In an electronic police state, everyone is a suspect until proven otherwise. The presumption of innocence has never been given its proper respect but now, even as a concept, it is a thing of the past.
This article about iris scanning technology, hits on a key feature that has made up the bulk of biometric research and development, surreptitious identification. They want to know everything about you but prefer you have no specific knowledge about the surveillance you are under. They obviously do want us to know that it is being done though. Why?
The concept of using surveillance to deter crime and achieve a level of social control is not new. Sociologist Jeremy Bentham developed the theory in the late 18th century and it is best represented by his concept of a “Panopticon,” a model prison where prisoners could be observed, but they could not see who was watching and tell when they were being watched.
. . .The psychological objective of such a system was that the subjects of surveillance would believe that their only logical option was to conform. Thus each individual would become their own overseer.
It is not about security. It is all about control.
“Power should be visible and unverifiable”
–Jeremy Betham an 18th century Utopian philosopher who conceived the Panopticon in 1791.
“The purpose of such a structure is to induce a state of conscious and permanent visibility that will assure the autonomic functioning of power”
—Michel Foucault, author of Discipline and Punish
Foucault viewed the Panopticon as representative of society’s change in the
Eighteenth Century from a power structure which exercised control
through public spectacle (e.g., public hangings and torture) to one whichexercised control through constant, unseen surveillance.
Richmond Journal of Law & Technology “PREVENTING A MODERN PANOPTICON”
“what matters is that he knows himself to be observed”
Here is the article;
Iris Recognition: There’s No Escape with New Security Cameras
Sept 5, 2010-The Pentagon has issued funding to Christensen’s team at the university in an effort to provide better security and accurate identification of potential suspects. Creating a discrete scanning technology for non-cooperative people is quite a challenge, and you’d think that someone could easily avoid an iris scan. But the work at Southern Methodist University makes it impossible to dodge the scan, even if you keep your head down while walking past high-tech security cameras.
. . .Christensen hopes the latest technology will let them do even more than what a regular lens can do, with enhanced resolution and 3-D imagery at better, more accurate levels. The new devices should create a robust 3-D image useful for seeing in caves and dark urban areas, and importantly, for the creation of “versatile ‘non-cooperative’ iris-detection security cameras.”