The Strange Benefits of a Total Surveillance State

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PostMon Sep 30, 2013 2:00 pm » by Tjahzi


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Suppose you’re walking home one night, alone, and you decide to take a shortcut through a dark alley. You make it halfway through, when suddenly you hear some drunks stumbling behind you. Some of them are shouting curses. They look large and powerful, and there are several of them. Nonetheless, you feel safe, because you know someone is watching.

You know this because you live in the future where surveillance is universal, ubiquitous and unavoidable. Governments and large corporations have spread cameras, microphones and other tracking devices all across the globe, and they also have the capacity to store and process oceans of surveillance data in real time. Big Brother not only watches your sex life, he analyses it. It sounds nightmarish — but it might be inevitable. So far, attempts to control surveillance have generally failed. We could be headed straight for the panopticon, and if recent news developments are any indication, it might not take that long to get there.

Maybe we should start preparing. And not just by wringing our hands or mounting attempts to defeat surveillance. For if there’s a chance that the panopticon is inevitable, we ought to do some hard thinking about its positive aspects. Cataloguing the downsides of mass surveillance is important, essential even. But we have a whole literature devoted to that. Instead, let’s explore its potential benefits.

The first, and most obvious, advantage of mass surveillance is a drastic reduction in crime. Indeed, this is the advantage most often put forward by surveillance proponents today. The evidence as to whether current surveillance achieves this is ambiguous; cameras, for instance, seem to have an effect on property crime, but not on incidences of violence. But today’s world is very different from a panopticon full of automatically analysed surveillance devices that leave few zones of darkness.

If calibrated properly, total surveillance might eradicate certain types of crime almost entirely. People respond well to inevitable consequences, especially those that follow swiftly on the heels of their conduct. Few would commit easily monitored crimes such as assault or breaking and entering, if it meant being handcuffed within minutes. This kind of ultra-efficient police capability would require not only sensors capable of recording crimes, but also advanced computer vision and recognition algorithms capable of detecting crimes quickly. There has been some recent progress on such algorithms, with further improvements expected. In theory, they would be able to alert the police in real time, while the crime was still ongoing. Prompt police responses would create near-perfect deterrence, and violent crime would be reduced to a few remaining incidents of overwhelming passion or extreme irrationality.


Continued: http://www.aeonmagazine.com/world-views/the-strange-benefits-of-a-total-surveillance-state/

Some interesting ideas there & some very plausible but somewhat utopian :mrgreen:
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PostMon Sep 30, 2013 2:19 pm » by Domeika


Suppose you’re walking home one night, alone, and you decide to take a shortcut through a dark alley. You make it halfway through, when suddenly you hear some drunks stumbling behind you. Some of them are shouting curses. They look large and powerful, and there are several of them. Nonetheless, you feel safe, because you know someone is watching.


Unless the cursing drunks behind you are the jack-booted thugs we call police these days.

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PostMon Sep 30, 2013 4:54 pm » by 99socks


If cameras worked to deter crime, then London must be the safest city in the world. :roll:
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PostMon Sep 30, 2013 5:14 pm » by Poooooot


Sounds like some propaganda to me.
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“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

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PostMon Sep 30, 2013 5:38 pm » by The57ironman


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....well....they'd have to install cctv in the trees around my neck of the woods...

.......great for target practice... :mrgreen:












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PostTue Oct 01, 2013 12:10 am » by mediasorcery


this all assumes those watching are not corrupt in the first place?

what happens then?
the story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye, until we meet again my friend.

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PostSun Oct 06, 2013 12:58 pm » by Tjahzi


mediasorcery wrote:this all assumes those watching are not corrupt in the first place?

what happens then?


Indeed :flop:


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