Monday, February 23, 2015

secrecy and police surveillance

Passed along in email this morning was this Washington Post story about dwindling privacy rights accompanying advances in police surveillance ... specifically, a drug bust in which the defendant received a reduced sentence because police did not want to have to publicly show the technology that allowed them to catch him.

Trickle-down secrecy: First NSA says it cannot detail information that allows them to catch bad guys (and more than occasionally breaks down the wrong front door in the process) because to do so would compromise 'national security' for an as-yet-to-be-redefined 'nation.'

Local police, not to be outdone, take up the argument and pretty soon the argument will become ensconced: We can't tell you what we're doing, but trust us, it's for your own good. To prove the point, the drumbeat of 'terrorist' possibilities increases in the media together with self-congratulatory tones: "See -- we caught a fourteen-year-old who got pissed and said she was going to move to Syria or 'kill' _______ (fill in the blank)."

1 comment:

  1. Mass media was supposed to draw us together in acceptance and understanding. But as Mashal McLuahn suggested, the volume of it has fractured us into a zillion different niches of interest and view. There is homogenization at the market level, but suspicion and resentment everywhere else. And so those in power must scramble to keep control over this mess. Suspicion and resentment seem the most homogenizing thing going on.