Metadata and The Birthplace of the Thought Police
This post is actually about two articles. I must admit when I first read them I was a little skeptical even though I agree that the measure in Australia is generally not a positive development. The point that is made in the second article though relates the idea that with such a vast hoard of metadata the government will be able to make predictions about behavior patterns and anticipate actions. At this point I am picturing a large warehouse of grey clothed workers at computer terminals assigning tags to phone numbers or website such as terrorist, criminal, et al and a list of people to observe based on their association with that phone number or website. In other words an anticipatory surveillance or suspicion of people based on the relation of their metadata to someone else’s metadata. While I think these articles may be taking an extreme leap somewhat and their tone is definitely editorial I think the concern they raise issue with is valid.