Monday, September 30, 2019

Police surveillance Essay

Police surveillance can be a good thing but it can also be a bad thing. There are morale and ethical implications concerned with police surveillance. This literature review will thoroughly examine police surveillance. The level of police surveillance and information gathering that exists continues to be discussed by scholars. There are many perspectives when discussing police surveillance in nation states, each discussing an individual aspect of surveillance, and its significance. In Frank Webster’s book Theories of the Information Society he discusses the growth of police surveillance and organization in modern times. Within his discussion, Webster makes reference to works of Anthony Giddens. Webster uses Gidden’s explanation of the nation state, to begin his discussion of surveillance. He contends that â€Å"from the outset in the nation state, conceived as a bounded area over which is exercised political power, information has an especial significance.† He argues that from their establishment, nation states are ‘information societies,’ and a requirement of a nation state is that the members of it, be known at least in a minimal sense. He further explains this requirement by stating, that a nation state must hold both ‘allocative resources’ and ‘authoritative resources.’ He believes that in order for these resources to be achieved, effective surveillance is a prerequisite. Giddens argues that the nation state had a particular interest in and reliance upon information gathering and storage. The gathering and storage of information is part of a â€Å"contract between the nation state and its members †¦ are a battery of citizenship rights and duties.† The first duty of any government is to protect its frontiers, due to this there is an insatiable hunger for information. This hunger is amplified by possible threats to a nation’s border, whether real or perceived. This growing need for information has caused for the creation of a massive â€Å"system of interlined technologies to routinely and continuously monitor and inspect events and activities – military and civilian – around the globe.† The contact between nation state and citizen, allows for each citizen to have many rights and duties. Rights that are commonly held include a right to education, to vote, to hold a passport, to a minimum level of income, to health treatment and so on. They also have duties, as citizens, to pay taxes which are levied, and in some cases fight and die for their country. The delivery of rights and benefits by the nation state, such as the delivery of welfare benefits and services is at the heart of the system of mass surveillance; because it is [there] that the processes of classification, information gathering and recording are constantly multiplying. Gidden’s believes that the ‘informatisation’ of society is in part due to the existence of police surveillance in the modern nation state. He contends that due to this surveillance, that rather than regarding a modern nation state as an ‘information society,’ it would be better to regard it as a ‘surveillance society.’ His arguments presented provide a solid understanding of how a nation state is formed, and the role of surveillance in a ‘surveillance society.’ Giddens also provides insight into how information gathering occurs, and how that gathering of information has an effect on daily life. Gidden’s discussion of a ‘social contract’ while not new, is a way to better understand how the government can justify the use of police surveillance as it is currently used. The argument that at the rate of which surveillance is expanding and advancing, that a nation could succumb to totalitarian rule, while creative, this seems to be more of a thought provoking statement, rather than actual probability. In Kevin Robins and Frank Webster’s Times of the Technoculture: From the Information Society to the Virtual Life, the authors describe what they term as ‘the Republic of Technology.’ In this republic, society is fixated by the idea of progress, growth and development without end. They make reference to Cornelius Castoriadis, who explains that society seeks a fantasy of control. This fantasy is of â€Å"total control, of our will or desire for mastering all objects and all circumstance.† It is argued that the culture of technology is in part the reason for the expansion of police surveillance. According to Christopher Lasch, â€Å"the delusion that we can make ourselves lords of the universe †¦ is the heart and soul of modern technology.† Robins and Webster argue that the clearest expression of compulsion to command and control is found by the police. The police in their view is central to the growth of surveillance and to the growing need for information. Robins and Webster believe as Anthony Giddens, that â€Å"upon generalized patterns of change has been so profound that it is little short of absurd to seek to interpret such patterns with out systematic reference to it †¦ That police developments are central, rather than marginal to the technological project.† Robins and Webster believe that the police plays a central role for the maintenance of current surveillance and for its future expansion. Robins and Webster argue that the police, as the central force for the expansion of surveillance, plays a large role in diverting necessary funds away from its citizens and has an overriding influence on the direction research and development that could be better used for other initiatives. They argue that the lobbies impose a large degree of influence which distorts and perverts economic and social priorities through procedures which are largely closed to public scrutiny. The role of the police and the use of surveillance can be seen as a means of social control. Social control, according to Robins and Webster, is accomplished by way of surveillance and control strategies, which are modeled on the police paradigm. They believe that even policing, is moving towards a more military style of operation. Robins and Webster argue that police imperatives have played a major role in the growth of the state and the systems of surveillance. Robins and Webster agree with Anthony Giddens’ contention that â€Å"surveillance as the mobilizing of administrative power – through the storage and control of information – is the primary means of concentration of authoritative resources.