The Disinterest on the topic of Surveillance is something that plagues our society. It shares a similar vibe as climate change and infrastructure; a sense of immense boredom.
People not only don’t care about surveillance they also don’t care about those who do care about it. Many people would assume that Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are the same people. Honestly i challenge you to ask the next three people you see if they know the difference at all.
This lack of apathy allows for the more terrifying aspects of mass surveillance o go unchecked or even worse explained away. There should be an argument about security vs privacy, and although I believe that human beings should be entitled to a level of privacy, the simple truth is that they currently don’t enjoy that particular privilege, oftentimes due to voluntary exposure of private information.
At the core of this argument in the Cambridge Analytica incident, a company taking private info from a large scale surveillance program and using it in a manipulative way, talk about thought police levels of scary.
The absolute lack of humanity it takes to take people personal profile information, that they then use to develop their advert campaigns and so on to trick them into voting a certain way, blows me away. It is the work of the worst of humanity: the hypocrites, untouched by privacy issues because they are overly aware of the dangers because they are the danger.
But again when viewed like this people sound like alarmists or conspiracy theorists, rather than the rational, but scared people that they justifiably are. This leads to the interesting and perhaps over thought argument that those on the right who benefit from this level of misinformation, have a monopoly on conspiracy theorists, food for thought.
So lets try grounding the issue in reality, in a way normal, average Joe’s can relate to. One way to do this is through appealing to peoples wallets not their morality. Mass surveillance doesn’t mean blanket surveillance, and as such doesn’t deter certain crimes it simply shifts it to less survived places. This in turn generates hot-spots of crime in middle to low income residential areas, places where home owners cannot afford security cameras for personal use. This process of hot-spotting lowers the whole communities reputation and in turn average residential property price.
This means that cameras installed to deter crime don’t do as they are promised and instead sweep it away, burdening those who can least afford it. Their is probably an argument to be made that surveillance is really just a tool of a trickle down economic’s battle plan, used to keep crime away from places of high business like corporate districts.
Another conspiracy theory aside, (this is becoming a worryingly regular thing in blog posts) this counter purpose of security cameras dose the exact opposite of its intended function and as such shouldn’t be implemented, yet security cameras just keep popping up. Even if we cover every inch of the earth in the line of sight of a camera, people would just become desensitized to the idea someones watching them commit crimes and commit them anyway making them a moot point.
Anyway it is clear that disinterest is the key opposition in the war to get people to fight for privacy.
- YouTube. (2019). Government Surveillance: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEVlyP4_11M [Accessed 8 Sep. 2019].