[EAS]The Surveillance Society

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Tue Jan 1 15:17:52 EST 2002

Subject:   The Surveillance Society

This further to the several previous mailings on privacy, or the lack
thereof. [Go to <http://www.yale.edu/engineering/eng-info/> and do a
text search on "privacy" (without the quotes).] 

As this WIRED article's subhead puts it "We routinely sacrifice
privacy for convenience and security. So stop worrying. And get ready
for your close-up." --PJK

(from Edupage, December 31, 2001)

In the battle between privacy and security, the events of Sept. 11 may
favor security, but the United States was leaning toward surveillance
even before that. Americans now seem more willing to accept
technologies that can be used to track them, as long as they offer
protection. Cameras mounted on traffic lights, electronic cards that
record users' locations, and computerized financial records are only
the tip of the surveillance iceberg. Law enforcement agencies are
taking advantage of tools that allow them to follow data trails to
apprehend criminals and suspects. Cameras that use face-recognition
software are widely accepted in Britain, where about 1.5 million
police surveillance units are in operation, with more on the way.
Researchers are developing software that can gather information from a
wide variety of disparate sources based on user requests. The level of
protection that society desires raises fears that a giant surveillance
network could be created--one that could erase personal privacy and
public anonymity. However, citizens can use the same technology to
make sure that the government does not exceed its authority and acts
responsibly. (Wired, December 2001)

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