Privacy

Tired: Surveillance. Wired: *Coveillance*. Kevin Kelly 'Splains…

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Via Instapundit comes this interesting piece by Wired's long-time visionary, Kevin Kelly:

We're expanding the data sphere to sci-fi levels and there's no stopping it. Too many of the benefits we covet derive from it. So our central choice now is whether this surveillance is a secret, one-way panopticon — or a mutual, transparent kind of "coveillance" that involves watching the watchers. The first option is hell, the second redeemable….

The remedy for over-secrecy is to think in terms of coveillance, so that we make tracking and monitoring as symmetrical — and transparent — as possible. That way the monitoring can be regulated, mistakes appealed and corrected, specific boundaries set and enforced. A massively surveilled world is not a world I would design (or even desire), but massive surveillance is coming either way because that is the bias of digital technology and we might as well surveil well and civilly….

The self forged by previous centuries will no longer suffice. We are now remaking the self with technology. We've broadened our circle of empathy, from clan to race, race to species, and soon beyond that. We've extended our bodies and minds with tools and hardware. We are now expanding our self by inhabiting virtual spaces, linking up to billions of other minds, and trillions of other mechanical intelligences. We are wider than we were, and as we offload our memories to infinite machines, deeper in some ways.

Amplified coveillance will shift society to become even more social; more importantly it will change how we define ourselves as humans.

Read the whole thing.

Lots think about, especially if you're familiar with David Brin's thoughts on the matter from years gone by.

Much of what Kelly discusses is also touched on in Reason's pathbreaking June 2004 issue, which featured 40,000 personalized editions of the magazine sent to subscribers and a great cover story, "Database Nation: The Upside of Zero Privacy," by Declan McCullagh.

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  1. Coveillance sounds like work I won’t get paid for and another reason to further entrench a caste system with government employee at the top.

    1. So… more slavery? You kinda’ ruined my morning. I’m gonna’ go watch college basketball.

      1. I’m surprised you can. OSU makes me want to drink bleach this year.

      2. I’m gonna’ go watch college basketball.

        Speaking of slavery.

        1. Hugh, you’re just trolling me now, aren’t you?

          1. Maybe a little. The video game thing is kinda bullshit for the players though.

  2. I remember that cover. I got a nice aerial picture of my mailing address.

    1. Did they zoom in on your particular cell block or did they just show the whole facility?

      1. Not all of us are convicted pedophiles like you, Hugh.

        1. Damn right, Epi. The hooker they arrested me for screwing in public was an adult, goddammit.

          1. Physically adult and legally adult are different things, BP.

            1. Just because everyone you meet asks about your “mental age,” you feel like you have to bring that concept up everywhere.

              1. For Warty, that’s “metal age” he keeps hearing about.

                1. We are all made of the remnants of long dead stars, PL. Everyone is billions of years old.

                  That’s how Steve Smith sees us all.

                  1. That’s a damned lie. Some of our elements came directly from the Big Bang. Which was big. And bangy.

                    1. Keep your religious beliefs to yourself.

                    2. You can deny your hydrogen all you want, but it’s still there and everywhere else. Waiting. Watching. Judging.

                    3. “You may not believe in Hydrogen, but Hydrogen believes in you.”

                    4. “But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints.
                      I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.

                      He whispered, ‘I only have one electron and I’m not sharing it with an ape like you.'”

                    5. Don’t tell Corning.

    2. I got an aerial view of somebody’s address, but it wasn’t mine.

    3. I remember that the covers for the libraries that had a subscription were hilarious.

    4. I got that one, too, and they got it just right. One of the cooler things Reason has done, though I wasn’t so happy when I saw some guy with a black jacket running out of my apartment with a bottle of bourbon. My bottle of bourbon.

      1. What you meant to say was, “you saw The Jacket with some guy running…”

        1. Yes, the jacket I saw did seem oddly sentient.

  3. Government suffers from a lack of negativity, but I have plenty to share so our relationship has covalence.

  4. That way the monitoring can be regulated, mistakes appealed and corrected, specific boundaries set and enforced.

    And terrorists can be winners.

