Should all members of society be supervised in the fight against crime. This essay will examine a statement made by Jacques Lull which is “To be sure of apprehending criminals, it is necessary that everyone be supervised”. The statement will be looked at in the context of the perceived surveillance society that we can arguably be said to exist in, where surveillance is seen as both a good and bad thing simultaneously. The actual meaning of surveillance will be defined. The issues that arise from watching people both privately and commercially such as mission creep and its associated invasion of privacy will be examined and discussed.
The triggers that prompt people to submit to the use of surveillance will be analyses and the notion that we have a choice in what information is available about us will be explored to determine if we do truly still have choice. The various techniques and strategies used to observe and track us will be examined with a view to establishing the validity of the statement and to find out if supervision of people, in this way is something that can actually be achieved in a meaningful, satisfactory and ethical way.
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If taken on face value, Jacques Lull’s statement paints a picture of surveillance of people being a failsafe tool, which will inevitably lead to the capture of criminals in an unprecedented way. This statement fails to take into account the social factors that make the control of criminality a much more complex issue than he would suggest. If we do indeed live in a surveillance society, its roots stem from the information society where information is seen as a commodity to be bought and sold, for the most part without proper informed consent from all parties concerned.
A modern example of this is the social networking website Backbone. The Telegraph newspaper s reporting that Backbone has new plans for generating revenue offering its 1 50 million user database as a market research tool to corporations. Starting this spring, companies will be able to selectively target Backbone members in order to research the appeal of new products through a polling system called Engagement Ads. Every service Backbone offers, is designed to gather information about users in the hope that online advertisers will pay a premium for specific targeting (www. Hetaeras. Com) Facedown users nave unwillingly given away tenet data Ana t I Is now a commode be sold to the highest bidder. The users can be forgiven for believing they were Just sharing their data with friends and relatives and not being made the targets of unsolicited ads and marketing. Backbone has also been used by employers to check the suitability of prospective employees without their knowledge; this is an example of mission creep which seems to be a common theme when dealing with most methods of surveillance (Lyon,1994).
Lyon also writes about the ‘appendectomies, in which people market themselves. Self-disclosure of ones own personal data according to Lyon, equates with freedom and authenticity. But you individuate only by submitting to mass surveillance (Lyon, 2006). The issue of mission creep in the context of Jacques Ellis statement is where technology and policy designed to deal with the issue of crime can now be said to intrude on the privacy of the majority who are not in any way involved in criminal activity.
According to David Lyon there is some startling evidence that to an unprecedented extent, ordinary people now find themselves ‘under surveillance’ in the routines of everyday life. In numerous ways what was once thought of as the exception has now become the rule (Lyon, 1994) In our capitalist world, patterns of behavior serve as a powerful aid to the quest for creation of wealth. The things we buy are recorded by the use of loyalty cards, and we are offered incentives in the form of bonus points to persuade us to purchase more.
The websites we visit are recorded using cookies and we are profiled as potential customers for specific goods. This has the social effect of categorizing consumers based on their shopping preferences as well as their spending power. The richer shoppers will be offered more luxury items and up market brands, whereas the less wealthy will be marketed things they are likely to need and be able to afford. This has the effect of restricting choice. There are various techniques and types of technologies employed in our modern world to track our day to day movements, in cyberspace as well as in the real world.
They are not all as obvious as Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CATV), which is one of the first things that spring to mind when the word surveillance is mentioned. Surveillance can be defined as a practice that seeks to gather information not readily available to anyone who wants or needs it, this is not always to do with the reversion of crime, but can be used for marketing and has been implicated in the process of social sorting and assignment of individuals and groups in the hierarchy of social relations (Lyon 2006).
All methods of surveillance have the potential to raise complex social issues, one of the most controversial being that of ethics. Historically people believed they had a right to go about their lives without having to think about who was watching them and why. Since the events of September 11 2001 that way of thinking has radically changed. We are now said to be in an ongoing war against terror and as such we are
Dealing Increasingly asked to put sale our previously nine Deletes Tanat we can travel the world without having to prove we are not part of any terrorist organization and we have no interest in destroying the aircraft in which we will be traveling. We are profiled long before we enter an aircraft and assessed for risk to the country we are traveling to by the use of computer databases we have very little knowledge of or access to. There have been cases where people have been wrongly added to the US ‘No Fly List’ which is, created and maintained by the United States government’s Terrorist Screening Centre (TTS) (wry. SC. Ova) and denied access to an aircraft solely based on the information held on them. There are situations where people of a similar age or with a similar name as a person of interest are treated as the same person as opposed to two distinct individuals and in most cases not told why and once your details are on the no fly list it is very difficult to have it removed the fact that you are being annoyed every time you fly doesn’t seem to be a good enough reason.
