- Paperback: 195 pages
- Publisher: New Press, The (February 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1565845692
- ISBN-13: 978-1565845695
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,278,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The End of Privacy: How Total Surveillance Is Becoming a Reality
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The End of Privacy is a book about power--more specifically, it discusses surveillance as a powerful mechanism of social control. Philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham and Michel Foucault developed the concept of the "panopticon," an ideal prison where compliance with rules is guaranteed through complete and inescapable surveillance. Applying the principles involved to real-world examples that trace the development of surveillance technologies from Second World War military intelligence to the electronic data-veillance of the information revolution, Whitaker provides a thorough analysis of how our society may be gradually approaching panopticism.
Thanks to dramatic technological advances, surveillance monitoring can now provide nearly global coverage, exposing the everyday lives of ordinary people--in the workplace, at school, on the Internet, everywhere--to serve public, private, and prurient interests. Today, Whitaker notes, private-information brokers amass databases for an innumerable variety of commercial purposes--from credit reporting to mass marketing. Vast amounts of detailed personal information, including seemingly useless minutiae, end up in corporate hands. Orwell's monolithic Big Brother has fragmented into a myriad of Little Brothers, which add up to a powerful system with little or no accountability. Who, Whitaker asks, watches the watchers? --Tim Hogan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Whitaker makes a convincing and powerful case that Orwell had it only half right when he envisioned Big Brother smothering our privacy. With computers and other electronic devices playing an integral role in our lives, Whitaker argues that what now exists in developed countries is not a surveillance state but rather a surveillance society. It's the private sector, not the government, that is eroding individual privacy. Information technologies, Whitaker observes, are two-sided: the people most enabled and empowered by technology are also more vulnerable to surveillance and manipulation. From the information people fill out about themselves to obtain credit cards or a mortgage to the cameras that monitor activities in gated communities and public parks, average citizens are losing their privacy in myriad ways. Whitaker, a professor of political science at Toronto's York University and the coauthor of Cold War Canada, also argues that, far from wiping out poverty, the information revolution provides global corporations more power to keep Third World and underdeveloped countries under their thumb. Although there are some slow sections in this work, any reader who has ordered a book online can appreciate Whitaker's argument that people are knowingly or unknowingly sacrificing their privacy for the sale of convenience.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
We are what we are. Claiming otherwise would be disingenuous at best. This is a deeply troubling book. Explore for yourself how we are manipulated and ultimately controlled. Having done so, one may ask if we are even able to define what freedom is. Perhaps we have lost everything we once held sacred without even holding a debate.
Jerry Furland, author of "Transfer-the end of the beginning"