Why you should care about surveillance

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8 Responses to “Why you should care about surveillance”

  1. Cowicide says:

    If anyone reads Nineteen Eighty-Four and still thinks rampant surveillance isn’t a bad idea, they’re certifiable idiots in my book.

    By the way:

    Sales of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four spike 7,000% on Amazon in wake of PRISM scandal

    http://arts.nationalpost.com/2013/06/12/sales-of-george-orwells-nineteen-eighty-four-spike-7000-hike-on-amazon-in-wake-of-prism-scandal/

  2. Peter says:

    You should also care about it because once somebody has the tools to have access to everything wrong any of us might possibly have done, it becomes easier to frame the completely innocent.    You don’t think it’s going to be just as easy to forge connections between an unsavory person and a person you simply dislike?  Or have child porn anonymously e-mailed to them, which they can then bust them for and ruin their credibility in everybody’s eyes?

    The very fact that they have the power to look up anything they want is going to make everybody believe that, if they say they found something, it must be legit.  Especially if they don’t have to actually show the evidence before shipping you off to another country to be held indefinitely, because “national security”.

  3. peacelovecrazy says:

    In addition, if the info fell into the hands of unscrupulous government workers (or corporations in league with the government), and they wanted to stop you from protesting or competing with a business, then you could be discredited by the threat of releasing your embarrassing tweets, emails, phone conversations, Internet posts, photos, etc. Most people probably have some.

    If you are an activist, then you should plan on all your plans being known.  Whatever work you discuss via email or store in the “cloud” you can expect to be intercepted. With data mining you don’t have to be well-known  to be singled out for closer inspection.  Breaking the law is only part of the problem.

  4. theophrastvs says:

    that was excellent!  thank you Mr Doctorow.   i’ve wish that i had your column to hit several students’ over the head with when greeted with one version of: “meh it’s not like they’re not after me“.

    also worthy is today’s Gail Collins of how an innocent man and his family is hounded (house broken into) after a few random and spurious links came together for the authorities

  5. llamaspit says:

    I wish I could collect a dollar for every time I have seen the phenomenally stupid comment, “If you aren’t doing anything wrong, then you don’t have anything to worry about”, regarding this issue. 

    But then, people see what they want to see, and disregard the rest, don’t they?

  6. mmmwright says:

    Oh, thank you for this.  I have been told SO many times “if you don’t do anything wrong you don’t have to worry” but, geez – it isn’t the people with the highest standards are are implementing this thing – it’s the idiot bureaucrats who are going to send the cops or feds after us.  I sure as hell don’t trust them to do the right thing.  People see patterns where there aren’t any – having that large a database to play with is going to tempt someone to see nonexistent patterns and someone innocent is going to get hurt.

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