A Window

November 11, 2011

The occupy movement juxtaposed with recent warrantless GPS tracker cases has really crystallized an idea for me about the two sides of the surveillance state. The key to normalizing a privacy free culture is to trade off the civil liberty issues with the clarity brought about by careful observation of the state. In short, as the government peers into us, we peer into it.

This seems like a new and different equilibrium, one that hasn't ever been explored at superpower scale. For every warrantless wiretap and NSA datamining sweep, we have videos of cops beating protesters, wikileaks, and open mics. These moments allow us all to reacquire a shared truth, a common state of being. This happened. There's no denying it. Information flows in all directions. The truth does not just want to be free, it wants to be ever present.

For every dusty DEA agent secretly slapping a transponder on a beater car (how depressing that job must be), we have a new revelation about the private lives of Texas judges, or the free hand NYC lieutenants take towards the liberal application of pepper spray. These things don't have to be whispered about. They don't even have to be reported. They can just be shown.

I guess sometimes I feel like both the state and the people think they're looking through one-way mirrors.

It's a window people. A window.