Surveillance. It is used by every tyranny to lock in place an uneven arrangement of power. When the mighty know all about you but common folk know little in reverse, then without accountability you can only have despotism, as shown by 6,000 years of recorded history.
But new technologies do not have to lock in perpetual Big Brother. The spread of tools like cheap cameras and instant sharing might lead to the antidote against Big Brother. That is, if we learn the lessons taught by both history and science. The answer is not to hide from elites but to hold them accountable with light.
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About the Author
David Brin (b.1950) is an American scientist and award-winning author of science fiction. He is the author of several books including Sundiver and Startide Rising —part of his Uplift series. His award-winning novel The Postman was adapted as a feature film and starred Kevin Costner in 1997. Brin's nonfiction book The Transparent Society won the Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association and the McGannon Communication Award.