, 11:16 PM
Ben Fanklin: "A person who would sacrifice their liberty, to gain a little temporary safety, deserves neither liberty nor safety."

Right with you...interesting how the people who laid down the framework of our country (for Yanks at least) would be the people denouncing the state that it is in now.

The question is not whether or not it is correct to tap into everyone's personal life, it is what has caused people to be willing to sacrifice their own freedom.

And Shaigar...why would any self-respecting INTJ post their secret plans on the internet where the man is monitoring us at this moment? :)

04-23-2008, 10:58 AM
I consider government invasion of my privacy as I do any thief, any determined individual hell-bent on relieving me of my posessions will do so no matter what I do. I can elect to go to extraordinary measures to prevent that, at the expense of time, money, and convenience, or I can take reasonable measures and live with the consequences of my decision.

I don't condone being surveiled 24/7, but I won't stop going to the Qwiki-Mart just because their camera system is plumbed into the NSA. I might even wave to the spy who's assigned to me. ("Hi Bill, did you catch me buying the 6-pack of Stewart's Creme Soda? Have a nice day!")

04-24-2008, 01:16 AM
On the one hand I like to live my life open because I know that I'm not planning on breaking any important laws.

On the other hand, there are problems with a society in which everyone has a file. The irony of computer records is that they are always maintained by the lowest ranking members of any organization. Basically, the people who get paid the least have the most time available to wander through the complete records of everyone who ever had anything to do with the company.

So, lets say you are driving along and some big angry biker thinks you cut him off. So he pulls up next to you and tries to get you to pull over, not being an idiot, you don't. When he sees that you are going to keep driving he drops back behind you and gets your license plate number. Then, at his next stop, he calls up a friend at the DMV or a private investigator and pays them 100 bucks to give him your name, social security number, home address, and phone number. Then he shows up at your house and sternly explains that you were driving erraticly and asks for an apology :-)

Another situation that can happen is your name accidentally gets into the wrong file. If you somehow migrate onto the FBI's list of possible terrorists they just might call everyone you know and ask if you're a terrorist, freeze your assets, and follow your kids to school. Good luck trying to convince them you got onto the list accidentally.

The point is that there is something to be said for ensuring that no database can connect your name, phone number, and home address. There are ways to do it that aren't illegal, they just involve some creative partnerships.

04-26-2008, 03:26 AM
It is also worth noting that given ABSOLUTE scrutiny, everyone will be found guilty of SOMETHING.
Another thing to consider:
These databases are NOT maintained by the government. They are handled by private industry. (Experien, Choicepoint...etc.) What is to prevent a middle level executive from looking up the purchasing records of ....say, Toyota? (For instance, if you know Toyota is buying spark plugs from a small supplier, you buy stock in that company.)
This is the main application of the surveillance state. It has little to nothing to do with thought-crime.
PBS did a documentary on the HUGE-ASS drill the DHS did in las-vegas a while ago. They did it during spring-break, when the city was PACKED with consumers. The data collected during the 'drill' was all about purchasing transactions. Nothing about face-recognition, or license plates. None of that tech was even tested, despite the fact that LV has the cutting edge stuff!