Posts Tagged ‘internet surveillance’


Headlines today “Government plans increased email and social network surveillance” & “US draws up plans for nuclear drones

The ‘eye of providence’, the all seeing eye of god has changed from a religious symbol into an automated digital routine available only to the unseen activities of state security agencies and whoever else may get hold of it. The eye of providence can be seen on one side of the seal of the United States in a vignette, on the other side is a picture of an eagle with in its claws a palm leaf and a bunch of arrows, above its head a group of stars within a nimbus of a great explosion. The seal is also depicted on a one dollar bill. It is as if this emblematic symbolism is now materialising with the advent of ‘social network surveillance’ of the internet and the global remote controlled spying systems, complimented by unmanned aerial vehicles that can both see and destroy what is classified as ‘the enemy’.

“IN GOD WE TRUST” is written with capital letters on the dollar note and we may wonder what the meaning of this sentence is now-a-days. Are we – the supposed creatures of God – to be trusted or not? Who is in fact the ‘WE’? The issuer of the bank notes? The state?  Should it not be ‘we’ from ‘we the people’, us practicians of TRUST. Trust that forms the basis of any form of community? From friendship and love to commune and society?

click for original picture big enough to print it as a poster

‘TRUST NOBODY” may become the adage of our age by spectacular enlargement of the exceptions and negations of  the general ‘good willingness’ that keep our societies up and running most of the time. The derailment of one or just a few is used to impose one draconian measure after another, punishing those who had no part whatsoever in acts of deceit and violence. We are facing infringement upon infringement by politicians and state authorities of ‘civil liberties’ won after centuries of struggle.

The success of digital social media exemplifies not only the success of the commercialism that keeps these systems running, but also expresses the level of trust people are willing to give and expect to receive from others. There is a positive social impulse in it. Governmental digital surveillance plans – as proposed now in the United Kingdom and implemented already in many states that deny their citizens their basic civil rights – harm this social impulse, harm society as a whole.

While all of us are apparently DISTRUSTED by the state we are  asked to TRUST the technology, intelligence and application of military force, used by the same state, all ‘in our name’.

War is not anymore necessary to create a battlefield. The integration of networked information systems, with real time remote sensing surveillance, will bring war to any home in the world classified as a legitimate target. The virtual and the real will be seamless integrated. Google-StreetView encompasses Google-BattleView. Constant intelligence from landline and mobile phone, Facebook, Twitter, Email, SMS, Chat and any other digital social media, is laid out on multi-dimensional grids, by automated algorithms, with only the parameters set by humans. We are supposed to trust the formulation of these social control and security algorithms. We are supposed to trust the interpretation of potentially alarming data. And now, with the newly announced system of nuclear driven permanent drones patrolling the skies, we are meant to trust not only the proper – supposedly pinpoint – summary executions delivered by these devices, but also the constant well functioning of the nuclear energy generators build into these unmanned aerial vehicles of death.

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