Co-veillance: A Transparent Society Surveilling the Surveillers

Futurist and scifi novelist David Brin suggested this one. It’s kind of a mash-up between Steve Mann’s sousveillance and Jamais Cascio’s Participatory Panopticon, and a furtherance of his own Transparent Society concept. Brin describes it as: “reciprocal vision and supervision, combining surveillance with aggressively effective sousveillance

Folks are rightfully worried about surveillance powers that expand every day. Cameras grow quicker, better, smaller, more numerous and mobile at a rate much faster than Moore’s Law (i.e. Brin’s corollary). Liberals foresee Big Brother arising from an oligarchy and faceless corporations, while conservatives fret that Orwellian masters will take over from academia and faceless bureaucrats. Which fear has some validity? All of the above. While millions take Orwell’s warning seriously, the normal reflex is to whine: “Stoplooking at us!” It cannot work. But what if, instead of whining, we all looked back? Countering surveillance with aggressively effective sousveillance — or scrutiny from below? Say by having citizen-access cameras in the camera control rooms, letting us watch the watchers?

A method for the resistance function:

Sous-veillance (Monitor from Below)

Sousveillance focuses on enhancing the ability of people to access and collect data about their surveillance and to neutralize surveillance. As a form of personal space protection, it resonates with Gary Marx’s (2003) proposal to resist surveillance through non-compliance and interference ‘moves’ that block, distort,mask, refuse, and counter-surveil the collection of information.

Sous-veillance and reflectionism seek to increase the equality between surveiller and the person being surveilled (surveillee), including enabling the surveillee to surveil the surveiller.

20 Crucial Terms Every 21st Century Futurist Should Know.