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Living in a Virtual Panopticon?

Thu, 05/11/2006 - 3:42pm by Rich


With the [|recent revelation] that three major [w:telecommunications] companies are working under contract with the [w:NSA] to collect the phone records of millions of average Americans, the discussion of how to balance [s:civil rights|civil liberties] and [s:national security|national security] seems more important now than ever before. Is it safe to say that we are now all living in a virtual [w:panopticon]? A [w:surveillance_society|surveillance society]?

The library has a number of [s:privacy, right of|books] on this topic for those interested in learning more. Here are some recent titles:
[b:b1235389|No Place to Hide]
[b:b1236793|Chatter]: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping
[b:b1222471|Civil Liberties]: Opposing Viewpoints
[b:b1150214|The End of Privacy]: How Total Surveillance is Becoming a Reality
[b:b1208050|The Naked Employee]: How Technology is Compromising Workplace Privacy
[b:b1210833|The Soft Cage]: Surveillance in America from Slavery to the War on Terror
[b:b1268213|Spychips]: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID


And then, of course, there is [w:Foucault], who wrote at length about surveillance societies. His book [t:Discipline and Punish|Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison] has an extended analysis of the panopticon as both disciplinary method and metaphor. Times like these you start to wonder if the [w:Structuralism|Structuralists] were right after all.

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