Thursday, December 22, 2011

Total Surveillance and Authoritarian Governments

New report out from the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings about how the declining price of electronic data storage will enable authoritarian regimes the ability to create and maintain extensive records for each of their citizens, including location data, CCTV images, email and web-browsing histories, and so on. Rather than looking at extensive and pervasive surveillance capabilities and projects, the report focuses on how storage costs for all this information is relatively cheap, enabling the creation of more extensive dossiers. Such a record will allow regimes to "retroactively eavesdrop" on citizens, tracing their activities back years. This has chilling implications for any form of dissent in such a country.