Little brothers. Life casters. Advanced State/Corporate Surveillance of your Vision (and possibly, Mind or Private Thoughts). (17)

Rob Spence claims to be educating us on how society is sleepwalking into a new era of invasive state and corporate surviellance.

camera for an eye
camera for an eye

By installing a prosthetic eye with a miniature camera into his unused eye socket (his eye was damaged in a shotgun accident as a kid) Spence will be able to record his life unbeknownst to those around him and broadcast it to the web. See: EYEBORG– The Two Week Trial.

But when Spence says he is trying to educate the public on the dangers of surveillance, he is leaving out the dangerous effects an invention like this can have on the very same public. He, and others attempting similar projects, are creating a new method to introduce invasive state and corporate surveillance into people’s public and private lives.

What happens when you marry Jon Zittrain’s nightmare of tethered appliances (see my previous post) with Spence’s new contraption and advanced software which can recognize faces and read the images in a person’s mind?

Nothing too horrible you say. But that’s here in the western world where we have constitutional rights (which can always be illegally broken through secret warrants – also addressed in my previous post).

What about in special states like North Korea, China, or Russia where trouncing citizens’ rights is a societal norm. An advanced and much scarier version of 1984 is the short answer.

Imagine a world where children are born genetically coded to be missing one eye. A bionic eye is installed and can be accessed by the corporate / state hegemony at anytime, and is always recording video. The implant can also scan the brain for recognizable thought patterns to foresee dissent before it takes root in the mind. Private space will collapse and our ability to defy public social norms will evaporate.

Of course the danger of these doom and gloom theories is always their overstatement. Spence’s prototype still isn’t functional yet and I’ve already predicted the downfall of free private thought. The technology is a ways off but it doesn’t mean its impossible.

All I’m saying is Spence should be more cognizant of the future he is altering and the potentially dangerous effects his invention will have for the freedom of private thought and life.


Rob Spence. Little Brother.

Rob Spence. Documentaries.


Life Caster.

Bionic eye gives man sight.

Mind-reading software.

Published in: on March 26, 2009 at 7:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Your cell phone is also a homing device. (16).

While I laid out in my last post why I do not believe there is much legitimate evidence to suggest that we are approaching an en masse shift from PCs to tethered appliances, Zittrain’s analysis of the heretofore abuses of tethered appliances is worthy of attention.

When control over a technology resides in the engineer or corporation, Zittrain shows that this control can be abused by the state or corporation by taking remote control of the device, altering its functionality, or listening in on unsuspecting people.

Connected technologies like cell phones, OnStar, satellite TVs or Digital Video Recorders, or any internet or satellite connected system are especially vulnerable to remote control by the corporate controller.

Zittrain shows that in the U.S. the police have obtained secret warrants to spy on people without their knowledge via cell phones and car GPS systems like OnStar.

Connected technologies can be turned on remotely without you being aware and used as a microphone and GPS tracker to listen in and follow you.

Perhaps in the future, higher quality video cameras on cell phones will be exploited in the same manner – allowing privacy invaders to further exploit facial recognition software to track down and identify those they seek.

What this leads to is a reduction in the balance between public generated resistance of corporate and state surveillance. To resist unfair and invasive surveillance we must be aware of it. That cell phones and other connected technologies can be used as a surveillance device is not well known in the public mind.

By making surveillance secret the state is infringing on the public’s right to know when and how they are being watched, followed, or listened to.

cell phones can also be programmed to watch people remotely
cell phones can also be programmed to watch people remotely

~ Surveillance Links ~

Cell Phone Video Surveillance Monitoring.

Halcon Surveillance software – facial recognition.

Only 13 States have Laws against cameras in dressing rooms.

Published in: on March 26, 2009 at 5:57 pm  Comments (3)