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Surveillance Society - Book Report/Review Example

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Summary
Charles Platt discusses privacy f the individual and the possibility f an entire world under surveillance in his essay Nowhere to Hide: Lack f Privacy is the Ultimate Equalizer. He explains the different levels f privacy needed in different cultures, and he describes why he feels that invasion f privacy might lead to large institutions interfering in his life…
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Surveillance Society Book Report/Review
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Surveillance Society

Download file to see previous pages... He feels that if everyone has no privacy then everyone becomes equal, which is an opinion that I do not share. Looking toward the future, he then predicts new tools that might be invented and how he is optimistic that the future will bring less privacy and more surveillance on both domestic and macro levels. I feel that Platt's opinions are leaning far too much toward a world without privacy and thus I do not agree with stance on surveillance. I disagree with Platt about why people should be under surveillance: he believes it will make everyone equal, but I believe people should only be under surveillance if they are suspected f attempting to commit a crime. Thus, Platt is far too extreme in his views on surveillance.
Platt begins his argument by stating that cultures other than our own have little need for privacy. "The Japanese, for instance, don't even have a word for it" domestic privacy that is; the simple need to hide some f you home life from the neighbours." (Platt, 344) He also claims that most people do not appear to be interested in spying on their neighbours, but I completely disagree with this. I believe that there are many people that would spy on their neighbours if given the chance to do so without facing any consequences. I believe this because people generally tend to be nosy and want to know about their neighbours' lives, although I feel that that is just a sign that some people have too much time on their hands. Another important issue that Platt discusses is the possibility f large institutions using personal information to interfere with people's lives. I share this concern with Platt because I too would feel threatened if my credit ratings, tax figures, and medical records were available to people whom I do not know. Although Platt seems concerned with these issues, it appears as though he still supports the idea f a no-privacy future. He claims that in the future when everyone is under surveillance all people will be equally vulnerable, which he claims is going to be a good situation.
According to Platt, lawsuits concerning privacy are starting to flood the courtrooms recently, with the majority f them claiming someone invaded someone else's privacy. For example, Platt states that two cops in Los Angles faced prison terms because f a home video that invaded their "privacy' and showed them beating a suspect. Obviously, people should use careful concern when deciding whether a case is abusing a person's right to privacy, or manipulating it to try to cover a crime. Another case that Platt cites is one that involves the nation. Platt describes how President Clinton's election campaign was seriously threatened when an ex-lover made tapes f their telephone conversations. I think that this case exemplifies why privacy is an important right to protect. New tools and technologies will soon be available that will further invade the privacy f others. This new technology makes spying easier for people that would use such tools. "Right now, I can buy a KGB-surplus night scope, a micro-transmitter, or a video camera that's half the size f a pack f cigarettes." ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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