Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Monday, August 25, 2003

  The surveillance society

The SIRTF space telescope was successfully launched this morning. Using SIRTF to see in the infrared, scientists will be able to see billions of years into the past and unlock more of the mysteries of the universe.

In other news the unmanned surveillance drone, Global Hawk, got approval to fly nearly anywhere in America. The press release stated that this "paves the way for it to support homeland defense missions in national airspace."

Great. Now America's law enforcement can see millions of people in the present and unlock their mysteries. You'll note that this aircraft can do it without even a human at the wheel. Efficient, no? We've already seen some penetrating pictures from Global Hawk when flying over Iraq... now it overflies Americans! Technology, the two edged sword!

And while this post below is more concerned with Big Brother, the TV show....I'm disturbed by how much the surveillance society has already progressed. I was on a bus in San Jose the other day and overhead was multiple dome cameras.

Now, overhead, hovering in silence, nearly invisible, will be a Global Hawk.

I know that Big Brother exists in all of us. We're all watching each other. It's a game. It has always been. There's no one "side" to it - people will always spy on other people, it seems to be human nature, and with the commoditisation of information I guess we'll get used to it, but I don't have to like it.
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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