Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Surveillance culture

Since the revelation was made that President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to spy on Americans, I've heard some frightening excuses given as to why this was ok. Granted, some of it is as moronic as the caller on C-Span the other morning saying, "I 'ain't got nothin' to hide, so I don't care if they listen in on my phone calls." This type of stupidity is obviously a product of inbreeding, so there isn't much that can be done to combat this.

Then, there are the Bush apologists, driven by ideological purity, which says that all is fair in the "war on terrah'"; once again, I don't know how to counteract drinking the Kool-aid. There's not much that one can come up with that will sway a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, from their preconceived notions.

What concerns me is the general level of malaise and apparent lack of perspective of many other Americans about this, however.

Michael Hawkins, over at Spontaneous Arising, has some of the best (and genuinely frightening) analysis on what all of this means. I was fascinated by his using Benthem's panopticon in illustrating the scope and possibilities of surveillance possible, given our enhanced technological capabilities.

This stuff is worth reading, if you can wedge it in amongst the gift wrapping, eggnog and fruitcake of the season.

4 comments:

Chase Saunders said...

Jim, privacy has been on my mind too. In fact, a friend and I are starting a company that will definitely be raising some awareness about the whole crisis that's coming. We're not giving away the master plan yet, but we have a sort of "startup" weblog going, and we'll be posting lots of privacy-related articles. Sorry for the shameless plug, but do check it out:

http://platelink.us

Anonymous said...

We knew you were going to write this.

Love
The Government.

Debbie said...

I am a born again Christian and am also appalled at Bush's behaviour overall. I must say I just compared some religious extremist to Kool-aid serving and chuggin' confused Christians.

Jim said...

There seems to be a growing unease and wariness by some who formerly supported the president. While I don't necessarily support many of the "values" held by those who would be part of Bush's born-again brigade, I commend those, like Debbie and some others, who are willing to speak out about the blatent power grab taking place by the administration. It would seem to me that born-again people who truly value the teaching of Jesus, would see how Bush just plays at church and religion. I think he's a sociopath and someone that Jesus would "call out" if he were walking the earth. For some reason, Bush and the biblical term, "Pharisee" come to mind.

I'm anxious to see what Chase is up to with Platelink, especially tieing into issues of privacy and surveillance culture.

The anonymous post made me laugh.