But the system of surveillance has graduated from this scenario and today the spy is not required to sweat out in the hot summer or drench himself in the rain, he can gather all the information on his desktop, laptop, palmtop, mobile or other handy gadgets, at the press of a button, thanks to the information gathering network. Though the modus operandi defers depending upon the importance and strategic nature of the surveillance, but one factor common in all such acts is the monitoring of our actions in different measure. While on the one hand, we have biometrics machines on airports, railway stations, bus station, important offices etc.
the RF tagging is used to keep an eye on goods as well as the movement of the workforce at many companies. A report brought out by the surveillance society in the year 2006 pointed out that the heightened concerns in view of the levels of intrusion in citizen’ s lives2. There are of course the incidents like the 9/11 attacks, the London bombing, the Mumbai shootout, the Pakistani bomb blasts, the Afghanistan war etc.
which require intelligence inputs so that the terror elements are not in a position to work out similar incidents, but at the same time the citizens do expect that the info-age doesn’ t put them in embarrassing situations. Loss of privacy, intimidating acts, frequent delays, heightened security mechanism etc are some circumstances leading to the discomfort of the citizen in general. The report by the surveillance society has pointed out that people actions are increasingly being monitored. Monitoring of credit card transactions, mobile phone conversation, usage of the loyalty card, and CCTV footage are some of the acts of surveillance, which have been put into the category of ‘ dataveillance’ by researchers (BBC, 2006).
From time to time concerns have been raised by human rights groups about the intimidating nature of the surveillance being carried out by the security agencies, but all such voices seem to have no significance if we take a look around us.
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