Why The NSA's Secret Online Surveillance Should Scare You

"A citizenry that's constantly on guard for secret- unaccountable surveillance is one that's constantly being remade along the lines the state would prefer. [T]he Panopticon is a prison where all cells can be seen from a central tower shielded such that the guards can see out but the prisoners can't see in. The prisoners in the Panopticon could thus never know whether they were being surveilled- meaning that they have to- if they want to avoid running the risk of severe punishment- assume that they were being watched at all times. Thus- the Panopticon functioned as an effective tool of social control even when it wasn't being staffed by a single guard. … [T]he basic idea is that the omnipresent fear of being watched by the state or judged according to prevailing social norms caused people to adjust the way they acted and even thought without ever actually punished. People had become "self-regulating" agents- people who "voluntarily" changed who they were to fit social and political expectations without any need for actual coercion." http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/06/07/2120141/why-the-nsas-secret-online-surveillance-should-scare-you/

Why The NSA's Secret Online Surveillance Should Scare You

The reaction to the National Security Agency (NSA)'s secret online spying program- PRISM- has been polarized between seething outrage and some variant on "what did you expect?" Some have gone so far as to say this program helps open the door to fascism- while others have downplayed it as in line wit…





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