Surveillance Quotes

Quotes tagged as "surveillance" (showing 1-30 of 95)
Philip K. Dick
“There will come a time when it isn't 'They're spying on me through my phone' anymore. Eventually, it will be 'My phone is spying on me'.”
Philip K. Dick

United Nations
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Cory Doctorow
“Funny, for all surveillance, Osama bin Laden is still free—and we're not. Guess who's winning the "war on terror?”
Cory Doctorow

Edward Snowden
“Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”
Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden
“Under observation, we act less free, which means we effectively are less free.”
Edward Snowden

Glenn Greenwald
“The way things are supposed to work is that we're supposed to know virtually everything about what they [the government] do: that's why they're called public servants. They're supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that's why we're called private individuals.”
Glenn Greenwald

William O. Douglas
“Big Brother in the form of an increasingly powerful government and in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law and order [...] and the like.”
William O. Douglas, Points of Rebellion

Michel Foucault
“Is it surprising that the cellular prison, with its regular chronologies, forced labour, its authorities of surveillance and registration, its experts in normality, who continue and multiply the functions of the judge, should have become the modern instrument of penality? Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?”
Michel Foucault

Christopher Hitchens
“Sooner or later, all talk among foreigners in Pyongyang turns to one imponderable subject. Do the locals really believe what they are told, and do they truly revere Fat Man and Little Boy? I have been a visiting writer in several authoritarian and totalitarian states, and usually the question answers itself. Someone in a café makes an offhand remark. A piece of ironic graffiti is scrawled in the men's room. Some group at the university issues some improvised leaflet. The glacier begins to melt; a joke makes the rounds and the apparently immovable regime suddenly looks vulnerable and absurd. But it's almost impossible to convey the extent to which North Korea just isn't like that. South Koreans who met with long-lost family members after the June rapprochement were thunderstruck at the way their shabby and thin northern relatives extolled Fat Man and Little Boy. Of course, they had been handpicked, but they stuck to their line.

There's a possible reason for the existence of this level of denial, which is backed up by an indescribable degree of surveillance and indoctrination. A North Korean citizen who decided that it was all a lie and a waste would have to face the fact that his life had been a lie and a waste also. The scenes of hysterical grief when Fat Man died were not all feigned; there might be a collective nervous breakdown if it was suddenly announced that the Great Leader had been a verbose and arrogant fraud. Picture, if you will, the abrupt deprogramming of more than 20 million Moonies or Jonestowners, who are suddenly informed that it was all a cruel joke and there's no longer anybody to tell them what to do. There wouldn't be enough Kool-Aid to go round. I often wondered how my guides kept straight faces. The streetlights are turned out all over Pyongyang—which is the most favored city in the country—every night. And the most prominent building on the skyline, in a town committed to hysterical architectural excess, is the Ryugyong Hotel. It's 105 floors high, and from a distance looks like a grotesquely enlarged version of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco (or like a vast and cumbersome missile on a launchpad). The crane at its summit hasn't moved in years; it's a grandiose and incomplete ruin in the making. 'Under construction,' say the guides without a trace of irony. I suppose they just keep two sets of mental books and live with the contradiction for now.”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

Edward Livingston
“If we are to violate the Constitution, will the people submit to our unauthorized acts? Sir, they ought not to submit; they would deserve the chains that these measures are forging for them. The country will swarm with informers, spies, delators and all the odious reptile tribe that breed in the sunshine of a despotic power ... [T]he hours of the most unsuspected confidence, the intimacies of friendship, or the recesses of domestic retirement afford no security. The companion whom you most trust, the friend in whom you must confide, the domestic who waits in your chamber, all are tempted to betray your imprudent or unguarded follie; to misrepresent your words; to convey them, distorted by calumny, to the secret tribunal where jealousy presides — where fear officiates as accuser and suspicion is the only evidence that is heard ... Do not let us be told, Sir, that we excite a fervour against foreign aggression only to establish a tyranny at home; that [...] we are absurd enough to call ourselves ‘free and enlightened’ while we advocate principles that would have disgraced the age of Gothic barbarity and establish a code compared to which the ordeal is wise and the trial by battle is merciful and just."

