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Surveillance Society. Definition. The monitoring of the behavior, activities, or other changing information, usually for the purpose of influencing, managing, directing, or protecting. Most usually involves observation of individuals or groups by government organizations. Positive? Negative?.

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Surveillance society


  • The monitoring of the behavior, activities, or other changing information, usually for the purpose of influencing, managing, directing, or protecting.

  • Most usually involves observation of individuals or groups by government organizations.

Positive negative
Positive? Negative?

  • Surveillance is useful to governments and law enforcement to maintain social control, recognize and monitor threats, and prevent/investigate criminal activity.

  • Civil rights groups are concerned that mass surveillance will result in limited or non-existent political and/or personal freedoms.

Types of surveillance
Types of Surveillance

  • Computer surveillance

  • Telephones

  • Surveillance cameras

  • Social network analysis

  • Biometric surveillance

  • Aerial surveillance

  • Corporate surveillance

Types of surveillance1
Types of Surveillance

  • Human operatives

  • Satellite imagery

  • Identification and credentials

  • RFID and geolocation devices

  • RFID tagging

  • Global positioning system

  • Mobile phones

  • Surveillance devices

  • Postal services

  • FBI software - of data and traffic on the Internet.Magic Lantern and CIPAV can be used to gain unauthorized access to data; can be installed physically or remotely

  • vanEck phreaking – reads electromagnetic emanations remotely from computing devices to extract data

  • Pinwale – stores and indexes large numbers of emails of American citizens and foreigners

Telephones of data and traffic on the Internet.

  • Widespread official and unofficial wiretapping

  • AT&T and Verizon are paid by the FBI to keep records easily searchable and accessible

  • Speech-to-text software creates machine-readable text from intercepted audio

  • Technology available to US, UK governments to remotely activate microphones in cell phones

  • “Multilateration” of cell phone towers used to collect location data from cell phone use

Surveillance cameras
Surveillance Cameras of data and traffic on the Internet.

  • Video cameras of data and traffic on the Internet.used to observe an area

  • Connected to a recording device or IP network

  • Automated software organizes digital video footage into a searchable database

  • Homeland Security grants in US enable cities to install cameras and to connect them to central monitoring center

  • “Golden Shield Project” – US companies install cameras, facial recognition software in China to track individuals. Goal is to have a picture of every person in China in central database.

  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of data and traffic on the Internet.(DARPA) funding research to link cameras to a central monitoring station in a city

  • Identix’s facial recognition software used at Super Bowl 2001

  • Traffic cameras in DC used for day-to-day monitoring by DC police

  • Trapwire - Closed Circuit TeleVision (CCTV) cameras track people’s movements across city

Social network analysis
Social Network Analysis of data and traffic on the Internet.

  • Maps of social networks based on data from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, traffic analysis information from phone call records

  • These maps are “data mined” to extract personal interests, friendships, affiliations, beliefs, thoughts, activities.

  • DARPA, National Security Agency (NSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) invest in social network analysis.

  • AT&T’s programming language “ of data and traffic on the Internet.Hancock” sifts through databases of phone call and Internet traffic records.

  • Employers report using social networking sites to collect personal data on prospective or current employees.

Biometric surveillance
Biometric Surveillance of data and traffic on the Internet.

  • Biometric surveillance measures and analyzes human physical and/or behavioral characteristics for authentication, identification, or screening purposes.

  • Fingerprints, DNA, facial patterns, voice recognition, iris scanning, etc.

  • Some technology can identify a person up to 500 ft. by facial features.

  • Affective computing and/or behavioral characteristics for authentication, identification, or screening purposes.– computers recognize a person’s emotional state based on analysis of facial expressions, speed of talking, tone and pitch of voice, posture, etc.

  • DNA fingerprinting – analyzes major markers in DNA to produce a match

  • FBI spending $1 billion to build database for people in US. Computers are in underground facility as large as two football fields.

  • Facial thermographs – identify fear, stress

Aerial surveillance
Aerial Surveillance and/or behavioral characteristics for authentication, identification, or screening purposes.

  • Aerial surveillance gathers visual imagery or video from an airborne vehicle.

  • Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), helicopter, spy plane, micro-aerial vehicles (MAV), forward-looking infrared devices.

  • DHS testing UAVs to patrol US skies

  • UK building up fleet of UAVs for its police

  • MAVs can carry Tasers for crowd control or as weapons

  • DARPA programs automate much of the aerial surveillance process.

  • Self-piloting UAVs decide who is “suspicious,” monitor them, coordinate with other UAVs, notify human operators in centralized monitoring station

  • AI drones increase area that can be continuously monitored, reducing number of human operators

Data mining and profiling
Data Mining and Profiling process.

  • Data mining – application of statistical techniques to discover relationships within data

  • Assemble data to create a profile, i.e., a picture of patterns and behavior

  • Economic and social transactions create data

  • Web traffic and online purchases also used for profiling

  • Data analysis used by programs such as ADVISE and TALON to determine whether the person is a military, criminal, or political threat

  • ADVISE – Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight, Semantic Enhancement R&D program authorized by DHS.