In this post 9/1 1 world we are asked to accept this affront to our civil liberties as a necessary evil meant to ensure our safety and protect our national security and if we question this blurring of the line between protecting ourselves from the threat of terror and intense covert surveillance, we immediately become a person of interest to the very people who claim to be protecting us. There is an apparent lack of choice that has crept up on us as a condition of being an aircraft passenger as well as a patriotic citizen.
Paradoxically, the opening of the European Union (ELI) borders in Europe has seen less stringent checks put in place when traveling through EX. member states, especially when traveling with an EX. passport, causing further checks unknown to he traveler, when entering US airspace. (wry. TTS. Gob) This kind of surveillance is not confined to airports, air travel and post 9/1 1 issues and is a very powerful tool which can influence the course of high level affairs such as national elections and government affairs.
The recent phone hacking scandal involving reporters for the News International Group owned by media tycoon Rupert Morocco, shows the extent where covert surveillance can influence our lives. Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes has told the Elevens Inquiry that media reports damaged his chance to lead the party in 2006. Mr. Hughes told the inquiry into media standards and ethics he had been contacted by the Sun who told him they had obtained his phone call records. He said subsequent press coverage, which was about his relationships, hurt “his chance of winning the election”. Mm. ‘. BBC. Co. UK) If this is truly the case that Simon Hughes MM had his chances of winning an election taken away by surveillance of his phone, this has the further implication that our choices were influenced as a direct result of illegal wire tapping which raises serious concerns about the validity of our entire democratic process if airmailing at this level is allowed to happen right before our eyes and begs the quest won else NAS secrets we need behind the idea of surveillance. O Know AU I Nils Is ten wangle tents Surveillance has even influenced the design of architecture and example of this is the Poinciana design implemented in some prison buildings. The idea of the Poinciana is to design a prison building in such a way that where ever an inmate is within the building they can be seen and watched. This causes the psychological effect that the inmates feel like they are under constant scrutiny and can never escape the gaze of their Jailers.
They can be seen but they are not necessarily being watched. Nevertheless, the result is behavior modification because if the inmate believe they are being observed, they tend to behave differently and not always in a positive way. Modern surveillance predominantly utilities hundreds if not thousands of converged databases to store masses of information. Not all that information is of any use but it is nonetheless collected in vast amounts on a daily basis.
Billions of bytes of data are constantly sent and received between organizations such as police agencies ascribing individuals, their criminal histories, assets, debt, locations at particular times, purchase patterns, biometric identifiers such as fingerprints, photographs, DNA samples and other aspects of the people or the activities they are thought to have performed. At any given moment, thousands of inquiries are sent through dozens of regional, national, and international systems seeking answers to questions about people’s identity, where they are, what they have done, or what they are likely to do.
The whole ethos of surveillance society has seemed to have evolved, and taken on a ewe agenda, particularly since the US and I-J governments in particular have made strides to monitor and flush out terrorists around the globe. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have made it necessary to view more people than we feel comfortable with in a suspicious light and ever more invasive techniques have had to be employed to find out who we all are and sort us into hierarchical groups depending on our risk profile.
This has led to greater cooperation to a point between governments and a greater acceptance of invasions of privacy to facilitate this, technologies have had to nonvoter and roles have been changed and reversed. The watcher can now literally be the watched (Coleman and McCall, 2011). Kevin Hagglers and Richard Ericson came up with a concept that describes the variety of technological systems used by government as well as non government entities to monitor citizens, the ‘Surveillance Assemblage’.
The surveillance assemblage is composed of many discrete technological systems used to observe and infer patterns of behavior in the interests of control, investigation, and crime prevention. This can include technologies like CATV, governmental and corporate databases, data inning and synthesis software, electronic surveillance systems such as phone tapping equipment, data based profiling techniques such as those seen at airports. (Coleman &Mccahill, 2011). Inclusion The world as we know it has changed significantly over the last decade, the surveillance society we are now perceived to be living in is arguably now being fuelled by the events of 9/1 1 and subsequent conflicts. Most people would accept that there is a definite need for increased vigilance especially when traveling to ensure our security. However we are being subjected to levels of scrutiny that are infringing on our right to freedom of movement and as a result freedom of expression.