Over the course of the last decade or so, “western democracies” have put Stalin’s Russia, Saddam’s Iraq, even Orwell’s fictional Oceania to shame when it comes to constant monitoring of people’s daily lives.
These days you can’t swing a cat without hitting a surveillance camera, swipe your debit card or use your cell phone without at least having your location recorded in a database somewhere for later analysis ... heck, can’t even transact significant business in cash without it being considered suspicious and worth looking into.
The surveillance state is here. You’re under the microscope, 24/7. Politicians and their friends in the global Military/Intelligence/Law Enforcement Industrial Complex just love watching you and everything you do, the better to control you.
The reverse? Not so much. If you don’t believe me, ask Julian Assange - under house arrest without charge for more than 500 days now on trumped-up sex crime allegations - or Bradley Manning, illegally detained for nearly two years (for the first 11 months in conditions described “cruel, inhuman and degrading” and more aptly as “no-touch torture”) and only just now given a date for his trial on charges of embarrassing Hillary Clinton ... er, “aiding the enemy” ... by allegedly (in cooperation with Assange’s Wikileaks) showing Americans what “their” government is up to.
I can’t help but think that anything the politicians and their cronies hate must have something going for it, and fallout from the increasing trend of “inverse surveillance” - a sub-category of sousveillance - seems to confirm my bias.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - who watches the watchers? The answer increasingly comes down to “we do - all of us.” And the watchers hate it.
In the world of international politics, it’s getting harder and harder for governments to cover up their dirty tricks, atrocities and war crimes, or to convincingly manufacture such things and blame them on other regimes.