November 9, 2002
6:39 PM   Subscribe

One small step for technology, one giant leap towards a world with no secrets.
posted by Fupped Duck (9 comments total)
Here's a bunch of DARPA sponsored university research projects along these lines: Smart Dust, PicoRadio, uAMPS, ASCWS.

From the Smart Dust page:
"Yes, personal privacy is getting harder and harder to come by. Yes, you can hype Smart Dust as being great for big brother (thank you, New Scientist). Yawn. Every technology has a dark side - deal with it. As an engineer, or a scientist, or a hair stylist, everyone needs to evaluate what they do in terms of its positive and negative effect. If I thought that the negatives of working on this project were larger than or even comparable to the positives, I wouldn't be working on it. As it turns out, I think that the potential benefits of this technology far far outweigh the risks to personal privacy."- Kris Pister

There was also an interesting initiative at UCLA to study the privacy issues.
posted by eddydamascene at 7:10 PM on November 9, 2002

posted by alms at 8:29 PM on November 9, 2002

There has been much discussion about privacy issues here today... It made me think about how we got to this point. Then I thought of how common it has become to concern one's self with whom a particular celebrity is doing now (you know, those newspapers at the supermarket register that you hope no one caught you looking at with one eye), or who's getting kicked off an island because they can't get along with the others, and the list goes on... Maybe the time is right for the government to assume we don't care anyway since too many of us readily give our addresses, SS#'s, and any other personal information to just about anyone who asks for it. It's like there are no limits anymore. Where can you draw the line on what is "personal" enough to keep personal? It probably appears to them we don't care anyway, and judging by the lack of public outcry against any of this, they're probably right. Sigh.
posted by LouReedsSon at 9:39 PM on November 9, 2002

...we don't care anyway since too many of us readily give our addresses, SS#'s, and any other personal information to just about anyone who asks for it.

While at the same time comforting ourselves feeling private behind names like "WolfDaddy" and "LouReedsSon" ;-)
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:07 PM on November 9, 2002

More Surveillance on the Way
posted by homunculus at 11:25 PM on November 9, 2002

Word, WolfDaddy!
posted by LouReedsSon at 11:52 PM on November 9, 2002

If you want to read more about this, go to a bookstore and read The Light of Other Days by Arthur C Clarke and Stephen Baxter.

"The Light of Other Days is the tale of what happens when a brilliant, driven industrialist harnesses cutting-edge physics to enable people everywhere, at trivial cost, to see one another at all times: around every corner, through every wall, into everyone’s most private, hidden, and even intimate moments. It amounts to the sudden and complete abolition of human privacy--forever. "
posted by CrazyJub at 7:02 AM on November 11, 2002

It doesn't really sound like such a big surveillance issue - they're small, dumb, bot-y like sensors.

(i like them nude squirrels, tho, videos only $40!)
posted by DenOfSizer at 8:55 AM on November 11, 2002

Another sf reference: "The Dead Past" by Isaac Asimov. I won't describe the exact relevance because I don't want to ruin the story if you haven't read it, but believe me, the ending is a kick in the ass.
posted by languagehat at 11:24 AM on November 11, 2002

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