The technology of government surveillance keeps getting more powerful. This will not change.
At the British Rugby World Cup, cameras were able to zoom in and read text messages on spectators’ smartphones.
Of course, it works both ways. Smartphones will have similar capabilities within a few years.
Details of police monitoring used for the first time during the tournament were discussed at a privacy forum in Wellington yesterday, at which it was revealed that the average person is digitally recorded about a dozen times a day – and even more if they use email and social media frequently.
This technology is referred to as CCTV. It is deployed in public places 24×7.
In Britain, there are even cameras on police helmets.
The public no longer worries about this. The cost of police surveillance keeps falling.
So does the cost of surveilling the police, which is also police surveillance.
The police use the standard explanation: only criminals need fear this.
Former detective Trevor Morley said the average person had nothing to fear if they were not doing anything illegal.
“The only people who need to be concerned about these advances in technology that the police are using are the people who are
The authorities face this problem. They are being overwhelmed with digital data. Assessing this information takes skilled human beings. There are not enough of them, and government cannot afford to hire many of them. Software that can be used to evaluate data for threats to the government cannot keep up with hardware that collects ever-more detailed information. So, as the mountain of data gets higher, because it gets cheaper to assemble, the authorities cannot respond.
This is why freedom-loving people have the advantage. They can concentrate their technological efforts in exposing the corruption, the brutality, and the general incompetence of government. The government must spend its time looking for needles in multiplying digital haystacks.