At first sight, things seem quite similar in City Number Two. Again, there are ubiquitous cameras, perched on every vantage point. Only here we soon find a crucial difference. The devices do not report to the secret police. Rather, each and every citizen of this metropolis can lift his or her wristwatch/TV and call up images from any camera in town.
Here, a late-evening stroller checks to make sure no one lurks beyond the corner she is about to turn.
Over there, a tardy young man dials to s...
The drawback to covering your tracks like this on
a daily basis is that it sometimes makes you look
like, well, like you’re covering your tracks. People
who engage all of their privacy functions sometimes
stand out in a transparent society. It may make
people suspicious, thinking that you’re up to something.
If you’re only encrypting your communications
with certain people, it sometimes makes it look
even worse, like you’re collaborating—and it also
pinpoints who you’re in cahoots...
If you do not show up in searches, then it appears as though you have something to hide.
Conceding that the battle to stop documentation of people’s
private details and lives was a lost one, the Decepticons have
taken a different approach: make this data unreliable. Decepticon
hackers work hard to penetrate mesh databases and seed false
information. They have released numerous worms and trojans
into the wild with the sole purposes of gaining access to
archives, selecting random entries, and replacing the data with
autogenerated material (similar enough to pass, but false). Some...
As a protest against sousiveillance, some hackers turn to filling the Web with false data to make all data unreliable.
There are some who argue that individuality
suffers under universal surveillance. When everything
about you is known, and you have little or
no control over how your identity is presented to
others, you become just another person in a mass
of similar persons. With no way to define yourself,
individuality is eroded. We all become everyman
and everywoman, or so the argument goes. To the
contrary, the amount of detail provided to everyone
around us in a transparent society helps to show
all of t...
If people know a great deal about you with a simple web search before they meet you, social interactions are smoother.
Where power intervenes, transparency fails to provide
accountability. This is the main fact that the residents
of the Planetary Consortium and their ilk must grasp.
Public-accessible cameras and citizen sousveillance of
police is not enough. To truly hold the people at the
top accountable, publicams should be placed inside
police stations, interrogation rooms, jails, security
checkpoints, congressional chambers, and anywhere
government officials meet with lobbyists, make
decisions, and otherw...
Cameras must be everywhere, in politician's offices, interrogation rooms, everyone must watch everyone.
The historians say that we sleepwalked into a surveillance
state. They meant that the technology for widespread
surveillance progressed and was implemented
in a gradual manner, though quick considering the
actual time scales, and with little in the way of open
discussion about the ramifications, so that before
anyone thought to object it was already ingrained
into society. When the tables turned and the same
technology was used to watch the watchers, there
was a bit more resistance, but by th...
Exerpt from a futurist vision.
The response many organizations adopted then
(and continue to pursue AF) is to provide overwhelming
amounts of data to the public. This
provided a two-fold defense. First, it allowed immediate
deniability to any charge of withholding data.
Second, the sheer volume of data available meant
that almost any argument could be made or refuted
with selective referencing and correlation to other
publicly available information. This is a rapid, cheap
response that puts the onus back on the accuser to
Interesting idea: be completely transparent, releasing so much data that any hypothesis can be cherry-picked from it, then hire spin-doctors to do just that.