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Surveillance At The Source, David Thaw Jan 2014

Surveillance At The Source, David Thaw

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Contemporary discussion concerning surveillance focuses predominantly on government activity. These discussions are important for a variety of reasons, but generally ignore a critical aspect of the surveillance-harm calculus – the source from which government entities derive the information they use. The source of surveillance data is the information "gathering" activity itself, which is where harms like "chilling" of speech and behavior begin.

Unlike the days where satellite imaging, communications intercepts, and other forms of information gathering were limited to advanced law enforcement, military, and intelligence activities, private corporations now play a dominant role in the collection of information about individuals' activities ...