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An expert on government intelligence exposes new and pervasive methods of surveillance of private citizens. The Information Revolution and the rise of the networked society are reconstituting the structures of power on a global scale. In The End of Privacy, Reg Whitaker, a leading expert on government surveillance, shows that these developments pose dramatic new threats to personal privacy. Whitaker explains that, far beyond questions about the security of e-mail, the technology is in place to allow employers to monitor workers' every move throughout the workday, and the U.S. Treasury to track every detail of personal and business finances. As consumers, citizens are even more vulnerable. From the familiar--bar coding, credit and debit cards, and marketing and credit data banks--to the seemingly sci-fi--"smart cards" that encode every detail of a person's life, such as medical and criminal records, and security scans that read individuals' DNA--Whitaker shows how vast amounts of personal information are moving into private hands. Once there, they can be used to develop electronic pictures of individuals and groups that are potentially far more detailed, and far more intrusive, than the files built up in the past by state police and security agencies. Nineteenth-century penologists theorized an ideal prison which they named the Panopticon--a system of complete and total surveillance. The End of Privacy is the most thorough analysis yet of just how close we are coming to living in a virtual Panopticon.
- ISBN: 9781565843783