Quickly, here are two articles that seem to foreshadow the future of “anti-terrorist”* government activity.
- Data mining (with public online user data): Finding subversives through their Amazon profiles. Showing how easy it is to effectively use data mining without any sophisticated technology or restricted database access. Governments have shifted their perception of risk to a model of biopower, where all citizens exist within a matrix of potential as “terrorists”. England’s attempt at, and America and Australia’s successful implimentation of Control Orders – allowing detention and “control” of “persons of interest” without the need for a crime having been commited – rely on an Foucaultian surveilance on a massive scale. Seeing what it is possible to achieve using publicly available information, one must realise the full extent and power of a system that intergrates databases of extremely sensitive personal information.
However, with regards to the effectiveness of this surveilance on stopping terrorism, it must also be noted that we are the authors of our own trail of information. With some knowledge of the nature of information systems, we can choose to influence or confound the data-mining process. The most likely people to do this will be resourceful and sophisticated subversive groups; the London bombers all had completely clean histories. Aside: Of course for control of political subversion, and in conjunction with the anti-sedition law of Australia, this sort of thing is quite useful at finding and charging incisively critical individuals.
- fMRI used for lie detection. In the near future the security institutions of the world will be using fMRI.
* I don’t think that it would be unfair to make “anti-terrorist” synonymous with “invasive, totalitarian”, although I’m sure there is a huge slice of the world that is still coerced by such rhetorical discourse.