Combatting the Surveillance Industrial Complex
THE PRIVATIZATION OF SURVEILLANCE
The U.S. security establishment is rapidly increasing its ability to monitor average Americans by hiring or compelling private-sector corporations to provide billions of customer records. The explosive growth in surveillance by government and business is creating a "Surveillance-Industrial Complex" (PDF) that threatens all of our privacy.
ABOUT THE REPORT
This report makes the case that, across a broad variety of areas, the same dynamic of the "privatization of surveillance" is underway. Different dimensions of this trend are examined in depth in four separate sections of the report:
"Recruiting Individuals." Documents how individuals are being recruited to serve as "eyes and ears" for the authorities even after Congress rejected the infamous TIPS (Terrorism Information and Prevention System) program that would have recruited workers like cable repairmen to spy on their customers.
"Recruiting Companies." Examines how companies are pressured to voluntarily provide consumer information to the government; the many ways security agencies can force companies to turn over sensitive information under federal laws such as the Patriot Act; how the government is forcing companies to participate in watchlist programs and in systems for the automatic scrutiny of individuals' financial transactions.
"Mass Data Use, Public and Private." Focuses on the government's use of private data on a mass scale, either through data mining programs like the MATRIX state information-sharing program, or the purchase of information from private-sector data aggregators.
"Pro-Surveillance Lobbying." Looks at the flip side of the issue: how some companies are pushing the government to adopt surveillance technologies and programs based on private-sector data.
- "Surveillance-Industrial Complex" (PDF)
- ACLU Privacy & Technology
- Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society
- Stop Congress From Rolling Back Key Privacy Safeguards -- express opposition to law that would expand government power to seize personal records from private sector
- SAFE Act: Urge Congress to Reject Ashcroft's Veto Threat -- express support for legislation that would fix elements of Patriot Act that expand government access to private-sector records
- Oppose the New Ashcroft Internet Snooping Request! -- urge the FCC not to give the FBI the power to control Internet voice transmissions
- Tell the Airlines to Protect your Data -- Tell the major airlines not to cooperate with the CAPPS II program
- Oppose the New Airline Passenger Profiling System -- Urge your representatives to oppose the CAPPS II program