If you knew you were under surveillance would it affect your behavior?

in #life2 years ago (edited)

New report from Reuters shows the NSA collected 500 million US call records

First let me make a point, this post isn't about the NSA in specific. Any intelligence agency anywhere in the world does the same thing. The NSA just gets more attention than the others because of bias toward exposing US intelligence agencies. The core question is whether or not panopticon fatigue is a real thing?

My current opinion on whether panopticon fatigue is real

It is my current opinion that panopticon fatigue is real. The problem? No one can actually study it because to even ask whether surveillance influences behavior is to admit that the surveillance exists. In most situations people may know it exists but cannot admit it exists without looking either; morally deficient, delusional, or completely discredited for anything else. For this reason I pose the question in a way where we can explore it with no assumptions as to the reality of the situation.

  • If you knew you were under surveillance 24/7 would it affect your behavior?
  • If you would change your behavior how do you think it would affect you?
  • If you would not change your behavior then why not?
  • Do you think surveillance can be used to create a mental illness called panopticon fatigue or is panopticon fatigue not real? Could panopticon fatigue be real but the reaction to surveillance normal and so not a mental illness?

My current thoughts and opinion is that people under surveillance can be affected more greatly or less greatly depending on the intensity of the surveillance and the duration. If the surveillance is 24/7 prison style for a duration lasting years then it is likely to have some kind of affect in my opinion because this is not a natural condition. Celebrities for example deal with the paparazzi and go through something similar to this where they know their every behavior is scrutinized from what they wear, to what food they eat, to every word they say on social media.

None of my opinions are set in stone. Anyone who has experience with having been under surveillance (no matter what government did it) feel free to comment. The reasons for the surveillance aren't important but what is important is whether or not it had any psychological impact.

Some additional ideas for discussion:

  • Could surveillance be a method of coercion? That is to say if the watchers know that the behavior of the watched is influenced by the knowledge of the watched that they are the watched then is it a deliberate mechanism to shape behavior? For example if someone reminds you on a daily basis that they see everything you do, could it influence how you vote in an election?

References

  1. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-surveillance/spy-agency-nsa-collected-500-million-u-s-call-records-in-2017-a-sharp-rise-official-report-idUSKBN1I52FR
  2. http://mediaroots.org/panopticon-fatigue-life-sex-and-death-under-the-east-german-stasi/
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We are under 24/7 surveillance so I think a better question to ask would be, would you act different if you weren't under surveillance? I don't behave any different under surveillance mainly because it is the only way I know. Besides our phones and the many other ways we are spied on, I spend a lot of time in casinos where of course you are under surveillance. I'm so used to it that I'm sure it doesn't impact my behavior. You bring up some great points and made me envision the man who wears a tinfoil hat to protect his thoughts from those spying on him. Thanks for sharing this.

What is the right to privacy if we are being watched at all times . It’s even funnier when we search something online and then go on social media and similar things show up there . Our searches , our conversations are always being watched .

I wouldn’t act differently because I’m not doing anything wrong

How do you know what you do today will not be perceived as wrong in the future?

That can be true , that’s why it’s tough to say what is the difference between right and wrong . What is wrong should be written

This is why I never followed or accept the argument of "if you're not doing anything wrong..." because maybe under current standards I'm not but under future standards I am. Point being? I cannot know when I'm doing wrong or when I'm doing right unless I can know how the current and future analysts of my actions will perceive of it. This is pretty much impossible.

I can follow strategies to limit damage but it's not possible to know how society views right and wrong since those concepts are fluid. The surveillance on the other hand if everything is to be saved can be used later to prove we each did something wrong according to future standards which apply to past activities.

Any solution for this? This is why the right to forget is important in theory. In normal society or normal community life there is a period of time where eventually people forget. In the new hyper connected digital society nothing is ever forgotten and so the weight of every action not only applies to today but 20-50 years into the future (however long you expect to live). This puts people in weird situations, are you building your legacy right now (by your mistakes)?

That’s something to think about . It should imply rules to a certain time period that can not be used later . But that’s upto the government who has records for years that can be used in future mistakes . Maybe it’s better to focus on the little things than the bigger picture

No not just the government. Any private entity can maintain the records. ISP, search engines, etc. Is there any guarantee that information won't be saved indefinitely by private entities for later use in these exact circumstances?

In my opinion, surveillance if necessary must be done to some extent. Privacy must not be compromised at any cost.

It may very well be necessary. I'm smart enough to know the limits of my knowledge. I know that I don't know enough information to determine if it's justified or not. I do question whether or not panopticon fatigue exists. I do question whether surveillance alters behavior.

