On the World

Observation / Modern Surveillance Gadgets

June 29, 2018

For many years, gadgets from the Silicon Valley, revolution after revolution, restructured the relationship between humans and computers. For the general public, these innovations appear intractable as surprising market successes and failures stun self-professed clairvoyants in mass media.

Being a scientist and information system engineer that did considerable gadget research, here we derive modern gadgets from surveillance designs to show that various unexpected gadget innovations are actually logical consequences of advanced surveillance demand.

Certainly, gadgets performed many beneficial services for consumers other than surveillance activities. However, exactly because the versatility and popularity of modern gadgets surpassed previous technologies, unprecedented surveillance systems emerged as a cause for experts and a effect for the general public.

While consumers tend to regard surveillance systems as a consequence of gadgets, experts regard gadgets as a crucial part of surveillance design. For example, desktop OS, with its embedded variants, offers packages, networks, and records superior to small embedded systems, and thus Silicon Valley prevailed over Nokia both for surveillance purposes and consumer surpluses.

Surveillance systems were not established after corporations realized the popularity of gadgets, but gadgets served the purpose of advanced surveillance.

Form and function, UI, cloud, and telecommunication networks, etc. follow. Strokes, gestures, voices, photograghs, and videos are all aggregated for surveillance data analytics.

There is no need to restate mass media coverage of consumer surpluses and malicious political exploits enabled by gadgets here. Dangers arising from advanced surveillance, on the other hand, are seldom talked about, but likely will remain a permanent feature of future systems, unless cryptography and societal awareness for privacy triumph over corporate and government demands.

Through modern gadgets, attackers may team up with corporate/government surveillance programs to obtain detailed background, schedule, location, and connection of gadget owners with unprecedented subtlety. Then attacks may be employed with encrypted and protected devices that prohibit backward tracing to cover attackers under darkest shadow. Except for leaks, attacks completely unbeknownst to victims and law-enforcement institutions might be achieved with high percentage of success.

Who knows whether a countryside car accident is due to clumsiness or sophisticated surveillance together with mercenaries? How about car explosion?

While the hypothetical machine dominance depicted by The Matrix burdens the general public, material dangers arising from surveillance systems powered by AI pass without wide acknowledgement. Unperceived material danger, similar to terrorism, strikes with more astonishment and severity.

Should people focus on hypothetical terrorism or material terrorism?

[On the World]