Cover Image: We See It All

We See It All

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Member Reviews

Very interesting non-fiction, packed with real-life examples and stories. While the author describes many new technologies, his main focus is on legislature, policies and practices connected to any kind of electronic surveillance tools. He gives us a warning, picturing what can happen if we remain oblivious to the growing capabilities of governments and law enforcement, but also a solution - how we should exercise our democratic rights and in particular how to protect our privacy rights.

It is written in a vivid, engaging style - I liked most the parts with first-person reporting, especially the chapter about "China's exported surveillance state" implementation in Ecuador.

Thanks to the publisher, Perseus Books, PublicAffairs, and NetGalley for the advance copy of this book.
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I would like to thank [[NetGalley]] and the author Jon Fasman for the opportunity to read this advance copy of the book.

This book looks at the various and rapidly expanding aspects of [[surveillance]] technology being deployed in society, and the risks to [[privacy]] they pose.

Technology is only as good as the people who develop it and those that use it or abuse it.  The author tries hard to not automatically approach the topic from a negative side, but encourages the reader and society to carefully consider the implication of the technologies being used.

The material is very well researched by the author, and technical aspects are described in detail with good easy to understand examples.

Ultimately, the author strongly cautions society to carefully come up with clear guidelines for the use, application, and administration of surveillance technologies before they get too engrained in our midst or we may end up regretting our complacency.
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A highly-readable, informative, balanced, and frightening expose of the technologies being used by law enforcement that invades privacy and reproduces racial injustice. While the author is not on board with abolishing the police, he does believe the surveillance and control technologies that have become increasingly powerful tools for policing need to be challenged by the people to avoid the US being another China.
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This book was like investigative journalism at it's finest and the way the stories were written it really made my mind think about our surveillance and big data in a lot of different ways, especially as a psychologist I often worry about human rights and ethical concerns and the inequalities that these new technologies will create especially surveillance. Highly recommend.
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I am required to immediately love books with chapter titles like "The China Problem" followed by "The Oakland Solution". Beyond that this is a good, up to date, overview of the surveillance state apparatus being built and used. Some of it's only used in Ecuador or China, The African Union or Juarez. But what is being used? What is available on the market and how do our local police departments decide what to use? 
I had some immediate issues with his perspective "Built into any humane system of laws is a contradiction. On one hand, we want laws to be enforced fairly and objectively. It offends our sense of justice when one person gets away with something for which another is punished. On the other hand, we want some space for disobedience." On this basis he resists surveillance because it endangers this room for disobedience while I resist the demand for obedience themselves. In a similar vein he posits "If not being subject to an eternally vigilant network of cameras every time I walk down a street means that I might occasionally have an infinitesimally higher chance of being mugged or assaulted, I'll accept that risk." He's speaking from the community least at risk of being mugged or assaulted. I'm not sure I disagree with him, but his dismissal rankles. A contrarian instinct demands I say: the sexual assault conviction rate is troubling. I'm not for a fully surveilled society however, and political quibbles aside this has good information for anyone considering the state of surveillance. 
One extremely relevant issue is the surveillance of protests as a police deterrent to the First Amendment right to peacefully assemble. it brings up all kinds of thoughts. Does that mean surveillance of peaceful organizers(thinking of various Black liberation groups) is in itself a rights violation before they've even made the arrest or especially if they haven't made an arrest? Also, maybe I need more privacy screens for my yard if stuff seen from over a fence with a drone counts.  And now it's being revealed that here in San Francisco a network of private security cameras was shared with the SFPD during the Black Lives Matter protests, with ongoing discussion of the legitimacy of that sharing. 
Mostly this isn't a book about the politics of surveillance as much as the mechanics and governance of surveillance - and if you're being watched, don't you want to know how that works?
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A gripping read not of what could be as it pertains to the multitude of ways that we are tracked, but what is
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I have been working on traceability systems - for food - pretty much for three decades. When disaster strikes, people get sick or even die, we try to analyze what happened. We track the purchases the person did, what they ate and where it came from. Traceability systems save lives.

Current technology allows tracking and tracing movements of people, their vehicles and their biological features like never before. When properly used, the technology saves lives, and perhaps can even predict crime before it occurs. All well and good - so far.

However, nefarious people my use and abuse this very same technology to spy at their spouses, political rivals or  people of different religious affiliation or sexual orientation. 

This book follows in the footsteps of Brad Smith "Tools and Weapons". Most chapters take a discrete piece of technology, say drones or biometrics, and explain the good, the bad and the ugly of where the technology is, how it is used and how if could go wrong, very wrong. 

A thrilling at times bone-chilling account on where technology is headed these days. Jon exaggerates at times where technology truly sits and what it really does, but it will just require a small step t0 make most of his writing a reality for us all.
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