The Affordable Surveillance State

Categories: social, technology

What? The first court case involving a StingRay in the U.S. is being heard. A StingRay is a briefcase sized device that secretly intercepts phone calls. StingRays are sold to intelligence, military and law enforcement agencies for around $400,000 by a major defence contractor. Now, however, individuals can purchase similar devices online for under $2,000. The individual being tried in court is alleged to have used such a device.

So what? Sophisticated surveillance is becoming more affordable. Privacy concerns are increasingly about more than just states and large companies listening to phone conversations. Individuals are able to break privacy cheaply and at large scale. As a result, widespread tracking and wiretapping could be an inevitable aspect of the future. This could quickly blur the line between secure and insecure in the realm of privacy. It could shift security concerns towards recognition that the future may be defined by people operating in permanently compromised environments.   

Source: Bloomberg Business - What Happens When the Surveillance State Becomes an Affordable Gadget?

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