A new level of surveillance in search of total control and prevention through predicting behaviour. Advances in computing speed allow data to be analyzed for patterns, and used to construct a picture of the future (hyperrality) to "foresee" events and behaviours before they happen.
An example given in the text is:
  • The Cromatica System - used to predict suicide attempts at subway stations
  • Profiling customer's past purchases to serve as an advanced notice of future purchases - "which in the case of electronic commerce will trigger advertising targeted at specific persons" (Lyon)
  • In the case of policing - advanced warning of potential offences

(Chapter 22; p336 - David Lyon - New Directions in Theory - The Information Society Reader)

  • ‘Hypersurveillant’ controls both intensifies surveillance attempts to take it to its absolute limit.
  • The speed of computing allows surveillance to overtake itself, as it were, and to operate in advance of itself.
  • It turns into a technology of pre-exposure and pre-recording, prior to the occurrence of the behaviors or the even in real time.
  • Surveillance looks on the screen, rather than behind it.
  • Speed is central; the idea behind surviellant simulation is to win the race to see first, to foresee.
  • Paradox- where surveillance wishes to get beneath the surface, to see behind the world as it appears, simulation sees across the surface. What is visible is all that is visible.
Webster, Frank, Raimo Blom, Erkki Karvonen, Harri Melin, Karrle Nordenstreng, and Puoskari Ensio. The Information Society Reader. 2nd ed. London: Rouledge Student Readers, 2002.p. 333-337.


The world of electronic connectivity works both ways. It brings the global village to our doorstep. And at the same time it extracts personal data from us that are then processed, manipulated, traded and used to influence us and to affect our life chances.

Internet Surveillance
-Surveillance + Censorship = Love
-Similar mechanisms
-Same location
-Why destroy one human right (privacy)
-When you can destroy two (privacy and
freedom of speech) at the same cost!

Location of Surveillance

Surveillance is the monitoring of behaviour

Systems Surveillance is the process of monitoring the behavior of people, objects or processes within systems for conformity to expected or desired norms in trusted system for security or social control. See also, deviation analysis
Although the word surveillance literally means (in French) "to watch from above" (i.e. a God's-eye view looking down from on-high) the term is often used for all forms of observation or monitoring, not just visual observation.
Nevertheless, the all-seeing eye-in-the-sky is still a general icon of surveillance.


In 1990 there was an article written by Gene Stephans "HIGH-TECH CRIME The Threat to Civil Liberaties", which believes that high tech surveillanc is a huge threat to our privacy and we need to become aware of this.

"Supersensitive audiovisual devices, computer networks, genetic indentification, electronic moniting, and other soon to be available products and techniques offer a boon to crimnal jusice agencies. But these same innovations threaten such cherished rights as privacy, proctection against self-incrimination, impartial trial, confrontation of witnesses and accusers, reasonable bail, prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, and equal protection under the law."
"The Law: the fouth Amendment provides tht probable cause must be shown before government agents can search and seize one's person or property. Through case law, this right has been held to provide the individual protection from government intrusion in his home or any other place where he has an "expectation of privacy. For example, the Supreme Court ruled in 1967 that the failure of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to obtain a warrant on probable cause before placing a 'bug' on the outside of a telephone booth was a fourth Amendment violation, as the person on the phone had an 'expectation of privacy' in the enclosed booth. But most recently, the court has begun to back off from this position. In 1984, it ruled that even a 'no trespassing' sign on a person's property did not provide protection of privacy if the land had 'open fields,' because it was not a 'reasonable expectation' tht the signs would keep people, including police, off the property."
In article published in BBC NEWS United Kingdom on Februray 2006, Privacy fears hit Google search, describes how governments is asking google to provide users searching habits information. "The new version of its desktop search software comes as Google is battling efforts by the US Department of Justice to force it to hand over data about what people are looking for."

Google Earth

Google Earth virtual globeformerly known as Earth Viewer. It was developed by Keyhole, Inc., which was late own by google in 2004. The product was renamed Google Earth in 2005.[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005|]]
Google Earth overlays satellite imagery, aerial photos, GIS information over a 3D model of the earth.
Many governments have found earth google as threat to their country's security. In article, published in Free Market New Network, SECURITY IMPLICATIONS OF GOOGLE EARTH, defence technologist of the calibre of President APJ Abdul Kalam has implicated that http://earth.google.com is high risk to india's national security and has asked to restrict access to the India's sensitive defence and nuclear installations.

