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Foucault on power / knowledge. (Although the original idea of the Panopticon was one of JeremyBentham?'s designs...)

GivingUpPrivacy , SurveillanceCapitalism, AlgorithmicDespotism


SmartMobs and swarm tracking ....

Quora Answer : What are your predictions for the period from 2015 to 2020?

Mar 4, 2014

If we're not careful we'll sleepwalk into a future where we'll be under automated 24 hour surveillance by the government / secret security services / private companies.

1) All electronic communication will be intercepted and stored by default (even if it's not decrypted by default) All meta-data will be routinely analyzed so the government have a map of who talks with who. And certain patterns will trigger investigation by the security service.

2) Face recognition algorithms will become good enough that Facebook and Google will routinely classify who met who (when and where) by the photos that pass through their cloud. Facebook will have not only its own database but also the combined databases of Instagram, WhatsApp etc. Google will have everything people give to it via Gmail / G+ / Picassa / Google Now and everything it crawls on the public web. Sooner or later they'll start making
recommendations about who to connect-with based on who they know you met simply from photographic data.

Despite protestations to the contrary by Facebook and Google, the NSA etc. will also have access to this information. (Because Facebook and Google will be legally bound not to admit to it or to try to prevent it.)

3) Thanks to real-world vision recognition projects like Project Tango

and the technology build into the self-driving Google Car and into Google Glass, Google will also be processing massive amounts of streamed video about the real world and cataloguing the contents of any room where people use Google Glass or these new "Tango-ed" phones. It will get integrated with services like Google Mine etc. So Google will know all about your stuff.

Despite protestations ... blah blah blah ... the NSA etc. will have all this data too.

4) Apple will be trying to do as much of the above as they can, using iPhones and new devices like the iWatch.

5) The rise of mobile payment systems as an increasingly popular replacement for cash means that Google / Apple / the NSA will be able to cross-reference everything else they know about you with microscopic details of your economic life. (What you buy, where and who from.) The NSA will probably be trying to cross-reference with the loyalty card scheme of your local supermarket too.

6) Government services will abuse this power they have. Despite saying it's only used in the war on terror, it will be increasingly be made available to the police investigating organized crime, child-abusers, anti-government protestors, eco-protestors, pirates and anti-copyright activists etc. Individuls in the security agencies will increasingly abuse their access to this data for their own purposes (such as spying on ex-partners or stalking people they are interested in.)

Remember. This is a future you can, at least partially, opt-out of.

  • Learn to use TOR : Anonymity Online
  • Learn to use private, peer-to-peer ways of communicating with your friends and aquaintances online. I like BitTorrent Sync instead of Dropbox, for example. twister | P2P microblogging platform seems interesting etc.
  • Get a proper operating system on ALL your computers. That means something open-source like Linux or FreeBSD on your laptop and at least a jailbroken version of Android that gives you proper control. (Though ideally real free-software ... )
  • Find out what the state of the art is in all these areas.
  • Don't buy or use devices which automatically send photos or video streams into the clouds of large American corporations. However "convenient" it seems to make life.
  • Refuse to associate with those who insist on using such devices.
  • Look into having at least some cryptocurrencies (eg. BitCoin) to be able to make private purchases. BitCoin is a complicated subject and I'm not qualified to give you the financial advice to definitely buy into it, but you owe it to yourself to learn about and understand this world too.

That still won't protect you from CCTV cameras in all urban areas and transport; cameras built into self-driving cars; or drones (some of which will be only a couple of centimetres in length.) But it might give you a few brief moments free from total surveillance.


We lost the war. Welcome to the world of tomorrow :

Added 2020-05-15 : Originally 2017-11-18

Added 2019-01-17 : Originally 2019-01-17 Phone Tracking

Added 2018-10-12 : Originally 2018-10-12

Added 2018-10-09 : Originally 2018-10-09

Added 2018-10-09 : Originally 2018-10-09

Added 2018-10-08 : Originally 2018-07-19 OnChina

Added 2018-10-08 : Originally 2018-09-17

{:url "" :timestamp "2020-09-27T17:19:58.822538" }

Added 2017-09-29 :

{:url "" :timestamp "2021-05-18T01:13:21.244554" }

Why not plug your kids directly into the global surveillance network? asks CogniToy.

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