I would say it does. But who even asked the question before me? Also how would you define privacy?

"But who even asked the question before me?"
Michel Foucault did :) Thanks a lot for bringing this topic btw. Panopticon fatigue exists but we can't cluster it as a mental illness. Psychology is a normative science and it only calls deviances from the norm as an illness. Since panopticism is the immanent frame of modernity, we tend to see it as a normal thing and not even think about it. Because we know it's nothing special to us and everyone shares the same experience with us. We passively accept it.
At the beginning of the century, increased surveillance was a privilege of states. The fear of being watched was only sourcing from state authority. But with the advent of Surveillance capitalism, I think people are more afraid of private companies like google or facebook. I personally know lots of people putting tapes on their webcams. Or I personally don't feel secure while I am watching porn. Because there is no way that i can be sure whether my web traffic is being watched and filed at that moment. I guess we all experience the panopticon fatigue but we are not aware of how tired we are.
Let me ask you one question: What about blockchain? Everyone can see each other's every transaction. How do you feel about it? Personally, I am not sure about my feelings

Should porn watching be secret or should it be transparent? I would say the only reason people have any discomfort about porn is due to the in my opinion primitive fear of human sexuality.

Sex in the form of porn is therefore given a negative connotation. There is also the link people make connecting porn to sex trafficking. I'm not really sure this link is based in reality but there are arguments that all porn is "evil".

What is your opinion of a blockchain like technology where people can watch porn and follow others who watch the same porn? This would make it transparent and reduce the fear of surveillance.

For the most part you are correct. Cookies do know what porn we watch and these cookies are all forming a digital footprint.

This is really tough discussion @dana-edwards, but I had experienced for 3 month being watched, it was at the second 3 months after Tsunami in Aceh.

1..If you knew you were under surveillance 24/7 would it affect your behavior?

yes it will, because I did change my behavior at the time I was under surveillance.

2..If you would change your behavior how do you think it would affect you?

I was uncomfortable and I did not talk to the people who I didn't really know, I tried to show them that I have nothing to hide.

If you would not change your behavior then why not?

Do you think surveillance can be used to create a mental illness called panopticon fatigue or is panopticon fatigue not real? Could panopticon fatigue be real but the reaction to surveillance normal and so not a mental illness?.

yes, it could have happened to me, if they did not take me for 24 hours interrogation afterward. I took that chance to explain anything I knew.
I didn't feel normal when i was under surveillance.

Could surveillance be a method of coercion? That is to say if the watchers know that the behavior of the watched is influenced by the knowledge of the watched that they are the watched then is it a deliberate mechanism to shape behavior?

it may shape the behavior when we are under surveillance

For example if someone reminds you on a daily basis that they see everything you do, could it influence how you vote in an election?

Yes, it will influence on how I vote in an election

These response is only base on my own experience, it may be different to others

Thanks you

I was aware of it since I was a child.
I felt like there are cameras even in cases in which they might had been absent.
I learned to find comfort in the fact that I cause discomfort and alarm while being innocent.
I can cause false alarms, while being innocent, and in the meantime society pays the price because real crimes happen.
Society deserves worse because it lets it all happen, and I do not mean surveillance, which is fine in many cases, as long as it does not invade my devices and apartment, which I know it does.

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for me,this only applies to those persons of interest.those that are most likely have suspicious activities or attempting to do so.but i do believe that we are being surveyed thru the internet and also with our smartphones and smart televisions and so with social media like facebook and the likes.

How can you do anything great, important, interesting, cool, without becoming interesting to others, without looking suspicious to others? I just can't see how it is possible to live through a long life without hitting someone's radar if you do anything unexpected or unique.

So I suppose if a person lives completely mediocre, unnoticeable, but then life passes by and what is the point? I think an innocuous life is impossible if a person is ambitious but I could be wrong. Show me how it works.

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because with the togetherness despite the different places, let us succeed with the affection of the hands only mengevote blog our colleagues @zuhrafriska

Edward Joseph Snowden already told to the world years ago!

Absolutely! According to Michel Foucault, this has been a main principle of society structuring in the industrial age. Nowadays people do this voluntarily by exposing themselves on social media, with real name demanding Facebook being the most striking example

because with togetherness despite different places, let us succeed with affection hands just memvoting our colleagues blog @zuhrafriska

That is one of the strangest comments I've ever received. It almost makes sense. Like a mixture of machine and human language. Can you comment on my topic though?

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