Mass Surveillance is the act of observing large segments of people or groups without any set system to do so. It usually interferes with the peoples’ rights to privacy. Any attempt to collect data of a group or individuals without any measures taken to limit the acquired data to specific target public or individual is a form of mass surveillance.

With the use of this method, the government can now monitor any sphere of our lives without us even knowing about it. With the help of today’s technology governments all across the globe are obtaining and processing data from huge numbers of people without even them being accused of any crime or wrong doing. Due to this the government has attained immense amounts of power over the general public.

CCTV Warning ( CC 2.0 By Flickr)

Practice of mass surveillance by the government is not recent. This is been carried out for a long time in the history of surveillance. Some old methods of mass surveillance include tattooing people for recognition, numbering and putting people under categories, censuses and ID documenting. Presently, mass surveillance has become really easy in public places with the help of installation of closed circuit television cameras (CCTV).

The latest forms of surveillance via the government on the public is monitoring their communication patterns, which includes what we do on our phones and other digital devices like computers, Ipads and so on. I recently tweeted about it to seek public opinion about the government invading privacy. The results are below.

(Twitter @shivi2016)

Is it Ethical to do so? When is surveillance appropriate?

M.I.T. professor Gary Marx presented an argument about it (An Ethics for the New Surveillance, Vol. 14, No. 3) saying that we should measure and evaluate methods of mass surveillance before its implication on people. This can be done by asking a number of questions about the means, data collection context and the uses of that data.

There have been many protests by the public against the government for this reason. The government usually gets away from such protests by saying things along the lines of “If you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.”


A counter argument to this presented by Edward Snowden saying that “… If you don’t support freedom of speech, maybe it’s because you have nothing to say” (Snowden Article).

Although, mass surveillance can be used in a positive manner; anti- terrorism, census and crime statistics. It helps the government to stop major organized crimes like human trafficking across international borders, drug trades and so on. I have also talked about police surveillance in my podcast below and few other government surveillance examples across the globe.

Podcast Shivangi Sharma

Government surveillance does work in favor of people sometimes but in this process the government is collecting large amounts of data which can used or abused according the circumstances. This makes people vulnerable to the government. I recently watched a famous talk show TED Talk .Christopher Soghoian talks about software the governmnet is adopting. It is really interesting to know how and to what extent we can be monitored!

Twitter @shivi2016

They can control our lives. They have the ability to know exactly what any innocent individuals are doing at any point in time, even if they are in their own home, just like you and me!




25 thoughts on “How Far Can They GO??

  1. Your blog post is incredibly visual with so many images and embedded tweets – I applaud your efforts! I did notice in the general body that there were a couple of grammatical errors in your work, with particular reference to the opening and closing of quotations and a missing full stop after your Edward Snowden paragraph. I would also recommend double checking the reference guide on Sync – it’s very helpful! I can’t be certain of which method you have used, however I do believe most place the authors name at the start of the reference and only require the initial rather than the full first name. Overall though, mass surveillance is a HUGE topic and I think you’ve done well to present two sides of an argument.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice work !! I like the structure of your post and the embedded tweets (especially the one with the poll) are relevant and give your blog a boost. Your style of writing almost remind of the way that people speak in public events like riots and strikes. It almost give the readers the feeling that you don’t want to just inform them of the situation but maybe “wake them up” and make them realise that being constantly under surveillance and most of all without their consent, is not normal or acceptable. Well done, I absolutely loved it !!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Shivangi,

    Great job in tackling this topic! You have a great flow throughout the piece but I would encourage you to look at the referencing guide to get a guideline on the correct way to reference so that your piece can be properly noted and referred to for others. Really impressed with your use of multimedia sources, you’ve really covered the grounds in terms of giving people visual perspective and I love that you attempted both your own podcast and creative commons images. It is great you incorporated your own twitter poll too so that you can get a wider perspective to bounce your opinions on.

