are taking every advantage to drive
toward Technocracy and scientific dictatorship.
Surveillance is a key component
because monitoring provides the input
While it documents intrusions that predate the current crisis, the Atlas of Surveillance is all too relevant to the age of coronavirus.
Concerns about curtailing contagion help to normalize detailed scrutiny of people's lives and drive us toward a pervasive surveillance state.
Users can click on the map to see what surveillance technologies are used in specified localities.
If you want to see what's going on in your area, the map is searchable by the name of a city, county, or state. The map can also be filtered according to technologies such as,
The Ring partnerships don't give police live feeds, but they can request video recordings regarding a specific time and area.
While participation by Ring customers is voluntary, the partnerships are,
Researchers find few crimes solved by the voluntary surveillance partnerships, but the home-security marketing of the Ring arrangement nudges the culture toward an easier acceptance of a panopticon that operates outside of the full range of civil liberties protections.
Also easing America's slide toward a full surveillance state is fear of the COVID-19 'pandemic'...
Public health officials who, just months ago, fretted about overcoming privacy concerns with regard to contact-tracing schemes have turned to governments' usual solution:
Mandatory tracking forms for travelers to New York follow on Rockland County's earlier efforts to compel cooperation with contact tracers.
We can hope that health-related snooping into people's movements and activities will come to an end when the pandemic passes, but these things have a way of getting embedded in the culture as people become accustomed to them.
In the name of controlling infection, many private companies are now closely monitoring employees, including their proximity to one another in the workplace.
That novel invasions of privacy which might once have set off alarms can become the new normal is clear from public-private surveillance partnerships of the sort that Ring developed with police departments.
After the Supreme Court ruled that police need a warrant to access cellphone location data in Carpenter v. United States (2018), law enforcement quickly started purchasing data from private marketing firms.
The new surveillance technique is quickly becoming widely established.
Likewise, even after COVID-19 fades to an unpleasant memory, we may find that it has left a legacy of intrusive monitoring of our whereabouts and social connections - all for our own good, we'll be told.
For now, the growing incidence of public health surveillance is too new and low-tech to be included in the Atlas of Surveillance, which is plenty full as it is.
Selecting "automated license plate readers" reveals dense clusters in California, and in urban areas and along major highways elsewhere.
Clicking on "drones" reveals that they monitor much of the country - especially east of the Mississippi River and along the West Coast - from the sky.
The Atlas of Surveillance will probably fill in with new monitoring technologies, too, including some driven by 'public health concerns'...
For officials looking for reasons to poke their noses into other people's business, the pandemic is as good an excuse as any.