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September 18, 2007 8:54 PM   Subscribe

Surveillance Society Clock. "It's six minutes before midnight as a surveillance society draws near within the United States." [Via Danger Room.]
posted by homunculus (37 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
State-secret overreach: For too long, judges have allowed the government to hide mistakes behind national security.
posted by homunculus at 8:59 PM on September 18, 2007


...and then they came for me.

I don't even own a watch.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:00 PM on September 18, 2007


McConnell: ‘very small number’ of Americans spied on.
posted by homunculus at 9:02 PM on September 18, 2007


Quick... hang up before they can complete the trace.
posted by Poolio at 9:03 PM on September 18, 2007


We've traced the call...it's coming from inside the house!
posted by SaintCynr at 9:04 PM on September 18, 2007


This would be much better if they could point to some specific bills we should be for / against. "Your privacy is in danger!" isn't news, or helpful in and of itself.

Ideally, if you show this to someone and they say "oh snap! What can I do to fix this?" the ACLU should have an easy second step already outlined.
posted by ®@ at 9:06 PM on September 18, 2007


Nice timing, homunculus.
posted by BeerFilter at 9:08 PM on September 18, 2007


>>Ideally, if you show this to someone and they say "oh snap! What can I do to fix this?" the ACLU should have an easy second step already outlined.


Sometimes a little effort of one's own is required. If it's important enough to care about at all, it's worth taking some initiative.
posted by SaintCynr at 9:09 PM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I agree with their general point, but listing Google and YouTube as "surveillance milestones" is pretty dumb.
posted by brain_drain at 9:15 PM on September 18, 2007


They just need to hook up the taser robots to the surveillance cameras, then run the video feeds into FOX for some government-sponsored prime-time entertainment.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:21 PM on September 18, 2007


Huh. You know, I always feel like somebody's watching me.

And I've got no privacy.
posted by milquetoast at 9:25 PM on September 18, 2007 [6 favorites]


I agree with their general point, but listing Google and YouTube as "surveillance milestones" is pretty dumb.

First we have a nearly goedlike index of the internet, and then we get peple to post videoes of themselves. These are havbits which encourage the surveillacne staet.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:39 PM on September 18, 2007


It would be much cooler if we could be an Iron Maiden Society.
posted by nasreddin at 9:50 PM on September 18, 2007



First we have a nearly goedlike index of the internet, and then we get peple to post videoes of themselves. These are havbits which encourage the surveillacne staet.


I see you! Step away from the tequila bottle!
posted by nasreddin at 9:52 PM on September 18, 2007


I've always thought something like this should be a calendar, rather than a clock: "Today is December 26, 1983."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:08 PM on September 18, 2007 [3 favorites]


brain_drain: I agree with their general point, but listing Google and YouTube as "surveillance milestones" is pretty dumb.

"SHANGHAI It began with an impassioned, 5,000-word letter on one of China’s most popular Internet bulletin boards, from a husband denouncing a student he suspected of carrying on an affair with his wife.

Immediately, hundreds joined in the attack. “Let’s use our keyboard and mouse in our hands as weapons,” as one person wrote, “to chop out the heads of these adulterers, to pay for the sacrifice of the husband.” Within days, the hundreds had grown to thousands, and then tens of thousands, with total strangers forming teams to hunt down the student’s identity and address, hounding him out of his university and causing his family to barricade themselves inside their home.

It was the latest example of a growing phenomenon the Chinese call Internet hunting, in which morality lessons are administered by online throngs and where anonymous Web users come together to investigate others and mete out punishment for offenses real and imagined.
..."
'Mob rule on China’s Internet: The keyboard as weapon'
By Howard W. French The New York Times
THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 2006
http://www.howardwfrench.com/archives/2006/06/01/mob_rule_on_chinas_internet_the_keyboard_as_weapon/
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:08 PM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


It would be much cooler if we could be an Iron Maiden Society.

Give it four more minutes.
posted by homunculus at 10:23 PM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm too young to really remember anything about the Cold War, but the "countdown to nuclear war" clock, and now this surveillance society clock, seem too arbitrary to be meaningful. Plus, as ©@ pointed out, the ACLU doesn't offer much information about what can be done - and what's more, that chart indicates that most of the threats to privacy in the last 10 years have come from technology, not policy. You can't really stop technological progress, and you probably wouldn't want to try. You'd risk stifling innovation.
posted by tepidmonkey at 10:50 PM on September 18, 2007


Here's a clue. When you're in public, you can be seen. Public, is any place aside from a house that you own. Unless you're a hermit in a cave you got no privacy. It has not been a right. It's been an illusion brought on by apathy. The only reason why you probably don't see an audience just outside your little fishbowl is because, like me, you're probably too boring to HAVE an audience. Yes that's probably gonna change. Some people like looking at boring crap. For them, my life's gonna be bigger than Star Wars.

It amazes me that people act surprised about the loss of privacy. We've been doing it to celebrities for decades, and in recent years there has been no privacy.

The genie's outta the bottle. The cat's outta the bag. Pandora's box is open and the only thing she's gonna be able to catch with her little butterfly net is hope.

* Denial (They're not looking at me!)
* Anger (why are you looking at me!??)
* Bargaining (I promise I'll be better if you stop looking.)
* Depression (I don't care anymore) that's where I like to stay personally
* Acceptance! (I'm ready for my close up Mr. DeMille!)

