Opinion: I want to live in a surveillance society

Big Brother is always watching you. But who's watching Big Brother?

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Surveillance technology is on the rise. Powerful organizations -- law enforcement, corporations, governments and others -- have demanded and won their right to videotape the public, often secretly. They do this in order to hold individuals accountable for their actions.

Yet the rights of individuals to use similar technology to do the same are often restricted. Why should shoppers, pedestrians, bank customers and citizens be held accountable, but politicians, police, judges and others are not? What kind of democracy is that?

As we fight and argue, vote and campaign for keeping private business private, let's also make sure we claim and win the right to use our own ubiquitous camera phones, recording devices and other technologies to keep public business public.

Mike Elgan writes about technology and global tech culture. He blogs about the technology needs, desires and successes of mobile warriors in his Computerworld blog, The World Is My Office. Contact Mike at mike.elgan@elgan.com or his blog, The Raw Feed.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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