  5. That way the monitoring can be regulated, mistakes appealed and corrected, specificboundaries setand enforced.

    Slippery slope? Oh, heck no, this.one is positively coated with grip tape.

    1. Used to tape your hands to the slope while they have you bent over.

  6. Does it have to be inevitable?

  7. UC Santa Barbara Feminist Ho’-studies professor attacks pro-life demonstration assaulting 16 year old Catholic girl

    While I’m on this subject is NotoriosGKC the same commenter as crimethink?

    1. Yeah, pretty sure it is.

    2. I always assumed all of those different handles were the same guy as crimethink but I had a momentary doubt.

      1. Notorious GKC is Eduard Van Haalen. I have no idea who crimethink is.

        1. Same schtick, but in The Before Times (pre-registration.)

          After enough people had filtered him out, he changed his name a few times. (Changing names was a way to trick people into reading you who had used the filtering software popular before Reasonable came along.) Handle-hopping was a popular tactic of trolls and griefers, leading some of them to have dozens, even hundreds of handles.

          1. I remember crimethink, but not its personality. Was he an abortion obsessed Catholic too?

    3. Ugh. All those people need to get a fucking life.

  8. Little minds talk about people.
    Good minds talk about actions.
    Great minds talk about ideas.

    And some ideas aren’t well enough represented, so great people take action and then get talked about by little people.

    /sockpuppet philosopher

  9. I thought it was interesting how Estonia is handling this:

    This liquid movement of data between systems relies on a fundamental principle to protect the privacy of the citizens: without any question, it is always the citizen who owns their data. People have the right to control access to their data. For example, in case of fully digital health records and prescriptions, people can granularly assign access rights to the general practitioners and specialized doctors of their choosing. And in scenarios where the rule of law can’t allow them to block the state from seeing their information, like with the Estonian e-policemen using their real time terminals in police cars or offices, they at least get a record of who accessed their data and when. If an honest citizen finds any official checking on their stuff without valid reason, they can file an inquiry and get them fired.

    From: http://www.bhorowitz.com/eston…..that_cloud

  10. The remedy for over-secrecy is to think in terms of coveillance, so that we make tracking and monitoring as symmetrical ? and transparent ? as possible. That way the monitoring can be regulated, mistakes appealed and corrected, specific boundaries set and enforced

    Fuck no. Anyone na?ve enough to suppose that this is anything but a utopic approach to the problem of surveillance has no business talking about this issue.

    The self forged by previous centuries will no longer suffice. We are now remaking the self with technology[…]

    Amplified coveillance will shift society to become even more social; more importantly it will change how we define ourselves as humans.

    Aaaaand there it is. We are the new Soviet Man, hurtling towards collectivism inevitably, etc. I’ll believe it when I see it, but until then I won’t give up an inch of my freedom for ‘coveillance’ or ‘libertarian paternalism’ or any of the other shiny baubles used to distract us from the here and now usurpations of our liberty.

  11. I just found my “You Live Here” issue last month. Was pretty happy, ’til I realized I had a stack of old Reasons…

  12. Perhaps the ‘infinite’ machinery has allowed the collective to broaden, remake, extend, deepen, and widen. I would argue this all comes at a cost to the individual who is often cast about at the whim of the collective. A simple digital paradigm introducing a measure of transparency is clearly something that might appeal to the gelatinous collective so I’d call it collectiveillance- not coveillance. In the strict sense of the idea I’d say coveillance is undoable since the individual will never be allowed even in contemporary open societies to truly own their privacy in light of forces designed to protect and nurture the broader society. Digital systems are by design collectivization processes.

  13. Odd that Kelly is using the term “coveillance.” The term “sousveillance” has been around for years, and means the same thing.

    1. The Male Gaze = Herveillance

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