Stick your head in the sand all you want. We can still see your ass.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:05 PM on September 18, 2007


*Sousveillance (Peek-a-boo, I see you too.)
posted by homunculus at 11:37 PM on September 18, 2007


The technological genie is well and truly out of the bottle, yes, but the application of technology can still be played out different ways. The science fiction author David Brin, a sometimes advisor to the US government, has this toughtful Salon cover story on the subject. His basic message is that 1984 was a warning about accountability, not surveillance in itself. Well worth a read.
posted by Harald74 at 12:03 AM on September 19, 2007


They aren't just watching you, they're watching your lawn. At least they didn't take a Taser to her.

Does anyone have some good tips on avoiding (or reducing) surveillance? Are tips like these any good?
posted by pracowity at 12:53 AM on September 19, 2007


Here in the UK it's half past tomorrow.
posted by vbfg at 1:13 AM on September 19, 2007


After listening to many of you Americans going on about how ASBO's were the biggest threat to civil liberties since Belsen-Bergen, and how foolish we are in the UK for tolerating such things, I'm reading the latest Joseph Wambaugh novel (disappointing) when I notice a reference to the use of Civil Injunctions against gang members in California.

Given that you've been using them since the 1980's, it would appear that we took the concept of the ASBO from you lot. So my question is, do you Americans actually not know that you do this stuff? Because it does seem peculiar that on that great long ASBO thread, nobody seemed to recognize or acknowledge that you've been doing the same thing for almost twenty years now.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:14 AM on September 19, 2007


...Internet hunting, in which morality lessons are administered by online throngs and where anonymous Web users come together to investigate others and mete out punishment for offenses real and imagined.

And have a good old time doing so, too — The Lottery [listen to the NBC Short Story radio play, March 14, 1951]. Nothing like a little vigilance: I'm surprised this concept hasn't become a reality TV show yet.
posted by cenoxo at 1:22 AM on September 19, 2007


Did anyone else find it odd that the clock was digital?
posted by knapah at 1:41 AM on September 19, 2007


Did anyone else find it odd that the clock was digital?

That's so Jack Bauer can disable it at 00:01.
posted by essexjan at 1:52 AM on September 19, 2007


One minute too late, perfect!
posted by knapah at 2:02 AM on September 19, 2007


SaintCynr: If it's important enough to care about at all, it's worth taking some initiative.

That's really a quite counter-productive and frankly anti-social attitude.

Basically it's tantamount to saying that nothing is worth caring about unless a critical mass of people care about it. Which begs the question of why it was worth those people caring about it in the first place.
posted by lodurr at 5:47 AM on September 19, 2007


"Why do you wear a mask? Were you burned by acid, or something?"
"Oh no. It's just they're terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future"

Yes, it's a quote from The Princess Bride, but I've often
wondered at the likelihood of getting yourself arrested for
simply wearing a mask continuously in public.
posted by the Real Dan at 7:01 AM on September 19, 2007


I’d wear a mask. Or get a screen actors guild card or something analogus which gives you control over the rebroadcast of your image and then sue on that basis. Of course in the future you could get something that disrupts cameras but only on your image.

I liked the Brin article but the idea that it’s impossible to limit the power of the elites to monitor us is silly. Technology - or any motive power - is always secondary to how it’s organized in use. The legendary fast trains were not fast only because of the advances in locomotive technology but because of how the route was scheduled. We didn’t throw up our hands at the idea that because the government place sorting machines in the post office it could then intercept and read our mail more easily if it so chose.

It’s not that the cat is out of the bag, but a question of which cat is to be in or out of which bag as far as the relationship between the government and it’s citizens are concerned.
Rule that evidence gained by a cop wearing futuristic x-ray specs looking into someone’s house is inadmissible and that’s the end of that.

(Although I’d enjoy tech-telepathy, I strongly suspect there would be overwhelming resistance to any form of communication that eliminates the possibility of - or even impairs - lying.)
posted by Smedleyman at 2:43 PM on September 19, 2007


SaintCynr: If it's important enough to care about at all, it's worth taking some initiative.

lodurr>>That's really a quite counter-productive and frankly anti-social attitude.

Basically it's tantamount to saying that nothing is worth caring about unless a critical mass of people care about it. Which begs the question of why it was worth those people caring about it in the first place.

````

Your statement isn't inaccurate. I apologize if my meaning was unclear.

I advocate that people take personal responsibility for maintaining their freedom. It's theirs to enjoy. It'd theirs to preserve, and hand on to their children, and so on. It was handed down to them. Why not respect it, love it, have the courage to stand up for it and educate oneself about it, instead of idling in modern culture wondering why someone doesn't hand you the answer to the most important question facing us today: Has The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave slipped away from us?
posted by SaintCynr at 9:22 PM on September 19, 2007


Say what, it's 80 nanometers to orange?
posted by dreamsign at 9:28 PM on September 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


It'd=It's

Mea Culpa.
posted by SaintCynr at 9:43 PM on September 19, 2007


Republicans pushed 'bogus' terror threat to expand FISA, lawmaker says
posted by homunculus at 9:17 AM on September 20, 2007


Are Democrats planning still worse FISA capitulations?
posted by homunculus at 5:15 PM on September 20, 2007


McConnell: That's Right, Openness Kills Americans
posted by homunculus at 6:28 PM on September 20, 2007


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