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Surveillance Society & the Increasing Scarcity of Privacy

Below are some readings that dig into the increasing surveillance of today’s society. In many instances, these new surveillance methods are first being tested in Las Vegas & prisons, and then brought into every day life, most notably through companies searching for the next best way to track consumers.

Required Reading:

Recommended Reading:


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  1. Jimena 11:25, May 4th, 10

    After Saturday’s bomb attempt in Times Square, the NYT is hosting an interesting debate on the efficiency of surveillance cameras as preventive strategies… Check this out:

    Google, Facebook and other Internet services could be asked to carry out Web-based facial recognition technologies that will make it possible for anyone to snap a cellphone picture of a stranger on the street, plug the picture into Google, and produce tagged and untagged pictures of the person across the Web, challenging our expectations of anonymity in public as camera footage proliferates.

    That challenge will become even more acute over the next decades, as Google and Facebook confront pressure to post live feeds from all public and private surveillance cameras online. As the surveillance network in world capitals becomes ubiquitous, it will be possible to click on a picture of me in Midtown, back click on me to see where I came from, forward click to see where I’m going, making possible 24/7 surveillance of everyone in the system. When confronted with this not-so-hypothetical scenario, most people balk. And to accept 24/7 ubiquitous surveillance in exchange for virtually non-existent security benefits seems like a bad bargain, by any sane cost-benefit analysis.

    These are the debaters:

    * Richard A. Clarke, author, “Cyber War”
    * Steven Simon, co-author, “The Next Attack”
    * Paul Ekman, expert on facial expressions
    * Michael J. Black, computer scientist, Brown University
    * Noah Shachtman, Wired magazine
    * Michael J. Tarr, professor of cognitive neuroscience
    * Bruce Schneier, security technologist
    * Jeffrey Rosen, law professor, author of “The Naked Crowd”


  2. Jimena 23:37, May 10th, 10

    guys!! I keep coming back to comment here. I can’t help it. I miss you!
    Check out The Simpson’s great episode on surveilance :)

  3. Leslie 09:43, May 12th, 10

    Good finds, Jimena… thanks! Being able to follow people by pictures sounds pretty scary.