[opposing the Alien & Sedition bills of 1798, in Congress]”
Edward Livingston

J.M. Coetzee
“Die Herren der Information haben die Poesie aus dem Auge verloren, wo Worte eine Bedeutung haben können, die sehr von der im Lexikon angegebenen abweicht, wo der metaphorische Funke der Dechiffrierfunktion immer einen Sprung voraus ist, wo eine andere, unerwartete Interpretation stets möglich ist.”
J.M. Coetzee, Tagebuch eines schlimmen Jahres

“Allen europäischen Staaten voran ist besonders der britische hinsichtlich seiner Schuldvermutung, die in den atemlos fortschrittsgläubigen Überwachungsszenarien aufscheint, ganz und gar paranoid geworden und darin dem Künstler Damien Hirst ähnlich, der in seinem Buch "Theories" berichtet, dass ihn in den 90er Jahren grenzenlose Panik befiel, als ihm klar wurde, dass seine Augen eine nur verschwindend geringe Prozentzahl seiner Körperoberfläche ausmachen und er ansonsten eingeschlossen in einem vollständig finsteren Kasten sitzt.”
Olaf Arndt

“Your ideas are bound to forces of which you have no control due to the fact that you've voluntarily submitted your freedom of though to the perception steering censorship of Google, Facebook and other dragnet surveillance capitalists.”
James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology

Heribert Prantl
“Wo ein Klima der Überwachung und Bespitzelung herrscht, kann ein freier und offener demokratischer Prozess nicht stattfinden.”
Heribert Prantl, Der Terrorist als Gesetzgeber. Wie man mit Angst Politik macht

Heribert Prantl
“Nirgendwo werden aus vermeintlichen Absurditäten so schnell Normalitäten wie auf dem Gebiet der Inneren Sicherheit.”
Heribert Prantl, Der Terrorist als Gesetzgeber. Wie man mit Angst Politik macht

J.M. Coetzee
“Es soll keine Geheimnisse mehr geben, sagen die neuen Überwachungstheoretiker und meinen damit etwas recht Interessantes: dass die Ära, in der Geheimnisse zählten, in der Geheimnisse ihre Macht über das Leben von menschen ausüben konnten [...], vorbei ist; nicht, was sich zu wissen lohnt, kann nicht innerhalb von Sekunden und ohne großen Aufwand aufgedeckt werden; das Privatleben ist im Grunde ein Ding der Vergangenheit.”
J.M. Coetzee, Tagebuch eines schlimmen Jahres

Luis J. Rodríguez
“A friend once told me a story about a former Black Panther leader in a Midwest community who in the 1960s had his phone tapped, while federal agents followed him everywhere. Forced to go underground, he later entered the drug trade & eventually got good at it. However, he told my friend, soon after this nobody kept tabs on him--he wasn't followed or harassed. He later became the number one drug dealer in the area. As he said this, my friend noted a breaking in his voice; the pain, perhaps, of being pushed away from being a committed community activist.”
Luis J. Rodríguez, Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times

“Dragnet surveillance capitalists such as Facebook, Comcast, AT&T and Google, unfortunately, supply these manipulating forces with an endless supply of metadata for this information war against the American and European public.”
James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology

“The gaping wound in America’s national security is without a doubt, the unregulated dragnet surveillance capitalists.”
James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology

Georges Rodenbach
“Nothing goes unobserved in that strict town where people lack occupation. Malicious curiosity there has even invented what is known as a busybody, that is a double mirror fixed to the outside of the windowledge so that the streets can be monitored even from inside the houses, all the comings and goings watched, a kind of trap to catch all the exits and entrances the encounters and gestures that do not realize they are being observed, the looks that prove everything.”
Georges Rodenbach, The Bells of Bruges

Don DeLillo
“Spy planes, drone aircraft, satellites with cameras that can see from three hundred miles what you can see from a hundred feet. They see and they hear. Like ancient monks, you know, who recorded knowledge, wrote it painstakingly down. These systems collect and process. All the secret knowledge of the world.”
Don DeLillo, Libra