  • TALON – Threat and Local Observation Notice, activated after 9/11 by Dept. of Defense; contains info on antiwar groups

  • US is planning 43 “fusion centers”, a national network of surveillance centers in over 30 states

  • Fusion centers will collect, analyze data from drivers’ licensing centers, hospital records, criminal records, school records, credit bureaus, banks, etc.

  • Info will be placed in a centralized database that can be accessed by all centers as well as federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies

Corporate surveillance
Corporate Surveillance of surveillance centers in over 30 states

  • Monitoring of a person or group’s behavior by a corporation

  • Data usually used for marketing purposes

  • Can be shared with government agencies

  • Google stores identifying information for each web search, scans content of Gmail webmail service to tailor advertising

  • Many US companies monitor e-mail traffic or workers and/or Internet connections

  • Companies use software to block non-work related websites such as offensive sites, game sites, social networking sites, entertainment sites, shopping sites, and sports sites

  • Some companies track keystrokes and time spent at keyboards

  • Infragard – FBI, DHS, corporations have information-sharing partnership

Human operatives
Human Operatives Internet connections

  • Organizations that have enemies who wish to gather information about the groups’ members or activities face the issue of infiltration

  • HUMINT – intelligence gathered by humans rather than by electronic monitoring and data mining

Satellite imagery
Satellite Imagery Internet connections

  • Local, state, and domestic Federal agencies can access imagery from military intelligence satellites and aircraft sensors

  • These devices can penetrate cloud cover, detect chemical traces, and identify objects in buildings and underground bunkers

  • Real-time video better than still images from Google Earth

Identification and credentials
Identification and Credentials Internet connections

  • A card containing an identification number

  • Some countries have national ID numbers

  • IDs can be verified by passports, drivers’ licenses, library cards, banking or credit cards

  • Machine-readable data can create an electronic trail

Rfid and geolocation devices
RFID and Geolocation Devices Internet connections

A rfid tagging
a. RFID Tagging Internet connections

  • Use of very small electronic devices applied or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for identification and tracking using radio waves

  • Some companies tag employees, who are monitored while on job

  • VeriChip(Applied Digital Solutions), injected under skin, stores personal information in “Global VeriChip Subscriber Registry”

B global positioning system
b. Global Positioning System Internet connections

  • In US, police have planted hidden GPS tracking devices in people’s vehicles to monitor their movements

  • Some cities require parolees to wear GPS devices to track their movements when they get out of prison

C mobile phones
c. Mobile Phones Internet connections

  • Commonly used to collect geolocation data

  • Multilateration– calculates the differences in time for a signal to travel from the cell phone to each of several cell towers near the owner of the phone

D surveillance devices
d. Surveillance Devices Internet connections

  • “Bugs” are hidden electronic devices used to capture, record, and/or transmit data to a receiving party such as a law enforcement agency

  • COINTELPRO – US domestic intelligence program bugged homes, office, vehicles of political activists, subversives, criminals

E postal services
e. Postal Services Internet connections

  • Significance of surveillance of postal system decreasing in favor of Internet and telephone surveillance

  • Interception of mail is still option for law enforcement

Controversy over surveillance
Controversy over Surveillance Internet connections

Support Internet connections

  • These tools protect society from terrorists and criminals

  • People must become accustomed to having no privacy

  • “If you aren’t doing anything wrong, then you don’t have anything to worry about.”

Opposition Internet connections

  • “As long as we do what we’re told, we have nothing to fear.”

  • Political activists do not want the government to know their names

  • Mass surveillance may make future opposition impossible

  • Most people do have things to hide, e.g., job hunter may not want present employer to know this

Opposition totalitarianism
Opposition: Totalitarianism Internet connections

  • Fear that society is moving toward a state of mass surveillance

  • “Laying the bricks one at a time for a police state.”

  • Blurring of lines between public and private places

  • Surveillance techniques are not equal, e.g., facial recognition requires no cooperation

Opposition psychological social effects
Opposition: Internet connectionsPsychological/Social Effects

  • Creates in people a feeling of always being watched, so they become self-policing

  • The State can control the populace without having to resort to physical force

Opposition privacy
Opposition: Privacy Internet connections

  • Civil rights groups include Electronic Privacy Information Center, Electronic Frontier Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union

  • Lawsuits include Hepting v. AT&T, EPIC v. Department of Justice

  • The Church Committee investigated domestic intelligence programs such as COINTELPRO

Counter surveillance inverse surveillance sousveillance
Counter-surveillance, Internet connectionsInverse Surveillance, Sousveillance

  • Counter-surveillance – avoiding surveillance or making surveillance difficult

  • Inverse surveillance – reversal of surveillance on other individuals or groups, e.g., citizens photographing police

  • Sousveillance – inverse surveillance, involving the recording by private individuals, rather than government or corporate entities