Monday, January 23, 2012

Your phone might be spying on you. The many cameras you pass every day can recognize your face. Facebook, despite its grudging concessions, still wants you to broadcast your personal life. “Eye in the sky” drones are already watching over borders; next, they’ll patrol the Olympics. It won’t be long before police drones are omnipresent in the skies over every major city, and then every town. Welcome to the 21st century. Smile! You’re probably on TV.

Especially if you live in the kind of repressive state that imprisons its citizens without trial. (You know, like America, if the US Senate has its way.) According to both Wikileaks and that well-known bastion of the left wing The Wall Street Journal, such regimes have been buying up Western-made high-tech surveillance systems like business travellers on unlimited expense accounts. To quote the former, “companies are making billions selling sophisticated tracking tools to government buyers, flouting export rules, and turning a blind eye to dictatorial regimes that abuse human rights...”