Panopticon

The left hemisphere loves to grasp it and control it. Governments ruled by it seek total control. Talk of liberty as an abstract ideal (for Machiavellian reasons), meanwhile curtailing individual liberty.

Panoptical control can become an end in itself, and CCTV monitoring and interception of private information the norm. For example, introducing DNA databases apparently in response to exceptional threats and circumstances (against which these measures would be largely ineffective), their true aim being the increase of the power of the state and playing down the status and responsibility of the individual (because the left hemisphere believes individuals are simply interchangeable (“equal”) parts of a mechanistic system, a system it needs to control in the interests of efficiency).

Every citizen on this planet is subject to some sort of governmental surveillance. This includes information that does not, by itself, identify individuals, but sits in various databases until analysts do a search for a particular word. A large amount of information about these programs is supposedly already in the public domain but consists mainly of presentations with a kazillion names in 'em (and that can easily be altered). The many eyes and dragnet pages attempt to make sense of the alphabet soup and spaghetti in mass surveillance. Big Brother watching us is closely related to censorship issues, if we let it.

And not only governments, anyone with resources for internet monitoring, fixed line interception, mobile phone monitoring, intrusion and infiltration can perform communications surveillance. It is often the case that such adversaries are law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies, private companies, or a malicious actor (with a control problem or a grudge). Some countries like the United States and United Kingdom develop these types of technology in-house, and there is also a huge (and growing) commercial surveillance market, where companies sell the newest technologies to countries in support of ongoing surveillance systems.

Journalists and observers working on reporting on projects like national security, leaks, environmental issues, activist coverage, demonstration coverage, waste and abuse in governments, human rights, crime, may be targeted by state and private actors, in which data gathered by the dragnet may also be used. Targeted surveillance scenarios where people are being followed (and harassed, intimidated, socially and economically ruined, arrested and/or killed) is quite another story and requires way more than installing and using digital security on our machines.


Many eyes (and ears)

Besides death and taxes, the one constant held in all our lives is surveillance. One can't even take an unobserved crap in the desert any more.

Overview

Dragnet surveillance

… a fishing technique of dragging a fishing net across the sea bottom, or through a promising area of open water …

"World"

Targeted surveillance

… surveillance that is targeted on “specific persons of interest” and distinguished from mass (dragnet) surveillance …

"Others"

Biometrics

… soon, all that is needed to monitor and control the system with all of the devices and its parts (including bodies) is biometric apps …

"Self"

De-anonymisation

De-anonymisation alias re-identification. More and more governments and industries depend on it. The adversaries, possible attack vectors, the attacks, threats, assistive technologies, the possible uses, and if and where possible, what we can do.

Transparent intentions

Future

Big tech companies harvest our data on a massive scale, and exploit it for their own interests. Mobile devices and wearables travel with us everywhere we go, extracting and sharing data about our every move. Active control everywhere, some behind our backs.

O Really?