Steven Magee
“I find it very concerning that a utility company that has an established history of harassing me has my family under surveillance with a Smart/AMR/AMI meter.”
Steven Magee

Chris Campanioni
“You can always feel the cool whisper of surveillance when the film hits your flesh, the eye of the camera or simply the camera eye . . . faces of passersby, clientele, unpaid extras change completely as soon as they’re no longer observed.”
Chris Campanioni, Drift

Dave Hutchinson
“He did have some small advantage, though. He knew the truth about surveillance. Ever since the dawn of GWOT the nations of the West – apart from the United States, where civil libertarians tended to carry rifles and use them on closed-circuit cameras as an expression of their freedoms – had put their faith in creating a paranoid state, one where every move of every citizen was recorded and logged and filmed and fuck you, if you’ve got nothing to hide you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Whether this had had any great influence in the course of GWOT was a moot point, but there was one thing not generally appreciated about the paranoid state. It was incredibly labour-intensive.
There were simply not enough people to monitor all the cameras. Every shop had one, every bus and train and theatre and public convenience, every street and road and alleyway. Computers with facial recognition and gait recognition and body language recognition could do some of the job, but they were relatively simple to fool, expensive, and times had been hard for decades. It was cheaper to get people to watch the screens. But no nation on Earth had a security service large enough, a police force big enough, to keep an eye on all those live feeds. So it was contracted out. To private security firms all trying to undercut each other. The big stores had their own security men, but they were only interested in people going in and out of the store, not someone just passing by. So instead of a single all-seeing eye London’s seemingly-impregnable surveillance map was actually a patchwork of little territories and jurisdictions, and while they all had, by law, to make their footage available to the forces of law and order, many of the control rooms were actually manned by bored, underpaid, undertrained and badly-motivated immigrants.”
Dave Hutchinson, Europe in Autumn

Thor Benson
“Don't oppose mass surveillance for your own sake. Oppose it for the activists, lawyers, journalists and all of the other people our liberty relies on.”
Thor Benson

Isaac Asimov
“The government doesn't want any system of transmitting information to remain unbroken, unless it's under its own control.”
Isaac Asimov, Tales of the Black Widowers

Anna Funder
“I wonder how it worked inside the Stasi: who thought up these blackmail schemes? Did they send them up the line for approval? Did pieces of paper come back initialled and stamped 'Approved': the ruining of a marriage, the destruction of a career, the imprisonment of a wife, the abandonment of a child? Did they circulate internal updates: 'Five new and different ways to break a heart'?”
Anna Funder, Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

Anna Funder
“I once saw a note on a Stasi file from early 1989 that I would never forget. In it a young lieutenant alerted his superiors to the fact that there were so many informers in church opposition groups at demonstrations that they were making these groups appear stronger than they really were. In one of the most beautiful ironies I have ever seen, he dutifully noted that, by having swelled the ranks of the opposition, the Stasi was giving the people heart to keep demonstrating against them.”
Anna Funder, Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

Anna Funder
“To my mind, there is something warmer and more human about the carnality of other dictatorships, say in Latin America. One can more easily understand a desire for cases stuffed with money and drugs, for women and weapons and blood. These obedient grey men doing it with their underpaid informers on a weekly basis seem at once more stupid and more sinister. Betrayal clearly has its own reward: the small deep human satisfaction of having one up on someone else. It is the psychology of the mistress, and this regime used it as fuel.”
Anna Funder, Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

Lee Child
“Why's everybody looking at me?" he asked.

"We checked the tape," she said. "You know, the surveillance camera."

"So?"

She wouldn't answer. He reviewed his time in the room. He'd showered twice, walked around some, pulled the drapes, slept, opened the drapes, walked around some more. That was all.

"I didn't do anything," he said.

She smiled again, wider. "No, you didn't."

"So what's the big deal?"

"Well, you know, you don't seem to have brought any pajamas.”
Lee Child, Running Blind

« previous 1 3 4