Big Brother In Real Trouble
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Big Brother is in real trouble and any help from regular citizens is welcomed as one of the surprising details of the recent protests in Britain is that the police asked the citizens to help identifying the suspects. Why is this strange? It’s strange because the Great Britain ( the entire United Kingdom actually, because things are valid in Northern Ireland too ) is the world's most advanced country in terms of electronic surveillance and this can be related very logic with a simple identification of any subject that is wanted by the police or a government institution.
Gossips said it's about as legal as a Big Brother because the sheer magnitude is out of reach for normal citizens. As many of us lived under communism, we know that technology is not a neither necessary nor sufficient factor for a successful intimidating Big Brother. True, technology is a huge advantage and facilitates the process, but remember that once people from the special public homeland security relied mostly on snitches, not technology and they did a very efficient job.
Notice, however, that technology does not lie, unlike humans that have that in their nature.
But what is electronic surveillance and what is the purpose of it?
In terms of goals, there are two main that come in mind right now:
- Preventing the break of the law and this is a goal that is achieved by limiting to an observer state, without any interference. This can also be achieved by education and morality brewed at home in the welfare of the family.
- Identification of those that broke the law is a function that is slightly easier to perceive as it can be considered the tip of the iceberg. Everybody has seen a detective movie when a professional is in search for clues and proof of a bad deed in order to apprehend the outlaw and bring him in front of justice.
However, this part also has the largest influence on people’s privacy as it can be split down into three categories:
- Video surveillance that includes facial recognition using various technologies for low light vision (IR projectors, light intensifiers, thermal imagery, etc.).
- Mobile Phones which include the analysis of patterns of relationships, locations, times etc.
- Internet social networks that even if relatively new in the trio, compared to the others two which can be accessed only by institutions and those that are certified to do that, offers information about someone to everybody without any notice or agreement.