What is “privacy”? Is there a right balance between privacy and mass surveillance? Does it matter, and if so, why? Are you a “bad” person if you want privacy? The story of Anne Frank illustrates the parallels between modern global surveillance and the Nazi.
A Global Panopticon
A Panopticon is a prison architectural model designed for the maximum efficiency of mass surveillance. Developed by 18th century social theorist Jeremy Bentham, a Panopticon consists of a cylindrical structure with an “inspection house” at its center. From there, a guard can easily watch all inmates, whose cages are always in open view of the central tower.
The essential elements of Bentham’s design were not only that the watchmen should be able to view the prisoners at all times, including times when they were in their cells, but also that the prisoners should be unable to see the watchmen, and so could never be sure whether they were under surveillance.
Bentham conceived the basic plan as being equally applicable to hospitals, schools,