Consent in Surveillance

A challenge with the information economy is that it is difficult to perceive scale and scope.  People, clearly, need better education and awareness for how these systems work, and we must stay committed to a distributed and fair technology ecosystem where all people can succeed.

What is surveillance?

We are selective about what we say, we mean to say specific things to specific people, and yet there is always a mist.  People understand that there is a meta-abstraction of sorts where we want to watch and evaluate each other.  Traditionally, this made you sharp as a tack, because you saw how other people look at you, and how other people look at each other.

Clearly people want choices for how their data is used, and clearly people must understand that anywhere they send their data, there must exist an arbitrative force that ensures the airways are open and fair for all people.  Who do you trust?  Me?  I like consortiums.  I've been a computer nut my entire life, and I've seen open and collaborative projects like Linux work really well.  I also like when protocols are implemented at a silicon level, like what we're seeing at Apple.

What is the philosophy of surveillance?

If there is a systematic impermeability or readdressing of information, there need to be serious ethical debates surrounding individual liberties.  I consider how the Greeks saw a need for open discussion and open arbitration, and I wonder where we can improve in this regard.

How are the mechanisms in technology distorting our social and economic perception, and how do we do better?  What does it mean if we're all seeing different news?  It is becoming increasingly difficult to have open discourse on anything because our primary source of information, the free and open internet, has odd social structures that are changing the way people think on fundamental levels.  It's like being wired straight in.  I'm concerned that all too many systems are designed in ways that disturb our senses and create unclear power dynamics.

I have also raised concerns with content/message delivery, and I believe it is necessary that there are honest guarantees built into all communication systems where the design and incentives of a system are aligned with people's expectations.  With order comes an illusory restraint, and yet its mechanisms must be articulated in any fair system.  Key point?  Who is getting this message?

Who is watching?

When I was a kid, I was fascinated with intelligence agencies and the idea of an open information economy. Did I consent to surveillance by visiting their websites at 6 years old?

I have always wondered when one is consenting to surveillance. If I look into my neighbor's window am I consenting to surveillance? By anyone, or by people who can see into my windows? Can my family surveil me? Should they? Are they?

Aren't identity, likeness, and heritage among the natural rights of every person?

The use of the Hermes stamp in the Greek postal system is interesting to me.  Hermes, symbolic of rule and order in commerce and communication, suggests perhaps that the state has a binding responsibility to get your mail where its going.