Government Surveillance


With the coming of the advanced facial recognition on the iphone X, comes yet another way the NSA can monitor us.

This brought the question to my mind, to what extent is it ok for the government to monitor people?

Are looking through people’s private laptop and phone cameras ok?

Same goes for microphones?

Where should we draw the line?


I don’t know if government surveillance is doing as good a job of increasing security as originally thought, instead it seems to be intruding into our lives with no real added benefit. I believe the government can effectively fight terrorism without things like snoopers charter.


Our civil liberties are being infringed on in the name of counter terrorism. Which is a load of bullshit. What they are going to do is stalk innocent people. Fuck off our privacy


It is not the principles underlying whether government surveillance in and of itself is right or wrong that worries me, but rather the fact that intelligence agencies in the West have a tendency to prove themselves rather incapable at safely storing this knowledge. It’s one thing to place limitations on what the government can do with that kind of data and the kind of techniques and methods it can use to obtain it. It’s another to safely defend it from private individuals who are capable of taking the information for themselves and are willing to do so.


There’s nothing about the iPhone X in particular that enables facial recognition spying. That could already have been done through almost any smartphone camera. Software like FaceRig has been doing live facial tracking from webcams and computer cameras for a while now. Facial recognition itself has been around a lot longer.

At the point where they strong-arm companies to leave gaping holes in their software design and to collect and turn over massive amounts of user data. The intelligence community is directly responsible for exposing us to hacking threats by hamstringing efforts to improve upon domestic cyber-security.

In the end sensor technology is probably going to get so small and cheap, and the internet so ubiquitous, that cameras will cover nearly every surface of any populated area. On every car, building, and aircraft. Live low-orbit satellite coverage of the entire planet. Microphones are largely the same story. Within a few decades I wouldn’t trust anything that doesn’t occur in a room without an open view in a major city to be actually private. That genie is coming out of the bottle whether we like it or not, and trying to stand in the way of it is hopeless. What isn’t a sure thing is electronic communications. With that regard it is entirely up to the institutions that control internet infrastructure and the software the public uses to decide how much we want the government and private companies to connect identities to speech online. Sans a secret quantum computer, most communications can be encrypted in a way such that if your physical hardware hasn’t been compromised it isn’t readable by undesired observers.

Likewise the sensors we carry around with us can realistically be protected in a way such that they are not accessible by others or the government- US policy has suffocated development of software that is actually secure in the name of counter-terrorism, but it is feasible. It’s already commonplace for advertisers to track where you click, where your mouse is, and how long you spend on X part of their page. If you ever wanted the chance to live in a Orwellian nightmare world where your pupils and facial expressions are tracked by your phone or laptop camera while you read things online, and algorithms run to predict your political and moral attitudes based upon this data, look no further than damn near the modern day. I’d be shocked to find this wasn’t universal in China within a decade. At our current trajectory it may be applied in many Western countries as well, particularly towards ‘suspects’ of the state security apparatus.


I have a very short answer to this one. The Government spends millions spying on you, then sends you the bill. To be honest I want the Government to stop nosing around in my life and end Government surveillance altogether.