"While high-resolution satellite images of most parts of the world, including sensitive military and nuclear facilities of many countries, have been commercially available for years from satellites such as LandSat7 and QuickBird, the controversy erupted when in June 2005, Google launched its Google Earth service. This provides high-resolution photographs, which were taken sometime in the last three years, both from low-flying aircraft as well as from various satellites. The basic service of Google Earth is free, and there are two paid options for more advanced services.
The South Korean government was the first to assail Google Earth as a security threat, stating that it showed high-resolution images of the presidential Blue House in Seoul as well as of military bases all over Korea. The government of Thailand also joined the fray stating that its military bases had been photographed in great detail. But it was President Kalam's statements which focussed international attention on the issue."
"Third, in addition to Google Earth, there are several other sources from where images of far higher resolutions can be obtained. DigitalGlobe's QuickBird satellite images have a resolution of 60 centimetres (2 feet). The Landsat-7 satellite offers 1.4-metre resolutions of almost any location in the world for just one dollar per twenty square miles. Google's rival, Microsoft, offers services such as MSN Virtual Earth, TerraServer, and TerraFly, similar to Google Earth."
Walt Disney World Security

Walt Disney Surveillance

'In early 1996, Disney began a new biometric system to identify users of annual and seasonal passes abandoning the use of a barcoded laminated photo ID pass. The new pass deceptively contained no visual evidence of identity through the inclusion of an invisible unique personal identifier in the form of a fingerprint map. The barcode was replaced by a magnetic strip that now contained the fingerprint map, the pass holder's name, and the expiration date of the pass.
On January 2, 2005, all current Walt Disney World admission passes began using fingerprint scans as a means to track customers entering their theme parks. Disney reported that all individuals who are 10 years of age or older are asked to provide their fingerprints for scanning.1 However, children younger than ten have also been participating in this customer identification program.
The process involves scans of the index and middle fingers and the application of a geometric formula that reportedly creates a unique identifier of the person's fingerprints that were scanned.2 Guests are asked by park attendants to make the peace sign. Then they are asked by attendants to insert their index and middle fingers into fingerprint scanners.
Universal Orlando and SeaWorld are reported to be planning to use fingerprint scans for the purpose of guest identification. It is also reported that Paramount Theme Parks are currently using fingerprint scanning technology.
The personally identifiable information collected in the form of a digital scan of visitor's fingerprints is associated with a guest's pass. The fingerprint scan information is used to limit access to the theme park to only those who have purchased tickets or entered the park with a particular pass.
Unfortunately, many visitors to the theme parks are not aware of the new policy. They are not informed that their fingerprint information has been scanned and retained. Customers were not provided with information on how long the fingerprint information would be retained, nor whether the information collected would be used for other purposes other than the control of admission to the theme park.'

The Public Surveillance Functions of Private Security

Alison Wakefield
This paper is concerned with arguably the most pervasive body of watchers in society, private security
personnel. Set in the context of the ra pid post-war expansion of both mass private property and private
security, the contention of the paper is that the inter-dependency between these two industries is key to
understanding the significance of surveillance as a form of governance in privatised urban spaces. Drawing
on an empirical study of private security in three settings: a cultural centre, a shopping centre and a retail and
leisure complex, it is argued that surveillance practices represented much more than an approach to policing
and crime prevention in these venues, and were central to broader management strategies for the three
centres. These surveillance practices also became the basis for collaborative working with the police. In the
conclusion, a number of concerns are raised with respect to the policing aspects of surveillance, in relation to
both commercial and public policing objectives and the human rights and civil liberties being eroded along
the way.
Full Text: http://www.surveillance-and-society.org/articles2%284%29/private.pdf

Related Articles

Here are few links for different journal as regards to surveillance and society.

The Surveillance of Children's Mobility
Trine Fotel and Thyra Uth Thomsen

Editorial: Surveillance and Mobilities.
Colin J. Bennett and Priscilla M. Regan

The Surveillance Society
Adam L. Penenberg

Surveillance and information Control

Michelle Levesque
Guest Lecture Feb 7th, 2006