Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Leading Surveillance Societies

Interesting map and interesting survey and subsequent report from Privacy International. As far as the worst offenders go the US made the list on eight of the thirteen categories and Greece takes the prize as the least surveilled society. Go here for a larger map and complete report.


G said...

Jay, what do you think of the new National Applications Office (NAO) you guys have over there as a subset of the department of homeland security? According to the DHS fact sheet, the NAO will be a generalized clearinghouse for the entire spectrum of the intelligence process (collection techniques like IMINT, SIGINT etc. and specific/all-source analysis)

Jay@Soob said...

I think on paper it's an effective means to consolidate and make available intelligence in a cross-agency (federal and local) fashion.

In reality it's a bit shady and one wouldn't be too far off in seeing it as a consolidation of resources in an effort to exert more control over a populace. I'm not sure how comfortable I am with the blurring of the legal lines that separate espionage from law enforcement, for example. It could provide a nifty loophole for law enforcement around the 4th amendment (search and seizure) for instance. Who needs a judge and warrant when one can simply ring up the CIA? That's a bit of a stretch, perhaps, but not entirely out of the question.
I think it, at the very least, needed an end date.

G said...

I hadn't thought of the legal perspective behind it. That is interesting.

I had just thought there would be limitations of collection methods being used at such a micro-level such as in Imagery intelligence. I'd imagine it'd be harder to track individuals and groups via satellite in large urban American cities, rural places of interest, like say a militia compound, or drug meet up rendezvous, might be a little easier to spot.

I also thought the reasonings for NAO might be less to do with law enforcement needing the intelligence community help and more to do with the intel community use of law enforcement intel for a complete picture of what is happening from the micro level (such as low-level drug dealing) to following the micro-level upstream to the big fish macro-level. It's kinda like the Intelligence community are running along the same lines of Google's philosophy i.e. try and build mechanisms to search as much information as possible.