Tag Archives: security

The benefits of a total surveillance state – Stuart Armstrong – Aeon

2 Oct

Hmmmm…this article almost makes a surveillance state seem tolerable. Read it and figure out what the author got wrong. Like the assumption that the people who conduct the surveillance will be benign. This is the kind of absolute power that corrupts absolutely.

The hidden assumption is that the world can be controlled from the top. It can’t. Ever. Or only at the  cost of ultimately self-defeating escalating surveillance.

If all goes well, there might be fewer laws for the police to enforce. Most countries currently have an excess of laws, criminalising all sorts of behaviour. This is only tolerated because of selective enforcement; the laws are enforced very rarely, or only against marginalised groups. But if everyone was suddenly subject to enforcement, there would have to be a mass legal repeal. When spliffs on private yachts are punished as severely as spliffs in the ghetto, you can expect the marijuana legalisation movement to gather steam. When it becomes glaringly obvious that most people simply can’t follow all the rules they’re supposed to, these rules will have to be reformed. In the end, there is a chance that mass surveillance could result in more personal freedom, not less.

via The benefits of a total surveillance state – Stuart Armstrong – Aeon.


How the rich took over airport security – Transportation Security Administration – Salon.com

23 Mar

Score another win for the Corpstate. The war on terror is a scam to funnel more tax money into the military-industrial complex and to exert more and tighter control over US citizens. Now the rich are being given free front-row seats at TSA security theater in airports. Airlines allow fatcats to go to the head of the line and the government’s testing a program that does the same.

In other words, if you do not fly frequently — and most low-income and middle-income Americans cannot afford to — you would not be allowed to take part in this public government program. In true crony capitalist fashion, the precheck program blurs the line between the government’s security function and the airlines’ purely commercial frequent flier programs.

The precheck program is advertised as an experimental program, holding out the possibility that after a period in which they are subject to more scrutiny than affluent business travelers, low-income grandmothers traveling to visit their grandchildren at last will be able to take part. More likely, the precheck program would never be extended to the masses rather than the classes. It would simply become another permanent perk of the elite, whose members would have no incentive to lobby for democratizing the program — rather the contrary.

via How the rich took over airport security – Transportation Security Administration – Salon.com.