Tuesday, September 29, 2009


There's an interesting new report being published by the folks over at Statewatch, an European outfit dedicated to keeping a close eye on those who keep a close eye on the rest of us. The Neoconopticon details how much of the total surveillance state is already in place and how much more is yet to come. The title comes from Jeremy Bentham's 'Panopticon', a design for a "perfect prison" where there is total surveillance and control of all the inmates. It should be noted that Bentham was a liberal reformer. Like so much so-called "reform" the idea of total surveillance began as an idea beloved by the left for its sheer stupidity and later taken over by the right for its sheer viciousness. Far too much of statist politics lives out its life in a similar way. Here's the announcement from Statewatch.
Neoconopticon - the EU Security-Industrial Complex‏:
Major new report by Statewatch and the Transnational Institute:
NeoConOpticon - The EU Security-Industrial Complex by Ben Hayes (pdf):
"Despite the often benign intent behind collaborative European ‘research’ into integrated land, air, maritime, space and cyber-surveillance systems, the EU’s security and R&D policy is coalescing around a high-tech blueprint for a new kind of security. It envisages a future world of red zones and green zones; external borders controlled by military force and internally by a sprawling network of physical and virtual security checkpoints; public spaces, micro-states and ‘mega events’ policed by high-tech surveillance systems and rapid reaction forces;‘peacekeeping’ and ‘crisis management’ missions that make no operational distinction between the suburbs of Basra or the Banlieue; and the increasing integration of defence and national security functions at home and abroad.

It is not just a case of “sleepwalking into” or “waking up to” a “surveillance society”, as the UK’s Information Commissioner famously warned, it feels more like turning a blind eye to the start of a new kind of arms race, one in which all the weapons are pointing inwards. Welcome to the NeoConOpticon."
Press release: Defence industry dominates EU’s security research programme (pdf
Contacts for further information:
Ben Hayes +44 (0) 20 8802 1882 (ben@statewatch.org ) or
Nina Brenjo +31 (0) 63 484 2129 (nina.brenjo@tni.org )

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