    You have done a great job, Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “How Far Can They GO??” was a great title for this blog, it was very effective in instantly grabbing my attention and I just had to read further. I really liked the image, it displays how even when we seem to be in isolation, we are still being surveyed. The embedded tweets were relevant and placed appropriately within the post. The podcast was very informative, which is good. One thing that could be improved on is the number of the poor word choices and punctuation errors in this blog, it made the post a little bit hard to read at times and was probably due to rushing the post. Overall, well done, I enjoyed your Blog Post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Shivangi,
    Your blog post looks professional, there is many useful information and your phrasing are very good too! I also like your tweets and podcast, they are great extra data for read t understand more about your view and this topic. On the other hand, you have a cool post title that can attract reader to enter you post and I would want to read more your blog after this post. I should learn from you. By the way, your reference list is all right. I think this is a very nice work! Keep going!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Shivangi,
    This is a great blog post! Your title captured my attention straight away and made me want to keep reading. Your post is informative and raises some very important points. The embedded tweets, images and scholarly sources that you have included are relevant to the blog post and they support your argument really well which is great to see. I also like that the media is spread out so that there are no large slabs of text.

    I really like that you went to the effort of producing a podcast. I enjoyed listening to it and it fit in really well with the information in your blog post.

    Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Shivangi, it is very clear that you put a lot of effort into your blog. Your blog was very well researched and cited throughout, good to see that your links were opening in new tabs. I particularly like your short but sweet that left the reader with a notion of how vast your topic is. The only issue I have with your blog is that you didn’t quite correctly reference your creative commons image, CCTV Warning. You had very good sentence structure, grammar and spelling throughout, so you clearly proof read your blog. Very proud of what you created.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Shivangi,

    Your blog post is pretty cool that I can learn much from you. It shows large amounts of information on how mass surveillance used by government through the presentation of so many fantastic valuable tweets, videos, articles, podcast along with image. I saw a lot of works you’ve done on it, which make me consider more about how many times we are under the CCTV without informed. The only advice would be reminding you of often checking references writing via the Deakin guide to Harvard referencing provided in current student’s studying.

    Excellent work! Looking forward to seeing more amazing posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey there Shivangi,

    I really enjoyed your post on mass surveillance and how catching the title of the blog was, which was thoroughly creative and showed that you really have delved into the topic, provoking emotion, which automatically captures the readers attention. Well done.

    This was a very professional blog and I really enjoyed your use of media, including the podcast which was very insightful, the embedded tweets and YouTube also added points that drove your argument home.

    The only suggestion I would have and it’s only from a purely aesthetic point of view, the black background with the white text draws away from your blog, perhaps a more clean layout would take things to the next level but that is sheerly personal preference.

    Well done on your awesome, well structured and written blog. Good luck with future posts, look forward to reading them.

    Thank you,

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey Shivangi,
    Thoroughly enjoyed your blog post, it is easy to see that you’ve put in a lot of effort and have produced your work together in a well-structured, cohesive and informative manner. Your use of embedded information such as tweets, your podcast and TED Talk were relevant and provided some really great backup to your post. I liked the way in which you introduced the many ways government has sought to control the population and monitor its behaviour by giving us examples of surveillance history. From tattooing people (yikes!) to numbering and categorising people, we have surely come a long way with our CCTV cameras!
    Amazing work.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Shivangi,

    I really like that you pointed out that mass surveillance is not a new phenomenon! We’ve been talking so much in class about new technology that it can be easy to forget that versions of mass surveillance have been around for at least as long as humans have been humans.

    Also, Snowden’s quote is a great response to the “if you’ve done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear” argument, which can be difficult to argue against, as doing so can automatically make you seem like you’re guilty of some crime.

    You’ve embedded a lot of interesting media in your post, which is a great way to let readers go find out more about the topics you discuss without you having to be overly wordy and without the readers even having to leave your post.

    One thing – your Creative Commons image is missing the link to its attribution license, which you might want to change.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Shivangi, I really liked your blog post covered a lot of topics within the issues of surveillance, however maybe it would have been good to focus more closely on one part in particular, to try and dig a little deeper into it. Was a perfect the way you showed both sides of the arguments I liked that showed no bias and a strong analysis. Very good research you defiantly backed up all your points giving a lot of strength to your arguments. The visual and audio was really engaging and I was super interested in the results of your twitter poll would have loved to see some more discussion on that.

    Liked by 1 person

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