Re: Surveilance was: Transhuman fascists?

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Fri Mar 31 2000 - 09:53:54 MST

>From: "Mike Steven" <>
> > > Dan Fabulich <> wrote:
> > > >*How do you know which screen to look at?* There are hundreds of
> > > >thousands, if not millions of cameras you could be monitoring, any of
> > > >which may have a picture of somebody slitting a child's throat. The
> > > >way to tell which one is to LOOK at all of them, requiring a
> > > >amount of processing power/time. That's where the computation comes
> > > >and a hell of a lot of it.
>Then Michael S. Lorrey <> wrote:
> >
> > Lets look at the number of cameras in a total ubiquitous open
> > surveillance system:
> >
> > Range of average camera(at useful resolution): 50 m radius
> > Field of view: 90 degrees
> > Area under surveillance by 1 camera: ~7500 square meters
> > Area of dry surface of Earth: 148,300,000 square kilometers or,
> > 14,830,000,000,000,000 square meters
> > Number of cameras necessary to cover every square meter of the dry land
> > on the planet:
> > 20,000,000,000,000, or 20 trillion cameras,
>But the vast majority of those cameras would be pointing at a place where
>there aren't any humans, vehicles or robots and so would be worthless. A
>fairly universal surveillance system (obviously I agree no system will be
>perfect) could get by with a tiny fraction of that number of cameras,
>particularly if the cameras are mobile. As for cost, already today you can
>get an (admittedly rubbish quality) web-cam for less than 50, and at that
>price it wouldn't be exhorbitantly expensive to have every room in your
>house under surveillance. (You may be relieved to hear that I don't have
>plans to start webcasting any time soon :)
>If that level of surveillance is possible today, I don't think it's a huge
>stretch to postulate a future system which could cover not just your house,
>but also shops, businesses, public areas etc and at significantly higher
>quality than the best available today. Sure, if you decide to go hiking in
>the middle of nowhere there won't be any cameras, apart from those you
>with you (or ones which follow you if we soup up the tech a bit).
> > which if you treat each
> > camera as a network device on an internet like system, would require a
> > network a minimum of approximately 150,000 times larger than the current
> > worldwide internet (but only if you have nothing BUT cameras on the
> > network, no servers, routers, or clients), and is 20 times greater than
> > the capacity of the IP number system's maximum capacity.
>As I said, I think your numbers may be inflated with a lot of redundant
>cameras, but even if they're not, I wouldn't like to bet against the future
>existance of a network 150,000 times the size of today's net. Lucent have
>already made a cable which could accomodate all of North America's voice
>(I think) data traffic at once.

Actually its *way* better than even that. Their cable could push *3 times*
the daily net traffic of the *entire planet* every second.,1282,35079,00.html

It's amazing to me that so many people on this list seem to be so
pessimistic as to the capabilities of future technology when the tech we
have already is so capable and is exponentially improving.


"I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past"
--Thomas Jefferson

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