Some disturbing trends are emerging in the kinds of software now being made available to governments (and others?) for monitoring and surveillance. These are databases and data mining applications that are able to combine data from a variety of individual records, e.g. credit cards, GSM phone logs, ISP email logs, flight plan details and more, and display information on all the activities of a target individual. That person’s actions and movements can then be monitored down to the level of favourite hobbies
Are you worried? You should be, because even as a law-abiding citizen, if you become involved in political or protest activity that the government (for which read senior police and security services, since no-one checks what they are doing) disapproves of, then your every action can be, and probably is being, monitored.
And after monitoring, as we all know, comes control or attempted control. And all from an arm of government that is largely unaccountable! Big Brother? Or just plain fascism?
See the Quintessenz website http://www.quintessenz.at/ (German and English) for evidence of these new combined monitoring and surveillance databases.
The Quintessenz people point to: “A collection of network monitoring and data-mining suites made by Nokia Siemens, Ericsson, Verint and others. All systems are compliant to ETSI and CALEA “lawful interception” standards, the vendors themselves are involved in the standardization. While the official name of the game is still “lawful interception” these suites perform “high speed government surveillance”. From Iran to China “intelligence platforms” and “monitoring centers” are used to track down the democratic opposition, dissidents, ethnic and religious minorities. The vendors are mostly European and US companies.”
See this slideshow presentation on the Siemens system for one example (NB. The file is 10 Mb, so make a cup of tea while it is loading!).
What are you doing tomorrow?