Surviving Surveillance: My co-editor of the Chasing Shadows anthology - Stephen W. Potts - has written a “5 books” contribution to the Tor web site, taking you on a tour of (almost) half a dozen great science fictional portrayals of surveillance.
Karen Levy on the Rise of Intimate Surveillance
Evan Selinger on Algorithmic Outsourcing and the Value of Privacy
Meet the dazzling flying machines of the future
Terrorists Might Be Dumb, but They’re Tech-Savvy
Why Apple is Rejecting FBI’s Request for Universal Access to iPhones
All your devices can be hacked
Switzerland: Basic Income ‘Robot’ causes a commotion in Davos
Dead Bodies, Naked Women or Money. Which Excites You More?
This is what happens when you reply to spam email
How the Mysterious Dark Net Is Going Mainstream
The moral bias behind your search results
A Brief History of Marijuana in the 21st Century
What is the Future of Advertising?
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The thing is, we’re all naughty. The specifics of what counts as “wrong” depend on the context, but there isn’t anybody on Earth so boring that haven’t done or aren’t doing something they’d rather not be known worldwide.
Lately I’ve been experiencing quite a bit of deja vu, and not in the least of a good kind. The recent bout was inspired by Ben Smith’s piece for BuzzFeed in which he struggled to understand how an Ayn Rand loving libertarian like the technologist Peter Thiel could end up supporting a statist demagogue like Donald Trump. Smith’s reasoning was that Trump represented perhaps the biggest disruption of them all and could use the power of the state to pursue the singularity and flying-cars Theil believed were one at our fingertips.
Seneca was a wealthy Roman stoic and advisor to the emperor Nero. In the third of his Letters from a Stoic, entitled ‘On True and False Friendship’, he makes the following observation:
As to yourself, although you should live in such a way that you trust your own self with nothing which you could not entrust even to your own enemy, yet, since certain matters occur which convention keeps secret, you should share with a friend at least all your worries and reflections.
This is the second in a two-part series (read Part I here)looking at the ethics of intimate surveillance. In part one, I explained what was meant by the term ‘intimate surveillance’, gave some examples of digital technologies that facilitate intimate surveillance, and looked at what I take to be the major argument in favour of this practice (the argument from autonomy).
‘Intimate Surveillance’ is the title of an article by Karen Levy - a legal and sociological scholar currently-based at NYU. It shines light on an interesting and under-explored aspect of surveillance in the digital era. The forms of surveillance that capture most attention are those undertaken by governments in the interests of national security or corporations in the interests of profit.
In February, 1996, John Perry Barlow (of Grateful Dead, Electronic Frontier Foundation, etc.) declared cyberspace to be independent of states and their industries, economies, and politics. He was wrong. “Cyberspace” (and we’ll use the same term here, for what it’s worth) is an expression of fleshly and natural and mechanical processes; it is derived from human politics and industry, and it cannot be independent of it.
Frozen embryos open new questions about forced parenthood and whether men, too, might have rights under Roe v. Wade.
Those of us on the Left like to say that we’re all “in it” together: rich, poor; white, brown; queer, straight; old, young; secular, devout; and even other species.