† In other words, the use of police surveillance and the gathering of information are central to the maintaining control and order. The authors emphasize that within the country, the police is central to the collection of information on both possible enemies and its own citizens. Furthermore, police technologies are well funded and continue to be used to experience the ‘dream of total control.’ They argue this dream has existed in the development of technologies, and that in the future seeking this dream will result in a â€Å"system that deliberately eliminates the whole human personality, ignores the historic process, overplays the role of the abstract intelligence, and makes control over physical nature, ultimately control over man himself, the chief purpose of existence.† Robins and Webster provide a different perspective of the root of police surveillance and information gathering, and how this is largely due to the ‘fantasy of total control.’ The ability to control all that is available is a fantasy that has lead to the remarkable growth of police technologies that are used in part on a nation’s own citizens. This growth of surveillance and police technologies leaves the authors to believe that humans will lose control over themselves, with the advancements of technology. This argument is frightening but such a statement is warranted with the advancement of technologies. In The Pay-Per Society: Computers and Communication in the Information Age: Essays in Critical Theory and Public Policy, Vincent Mosco discusses the role of the police in the development of computer and communications systems. He believes that this is necessary, because the â€Å"police over the years, has exerted the most substantial influence on the development of computer and communications.† Mosco argues (similar to Robins and Webster) that the police has increasingly shaped the development of technology in the United States, particularly the development of communication and information technologies. Mosco discusses the relationship between the police, the United States government and industry. He explains how the police has been a driving force in the creation of new technologies, using funds received from the United States government, along with relationships with leading technology corporations. Mosco states that the relationship between the Pentagon and the US computer industry has always been strong. During the 1940s and 1950s the US government, led by the Pentagon, provided most of the funding for computer research. Moreover, the relationship has continued to remain strong. This arrangement has allowed for the National Security Agency to have in their control a global computer/communications satellite system that routinely monitors international telex, telegraph, telephone, radio and other transmissions, emanating from or direct to the United States. The military has not limited its surveillance only over its own territories, but also foreign nations and space. Fijnaut (1995) discusses the expansion of police technologies, and the expansion of surveillance into space. He explains that police computers are integrated into systems of Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence. Moreover, that police computers have expanded the range, speed and accuracy of weapons systems. That intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance have been expanded by way of communication technologies. The police’s wish to have the most control and protection from disorder. Fijnaut (1995) argues that the limits on police technologies has yet to be reached, and will continue to expand. This expansion of information gathering and surveillance is in part, for the protection of a nation, against disorderly conduct. The protection of a nation’s citizens and the protection of their rights is of the utmost importance for any government, and due to this, the creation of new technologies is deemed necessary. In Surveillance Society: Monitoring Everyday Life, David Lyon discusses the need for information gathering and surveillance in modern nation states. He argues that modern government administrations depend on the collection and recording of personal data. Moreover, that modernity means reliance on information and knowledge in generating and maintaining power. Due to that the fact that much of that information is personal, he argues that â€Å"such focused attention to data on individuals spells surveillance.† He contends that the magnification of surveillance capacities is a fact of modernity, and that it is part of the world that has been created in an attempt to bring social, economic and political arrangements into rational regimes of organization and control. He argues that, the focused attention (surveillance) on individual lives is characteristic of modernity, and that it provides eligibility to benefits of citizenship, such as the right to vote, or state welfare, and also may ensure that workers are appropriately remunerated, or rewarded with promotions and recognition of retirement at the appropriate time. Lyon provides both the positive and negative aspects of police surveillance, and argues that while surveillance practices may be altering, or that they may be used in negative ways, does not alter the case that police surveillance is simply a fact of modern social life. Lyon provides examples of police surveillance and information gathering in social activities. One such example is in the Toronto area, the world’s first fully automated toll road. Highway 407 provides an alternative route through the busiest corridor in Canada, with