Re: Surveillance Technology

Peter C. McCluskey (
Mon, 14 Dec 1998 08:58:16 -0800 (Paul Hughes) writes:
>I have no problem with your desire to see crimes of rape, murder and theft eliminated.
>It's your proposal about how to accomplish these goals that I find untenable. The
>present exercise of government power, which you want to see increased, has shown itself
>to be completely incapable of using that power wisely and with fairness - with examples
>like Burma and China most glaring. More often than not, such surveillance technology
>has been used to squash every type of political opinion that my threaten those elite's
>in power. How will your system have safeguards that prevent any such group of using
>that power to control another peaceful group against their wishes?

The surveillance technology will probably exist whether we want it or not, so the need to find safeguards appears to be independant of whether we allow the government to use it to catch ordinary criminals. ("den Otter") writes:
>(*) For technical reasons, surveillance would have to be limited to
>busy, highly populated places (the limited capacity must be used
>as effectively as possible) such as cities and the roads between
>them. This is where criminals target their victims, so *they* would
>be hit hard. Resistance fighters, who have a different motivation
>and goal, could still hide out in less populated areas (or go abroad,
>if the system isn't "global") where the surveillance is sporadic
>and [thus] considerably less effective. So, should the regime ever
>turn oppressive, the surveillance system, good as it is against
>crime, won't make it invulnerable to rebellion.

This appears to allow the resistance to survive in a continually decreasing area of low surveillance, but there's no obvious way for the resistance to increase it's territory.

Peter McCluskey          | Critmail ( | Accept nothing less to archive your mailing list