A timely entry from the Scarfolk blog, which documents the doings in a small, sinister English town caught in a loop between 1970 and 1979: the I-Spy Surveillance books, which "transformed the tedium of surveillance into play, encouraging children to routinely observe and record the actions, speech and private correspondence of people who the government deemed to be enemies of society. These included 'free-thinkers, beneficiaries of welfare and other degenerates. [...] Extremists, potential extremists, and those whose profound lack of extremist attributes is extreme in itself, are also worthy of suspicion and censure.'"
If this stuff tickles your ha-ha-only-serious bone, try the Scarfolk book.
The completed books even prompted children to spy on themselves, which many found difficult, even with the mirrors provided.
Each completed book was sent to a local government councillor whose job it was to forward the data to the relevant renditions team, and also to decide if any compensation was due to the child; for example, if the surveillance data they had submitted led to the arrest and execution of a parent.
I-Spy Surveillance Books
“Big Brother, it turned out, was wearing a MAGA cap”
Dale Maharidge is a journalist and J-school professor who is dear old friends with the muckracking, outstanding political documentarian Laura Poitras. Jessica Bruder (previously) is a a writer and J-school prof who's best friends with Maharidge. When Laura Poitras was contacted by an NSA whistleblower who wanted to send her the leak of the century, she asked Maharidge for help finding a safe address for a postal delivery, and Maharidge gave her Bruder's Brooklyn apartment address. A few weeks later, Bruder came home from a work-trip to discover a box on her doormat with the return address of "B. Manning, 94-1054 Eleu St, Waipau, HI 96797." In it was a hard-drive. The story of what happened next is documented in a beautifully written, gripping new book: Snowden's Box: Trust in the Age of Surveillance.
Tracking entire populations now with electronic surveillance, facial recognition, and biosecurity sensors to combat the coronavirus pandemic will inevitably mean even more invasive forms of government spying later, privacy advocates warn.
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