An Appraisal of Technologies of Political Control
January 26, 2005 3:41 PM   Subscribe

Long ago, in 1998, the EU looked at the future "... The implications of vertical and horizontal proliferation of this technology and the need for an adequate political response by the EU, to ensure it neither threatens civil liberties in Europe, nor reaches the hands of tyrants."
posted by hank (7 comments total)
More, from the recent past:

"... Innovations in crowd control weapons (including the evolution of a 2nd. generation of so called 'less-lethal weapons' from nuclear labs in the USA).

... to substitute technology for staff in cost cutting exercises and the social and political implications of replacing policies of rehabilitation with strategies of human warehousing.

... new efficient mark-free interrogation and torture technologies and their proliferation from the US & Europe.

... the continuum of control which stretches from modem law enforcement to advanced state suppression, the difference being the level of democratic accountability in the manner in which such technologies are applied.

... technologies to undermine international human rights legislation ...

... worldwide convergence of nearly all the technologies of political control. ...

... advances in area denial, identity recognition, surveillance systems based on neural networks, discreet order vehicles, new arrest and restraint methods and the emergence of so called 'less lethal weapons' ...

... a darker side of technological development including the rise of more powerful restraint, torture, killing and execution technologies and the role of privatised enterprises in promoting it....
posted by hank at 3:45 PM on January 26, 2005

While the EU is seemingly cautionary about these emergent technologies, I can't help but think the US looks at the same and salivates.
posted by sourwookie at 4:01 PM on January 26, 2005

posted by rooftop secrets at 4:23 PM on January 26, 2005

There are people who salivate at this all over the world, including the EU.

They tend to gravitate to where power is wielded...

Thanks hank for giving me some bedtime reading.
posted by anthill at 4:24 PM on January 26, 2005

Apparently, the "technologies of political control" haven't really changed that much.

This is really interesting. Thanks!
posted by koeselitz at 4:46 AM on January 27, 2005

Wow. Great post. A lot of fascinating and scary stuff.

Thus a second generation of kinetic, chemical, optico-acoustic, microwave, disabling and paralysing technologies is on the horizon, to join the existing arsenal of weapons designed for public order control.

This just isn't so reassuring after the ALCS Boston incident. And this...

[...] the Danish Jai stroboscopic camera (Fig.19) which can take hundreds of pictures in a matter of seconds and individually photograph all the participants in a demonstration or March; and the automatic vehicle recognition systems which can identify a car number plate then track the car around a city using a computerised geographic information system.(Fig.20) Such systems are now commercially available, for example, the Talon system introduced in 1994 by UK company Racal at a price of £2000 per unit. The system is trained to recognise number plates based on neural network technology developed by Cambridge Neurodynamics, and can see both night and day.

... is just creepy.
posted by effwerd at 6:04 AM on January 27, 2005

While the EU is seemingly cautionary about these emergent technologies, I can't help but think the US looks at the same and salivates.

Agreed. I mean, just look at the history of Europe. Pretty damn noble.
posted by Ayn Marx at 7:07 AM on January 27, 2005

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