tolls collected either via transponders in vehicles or by video cameras scanning registration plates. This technology was developed from what was used for smart bombers during the 1991 Gulf War. This technology identifies the ‘target’ vehicles for tolls based on the distance driven and the time of the day. This to many, is considered a luxury, and the automatic billing rather than toll booths provides convenience. While this is true, what is not realized by the driver is that this technology permits the creation of real-time simulations of road traffic time-space movement across cities. This is extremely valuable to planners, especially in densely traveled urban corridors. This example shows how military technologies are used in public sector. Lyon also discusses the impossibility for anyone to be shielded from the existent surveillance. Lyon argues that â€Å"surveillance operates in so many daily life spheres today that it is impossible to evade, should one wish to. We are indeed wrapped in media. Most of our social encounters and almost all our economic transactions are subject to electronic recording, checking and authorization.† In all aspects of our lives, we are unable to escape. Lyon also argues that there is not one single agency that is responsible for the focused attention on our daily lives. Lyon provides insight into both those for and against the current level of surveillance, he begins by saying, that those who are opposed to such surveillance do so, â€Å"because they feel that there is something wrong when big government and large corporations seem to extract, process, exchange and even trade personal data with apparent impunity.† Lyon’s argument can be seen as being that police surveillance is a focused attention to personal life details with a view to managing or influencing those who lives are monitored. He believes this to be the power of classification, of social sorting. In his book, Lyon offers an approach, a mode of engaging with the issues related to police surveillance and information gathering. He does so, by discussing how police surveillance and information gathering technologies are implemented in daily lives, and discusses the complaints made by those who are fearful of such focus being made on their lives. In What’s New About the â€Å"New Surveillance†? Classifying for Change and Continuity, Gary T. Marx discusses how much surveillance is applied categorically and beyond persons to places, spaces, networks and categories of person. And that the distinction between self and other surveillance can be blurred. He attempts to highlight the differences between the new and traditional surveillance and offer a way to capture information relevant to contemporary social, ethical and policy considerations. In this publication, Marx is attempting to determine whether or not the protection of personal information is decreasing or increasing. Marx argues that in the last half of the 20th century, that there has been a significant increase in the use of technology for the discovery of personal information. He provides examples such as, video and audio surveillance, biometric access devices, drug testing, DNA analysis, computer monitoring including email and web usage and the use of the computer techniques such as expert systems, matching and profiling, data mining, mapping, network analysis and simulation. He believes that control technologies have become what had only previously existed in the imaginations of science fiction writers. Marx argues that a new definition of surveillance is necessary to fully understand its implications. He finds previous definitions inadequate, and provides his own definition. He suggests that a better definition of the new surveillance â€Å"is the use of technical means to extract or create personal data. This may be taken from individuals or contexts. In this definition the use of â€Å"technical means† to extract and create the information implies the ability to go beyond what is offered to the unaided senses or voluntarily reported.† This definition he believes to be better suited for what is considered new surveillance technologies. Marx argues that surveillance technologies can provide many positive aspects to society, and outlines how openness would be beneficial. He argues that through offering â€Å"high quality documentary evidence and audit trails, the new surveillance may enhance due process, fairness and legitimacy. That it may contribute to the political pluralism central to democracy by making the tools of surveillance widely available so that citizens and competing groups can use them against each other, as well government, to enhance accountability.† He argues that in the United States, unlike in many societies, surveillance technology is widely available to the public, and due to this, surveillance may no longer be considered a one-way mirror, but instead a window. In Privacy is Not the Antidote to Surveillance, Felix Stalder discusses the existence of police surveillance and information gathering in democracies. His contention is that in democracies, extensive institutional mechanisms are in place to create and maintain accountability. Moreover, that there are mechanisms to punish those who abuse their power. Stalder believes that similar mechanisms must be developed for the handling of personal information. He believes that due to the current status of surveillance, that the public (US) have become nervous. Prior to the attacks on September 11th 2001, polls showed that the vast majority of respondents were â€Å"concerned† or â€Å"very concerned† about the misuse of personal data. As discussed by Webster and Robins, Lyon and others, access to large data-sets of personal information is a prerequisite for social control. Those who hold such data have a crucial tool, which allows them to influence the behaviour of those whose data is being held. This exists not only commercially, but also more importantly by governments who collect data about their citizens in order to increase accuracy of their planning, as well as combat fraud and tax evasion. With growing concerns, the usual response to these problems is the call for further protection of privacy. While the call for more protection might be the clear answer, doing so is not as easy as one might think. The definition of what privacy is, throughout the world varies. Europeans have developed one of the most stringent approaches where privacy is understood as ‘informational self-determinism.’ Stalder explains as being, â€Å"that an individual should be able to determine the extent to which data about her or him is being collected in any given context.† In this context, privacy is personal, and being personal, every single person will have a different notion about what privacy means. Data one person might allow to be collected bight be deeply personal for someone else. The likelihood of having a collectively accepted definition is slim. Stalder provides his own solution for this ever-growing problem. Each article provides insight into different areas concerning information gathering and police surveillance. In conjunction with one another, it is possible to understand how surveillance technologies have been created, and how these technologies continue to be funded by governmental agencies. The effect that this massive funding has on local economies would require even further research, but at the essence of this dilemma, is what can be done to better protect civilians from the collection and sharing of information gathered. Civilians feel helpless to protect themselves from their privacy being invaded. Moreover, these articles explain how the protection of civil, political, economic and human rights are secured are secured through the systematic surveillance and data-collection. Without this, governments would not be capable of such a task, and these rights would surely be infringed upon. They are confronted with a growing police presence in their daily lives, some not even knowing that it exists. They use their credit card, and do not realize that each purchase is tracked, recorded, entered into a database, so that companies can use the data received, for profitable gains. They do not know that their information is bought and sold, traded on the open market, along with all other commodities. In order for governments to provide services to their citizens, they require the collection of data. This data is used for purposes that are deemed legitimate, such as taxes and social security. What worries many is what else that information is being used for, and who is being given access to it. While accountability, by governments in this area has increased, the same can not be said for information gathered by commercial entities. The growth of information gathering and police surveillance in Canada and the United States especially, can be attributed to many factors. One such factor is the need for a nation state to protect itself from invasion, the protection of its borders and citizens is of the utmost importance. This being said, governments attempt to have complete control of their territory, this requires the use of police surveillance, for surrounding nations, and for those within their borders. Another fact that needs to be addressed is the undeniable connection between governments and their police, by which technologies are funded and created. This relationship has allowed for the astonishing growth of police technologies, which in many respects drains from social services and depletes national revenues, when more civilian based initiatives could be implemented. Due to the sophistication of information gathering, civilians are no longer capable of securing their own information. Their information is passed from corporation to corporation, without any sense of protection at their disposal. There is a lack of accountability, when dealing with corporations, and how a person’s personal information is acquired and kept. Moreover, in order for any change to occur, definitions must be more precise, rather than attempting to apply vague terms for new solutions. Works Consulted Lyon, David. Surveillance Society: Monitoring Everyday Life Open University Press: Philadelphia, 2001. Marx, Gary T. What’s New About the â€Å"New Surveillance†? Classifying for Change and Continuity in Surveillance and Society 1(1) University of New Castle: United Kingdom, Mosco, Vincent. The Pay-Per Society: Computers and Communication in the Information Age: Essays in Critical Theory and Public Policy in SOSC 2312 9.0A Course Kit 2004-2005 York University: Toronto, 2004. Robins, Kevin & Frank Webster, Times of the Technoculture: From the Information Society to the Virtual Life in SOSC 2312 9.0A Course Kit 2004-2005 York University: Toronto, Stalder, Felix. Privacy is Not the Antidote to Surveillance in Surveillance and Society 1(1) University of New Castle: United Kingdom, 2002. Webster, Frank. Theories of The Information Society, Routledge: London, 2000. Undercover: Police Surveillance in America (20th Century Fund) by Gary T. Marx – Dec 5, 1989 Se crets Of Surveillance: A Professionals Guide To Tailing Subjects By Vehicle, Foot, Airplane, And Public Transportation by ACM IV Security Services – Sep 1993 Women Police: Gender, Welfare and Surveillance in the Twentieth Century by Louise Jackson – Sep 17, 2006 The Surveillance Studies Reader by Sean Hier and Joshua Greenberg – Aug 1, 2007 Police Officer Exam by Donald J. Schroeder and Frank A. Lombardo – Jan 1, 2005 Policing, Surveillance and Social Control: Cctv and Police Monitoring of Suspects by Tim Newburn and Stephanie Hayman – Jun 2001 State Secrets Police Surveillance in America by Paul; Egleson, Nick; Hentoff; Nat Cowan – 1974 Undercover-Police Surveillance in Comparative Perspective by Cyrille Fijnaut – Oct 12, 1995 State secrets; police surveillance in America by Paul Cowan – 1974 Undercover: Police Surveillance in America by Gary Marx – 1990

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