Why are you so obsessed with me?

According to wikipedia, Sousveillance is the recording of an activity by a participant in the activity, typically by way of small wearable or portable personal technologies. Inverse surveillance is a proper subset of Sousveillance with a particular emphasis on “watchful vigilance from underneath” and a form of surveillance inquiry or legal protection involving the recording, monitoring, study, or analysis of surveillance systems, proponents of surveillance, and possibly also recordings of authority figures and their actions; is typically an activity undertaken by those who are generally the subject of surveillance.

So in other words, inverse surveillance is when those who are usually watched begin watching their watchers. Assia Boundaoui, Algerian-American journalist and filmmaker, grew up in a neighborhood outside Chicago, and with her neighbors were watched over a lot of years. She uncovered tens of thousands of pages of FBI documents that prove her hometown was the subject of one of the largest counterterrorism investigations ever conducted in the U.S. before 9/11, code-named “Operation Vulgar Betrayal.” She made a documentary about that named The Feeling of Being Watched where the FBI is confronted, carried to a federal court where is forced to publish the records they gathered about Assia, her family, her neighbors, and also where they reveal the reason for this action, what is the FBI’s relationship with her community; as well Assia shows the effects of a lifetime under constant surveillance.

Ms Boundaoui said people worried about national security should be concerned about the FBI’s ethnic and religious profiling tactics because the bureau was “not actually finding or stopping terrorism in our communities, they’re just traumatizing people”.  “I feel a responsibility to document what they’ve done and I feel like I’m empowered because I’m watching back, I can return this gaze,” she said. “I think the violence in surveillance is in the one-way gaze: that they can see you, but you can’t see them.”

Trying to imagine me involved in a case like that, the truth is that under such a situation, what can you do? Finally you can not complain or ask for help from the police because at first you do not have evidence to prove anything and second, you as a deadly mortal how can you confront an organization so powerful, that in theory it is acting well.

But finally the FBI or such organizations should have a more humanistic mentality, and think that before objects of study are people and are infringing their privacy rights as well as creating psychological damage, and it is not fair. At least I am not very convinced of this type of utilitarian actions.

 

References:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/fbi-algorithm-mit-muslim-spy-report-operation-vulgar-betrayal-assia-boundaoui-illinois-a8844306.html

http://www.feelingofbeingwatched.com

http://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Inverse_Surveillance

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