Surveillance

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An omnipresent surveillance state ... makes democratic dissent impossible. ~ Chris Hedges

Surveillance is the monitoring of the behavior and activities of people for the purpose of influencing, managing, directing, or protecting them.

Quotes[edit]

  • CCTV is seen either as a symbol of Orwellian dystopia or a technology that will lead to crime-free streets and civil behaviour. While arguments continue, there is very little solid data in the public domain about the costs, quantity and effectiveness of surveillance. However, using the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), it is possible to use local examples to understand the wider trend.
  • The monitor gone. Ender tried to imagine the little device missing from the back of his neck. I'll roll over on my back in bed and it won't be pressing there, I won't feel it tingling and taking up the heat when I shower.
  • There will come a time when it isn't 'They're spying on me through my phone' anymore. Eventually, it will be 'My phone is spying on me'.
  • Big Brother in the form of an increasingly powerful government and in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law and order [...] and the like.
  • Is it surprising that the cellular prison, with its regular chronologies, forced labour, its authorities of surveillance and registration, its experts in normality, who continue and multiply the functions of the judge, should have become the modern instrument of penality? Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?
  • Surveillance technologies now available - including the monitoring of virtually all digital information - have advanced to the point where much of the essential apparatus of a police state is already in place.
  • The irony is that Barack Obama would not even be president if it were not for the courage of persecuted dissidents such as Martin Luther King or Malcolm X, spied upon by their own government. But Obama understands where power lies. It does not lie with the citizen. It lies with Wall Street and our corporate boardrooms, which have carried out a slow motion coup d’état. And a system of mass surveillance is designed to keep these elites in these boardrooms powerful and the rest of us powerless.
  • If we are to violate the Constitution, will the people submit to our unauthorized acts? Sir, they ought not to submit; they would deserve the chains that these measures are forging for them. The country will swarm with informers, spies, delators and all the odious reptile tribe that breed in the sunshine of a despotic power...[T]he hours of the most unsuspected confidence, the intimacies of friendship, or the recesses of domestic retirement afford no security. The companion whom you most trust, the friend in whom you must confide, the domestic who waits in your chamber, all are tempted to betray your imprudent or unguarded follie; to misrepresent your words; to convey them, distorted by calumny, to the secret tribunal where jealousy presides — where fear officiates as accuser and suspicion is the only evidence that is heard ... Do not let us be told, Sir, that we excite a fervour against foreign aggression only to establish a tyranny at home; that...we are absurd enough to call ourselves ‘free and enlightened’ while we advocate principles that would have disgraced the age of Gothic barbarity and establish a code compared to which the ordeal is wise and the trial by battle is merciful and just.
  • One of the most frightening aspects of this alleged technology is the possibility of mind control by “remote control,” that is, through such technology as microwaves and radio waves...it is difficult at this point to determine how much of this is genuine, and how much comes from false beliefs deliberately induced to make survivors feel powerless...If some of this remote control it is genuine, we may need to develop technological means to combat it. However, we should not be intimidated. Even if “voices” are induced in the head by remote control rather than through alters doing jobs, survivors can learn to disobey such voices just as they do those of alters. Competent and compassionate therapy for the dissociation can help survivors to heal. Meanwhile, there are numerous survivors whose mind control is of the kind that can be treated through psychotherapy.
  • A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: FACECRIME, it was called.
  • A close watch must be kept on the children, and they must never be left alone anywhere, whether they are in ill or good health. This constant supervision should be exercised gently and with a certain trustfulness calculated to make them think that one loves them, and that it is only to enjoy their company that one is with them. This will make them love their supervision rather than fear it.
    • Advice to Jesuit school ushers at Port Royal 1615; as quoted in Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter comics, 1941-1948 pp. 99-100
  • Facebook mistreats its users. Facebook is not your friend, it is a surveillance engine. For instance, if you browse the Web and you see a 'like' button in some page or some other site that has been displayed from Facebook. Therefore, Facebook knows that your machine visited that page. So, Facebook carries out surveillance over visitors to thousands of different Websites, even for people who are not Facebook users. I hope we will have something for free browsers to block Facebook 'like' buttons so that people won't be under surveillance. In any case, this is why I ask people not to put photographs of me on Facebook, because Facebook collects data about the names of people in photos. It might as well be working directly for Big Brother. Facebook collects a lot of data from people and admits it. And it also collects data which isn't admitted. And Google does too. As for Microsoft, I don't know. But I do know that Windows has features that send data about the user.
  • It seems to limit you; when you're working in an office, you're a creature in a small cell under somebody's supervision and surveillance.
  • China and the U.S. are two societies with very different attitudes towards opinion and criticism. In China, I am constantly under surveillance. Even my slightest, most innocuous move can - and often is - censored by Chinese authorities.

External links[edit]

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