Surveillance, Technology And Society

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Surveillance, Technology and Society

Surveillance, Technology and Society


Surveillance system is the process of monitoring people, objects or processes within systems for conformity to expected or desired norms in trusted systems for security or social control. Although the word surveillance literally means "look over" the term usually applied to monitoring all forms of observation or monitoring, not just visual observation. However, the "eye in the sky" all-seeing is still the icon of surveillance. For monitoring in many modern cities and buildings are often used CCTV. While monitoring can be a useful tool for the forces and security companies, many people are concerned by the issue of loss of privacy.

Surveillance is the practice of watching over a given terrain, its inhabitants, and their relations, commonly for the purpose of exercising instrumental control over that which is being watched. As such, surveillance is central to the establishment and maintenance of “scopic regimes” that enact power to order the world. From its inception as a discipline, and indeed even prior to its attainment of disciplinary status, geography has engaged with surveillance as both participant and observer (Coleman 2011, 325).

Today there are cameras everywhere in the streets, in shops, museums, subways, train stations. The phenomenon has advantages but also inconvenient. However, benefits are the resolution of criminal cases, and ifmproving security and reducing unlawful acts in the streets. According to Jacques Ellul “To be sure of apprehending criminals, it is necessary that everyone be supervised.” We have to talk in favour of this statement that surveillance is necessary in order to control terrorist and harmful activities in society.

The word surveillance is commonly used to describe observation from a distance by electronic or other technological means. For example:



3.Directional microphones

4.Covert listening devices

5.Micro chambers


7.Tracking GPS

8.Vehicles "bait" (bait car) specially modified to catch car thieves

9.Electronic surveillance in hardware (such as a key logger) or software (e.g. packet sniffer)

10.Images CCTV

11.Recognition of military

12.Aerial survey, with aircraft such as the Lockheed U-2

13.Spy satellites

14.Computing devices of Trusted Computing

15.Computer and Internet surveillance

However, the monitoring also includes simple methods, with little or no technology involved, such as using binoculars, interception of correspondence, or similar methods (Coleman 2000, 623).

Description and Analysis

Surveillance became a hot topic after 9/11. Governments in many Western countries view surveillance as crucial in preventing acts of terrorism, shoring up national borders and protecting against potential security threats. The USA PATRIOT Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001, is largely about increasing the ability of government agencies to use surveillance techniques to track the activities (e-mail, phone conversations, bank transactions, medical records, and so on) of U.S. citizens as well as foreigners located in or wishing to gain entry to the United States. Surveillance here has the mandate to track the activities of individuals identified as potential threats to the nation and to intercept these individuals before their plans are carried to fruition (Dandeker 1990, 66).

Although surveillance has typically relied on visual observation, there has been a proliferation of technologies for dataveillance and cyber ...
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