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American History

Checks and Controls on America’s Surveillance System

March 4, 2021

In recent years, as we have seen the notion of trusting our educated platonic guardians no longer suffices. The result was the creation of a system of oversight and audit that we have been in the process of fine tuning ever since the 1970s. […]

The illustration of 'Big Brother is watching you'.
American History

American Surveillance: Abuses and Excesses in Cold War-era

March 4, 2021

Through the means of investigative journalism and official committees, we now know a lot about surveillance in America, in particular, the abusive side of it. In part shocking, these examples also probably give us an insight into the reason for having such widespread surveillance system in the first place. […]

Silhouette of a mysterious man in a vintage style wide brimmed hat in a close up head and shoulders portrait

Germany’s Stasi Culture and Its Relevance Today

February 25, 2021

Think of the psychological effects a pervasive system such as the Stasi state must have had on the population. It speaks to the paranoia that builds up once you start to think that some enormous, invisible, sinister organization is out to get you. […]

The photo shows a person holding a magnifying glass.

Surveillance: Types, Uses, and Abuses

February 18, 2021

We need to think about the balance between transparency and effectiveness. Effective oversight of the surveillance state requires the surveillers to be at least somewhat transparent. At the same time, complete transparency would easily frustrate legitimate security objectives. […]

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