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Sunday, August 15, 2021

CONTEXT: David Brin: Sousveillance as the Answer to Big Brother and Stupidity

Surveillance is the few monitoring the speech, thoughts, and actions of the many. “Sousveillance”, as described in David Brin's 1999 book The Transparent Society, is the many monitoring the few at the peak of the pyramid. Paraphrasing Brin more than two decades ago: “The ubiquitous cameras and microphones are coming. The only question is who gets to look and listen: the Man, or everybody?”

Here is a proposal along these lines I made in 2017.

My view is that if they want to snoop on every aspect of citizens’ lives, then turnabout’s fair play. Put cameras and microphones in all federal offices and taps on all their phones. These would be browseable by anybody. There would be no need to require them to archive it: this would be accomplished by citizen snoops using their own Big Data resources. There would be national security exemptions for, say, military officers of O-6 and above and civilians GS-15 and above, based upon access to sensitive information. Worker bees at CIA, NRO, and NSA would not be exempt. All elected officials would be subject to this citizen oversight.

I’d call it the “Surveillance Reciprocity Act".

Posted at August 15, 2021 12:41