Posts Tagged ‘society’

What will we need to fight for in twenty years once we have lost our liberty?

January 28th, 2009

Duncan Campbell. Liberty in Electronic Space.  He talks about the loss of the value of privacy and the effects on liberty. He then cites various  new systems or techs that invade privacy.  CCCTV, ANPR, AMP , DPI , PHORM ,ACSA , PNR , ….all forms of tracking in the new datasphere.

It seems to me we are mving towards a super database, some sort of systems that  has borders of information.  We need to  remember systems migrate. These futures dont creep up on us they are made. In the UK we are investing heavily in CCTV police surveillance electronic surveillance. So the question is why….what they  know…what does the public really have to  hide.

What happens when a newer power starts to use these systems in different ways. The younger generation will not be able to  argue without be traced tracked and invaded,

Maybe we are heading for a bloodbath. Refer to history.

What will we need to fight for in twenty years once we have lost our liberty? And how hard will the fight be. You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone.

Image: Stanza. These are Our Children.

Image: Stanza. These are Our Children.

Real-time CCTV on London buses to improve public safety.

November 12th, 2008

Transport, and public money is leading the way  with technology but it is also being used as technology test beds. More experiments with tech on public transport all dressed up as protecting the public.
Icomera AB, the world’s leading provider of cellular broadband gateways, has announced that its Moovbox technology has been selected to provide real-time communications for a major trial of live CCTV on London buses to improve public safety. 21st Century CCTV, a division of TG21 plc, has equipped twenty-one double-decker buses in North London with the technology, which allows live images to be transmitted to a central control centre shared by officers from TfL and the Metropolitan Police’s Transport Operational Command Unit. The six-month trial on behalf of Transport for London (TfL) will monitor and analyse the use of the technology to decide whether it can help deal with incidents on buses more effectively.

“Transmitting CCTV streams is a bandwidth-intensive task,” said Ola Sjölin, Icomera CEO. “Our mobile gateways employ patented switching and load balancing technology that leverages multiple cellular backhaul links to provide the fastest possible connection for public safety applications such as this. Our relationship with 21st Century CCTV brings together two market leaders to create a best-of-breed solution ideally suited to intensive, mission-critical applications such as that Transport for London is trialing.”

The Emergent City. Online visualizations, the networked city.

November 11th, 2008
stanza city

Stanza City: Generative Software System.

This text is a transcript of one of my talk about my work The Emergent City.

My current work remains focused on the creative use of technology integrated into urban space.My areas of interest include investigating new concepts for the relationship of the physical body, emergent data and real space in the built environment.

As an artist I am trying to create artistic metaphors for new creativity using new technologies and integrating new media artworks into the public domain. As an artist I am trying to create artistic metaphors for new creativity using new technologies and integrating new media artworks into the public domain. There are three strands of my working process; these involve; collecting the data, visualizing the data, and then displaying the data. The outputs from the online interfaces and online visualizations can be realized as real time dynamic artworks as diverse as installations, and real objects, made out of new display materials back in physical space. In all my work I try to exploit the changing dynamics of city life as a source for creativity and create meaningful artistic metaphors. I utilize new technologies and integrate new media artworks into the public domain as part of this ongoing research into the visualization of city space.

In essence I am researching data as a medium for creativity and how meaningful experiences of our cities may result. From a technological peprspective, I am researching sensors , motes, new display technologies and interactive architectures. This research includes investigations into…..Concepts for the relationship of mobile computing within urban space and the built environment.

The Emergent city is to be a group, a body of artworks that I am working on all connected by a central theme. As you know a city is a web of connected networks. In essence, the city fabric is a giant multi-user, multi-data sphere. The city is made up of traffic patterns, pedestrian patterns, bird flocking patterns. Patterns can be seen in the architecture, patterns in the buildings, patterns in the architectural fabric of the urban design network. All of these spheres can be represented by media and therefore by data within the digital realm. And all of this data can be interpreted and mediated. It becomes a matter of choice. Collections of data can be stored to be retrieved later. The mobile data infrastructure becomes a data source so powerful so interwoven that its scale can only be imagined as metaphor. The size and scope of such an archive, of such rich mediated data experience can support many projects. As such it can be interpreted via a variety of interfaces. Cities offer the opportunity for unique types of data gathering experiences via a variety of sources.

My objective is to ‘mediate’ data into conceptual artifacts. With this perspective there are many unimagined threads of data and connections that describe our world that can be explored through wireless mobile networks within which we can create artistic interpretations. There are various types of data can be re-imagined. This includes pollution data recorded via sensors in the street, to create audio files. Weather and forecast data, acquired via weather station equipment, this can be used and can create ambient soundscapes and morphing visualisations as the wind shifts direction or the rain increases. Noise monitor levels, and noise maps, create a symphony of true urban sounds that can be used to make sound reactive sculptures. So under this umbrella of ‘the emergent city’ project I have made a number of works that have move beyond the process of research, beyond what I term as asset gathering, into what might be alpha beta projects. An example of this is my URBAN GENERATION project. I have also made the online database for soundcities which now has 2000 sounds online line in it. So other artists can interface to it. Memory mapping. About traces and memories of urban space. Multiple viewpoints of data cities. The city also has millions of CCTV.

In essence the city is the biggest TV station in existence. Millions of hours worth of data are recorded every day by these cameras on city TV. One can take the sounds and images off live web streams and re-represent them thus creating new interpretations of the city in the process. The city already has a recorded source of data, CCTV is everywhere. Using data from CCTV, you can bring the outside inside. Selected feeds are collected from around the world in real time. These real time images are fed into a software system where a series of specialised channels rework these images. The channels are always on, and always changing, a constant view of the world changing and evolving around the clock. This uses specially created software and technology to randomly find images in real time from anywhere in the network, in this case anywhere in the world.The increase of technology infrastructure in the daily existence of a city means that technology will, more than ever be everywhere in our environment. Mobile data mining will be part of the fabric of the landscape. We will be carrying this data in pods, phones and ID cards. Everything is or will be tracked. CCTV, car sensors, tracking inside our phones and id card movement tracking in the guise of anti- terror activity. The patterns we make, the forces we weave, are all being networked into retrievable data structures that can be re-imagined and sourced for information. These patterns all disclose new ways of seeing the world. The value of information will be a new currency as power change. The central issue that will develop will be the privilege and access to these data sources. Uses of this information and data should allow rich new interpretations on the way our world is built, used, and designed.

So we need to imagine the city at a different scale. The possibility is to extend our imagination and enable that perception of the city as a dynamic network. We can now put systems in place that can re–employ our perception and thus create new understanding of how this behaviour unfolds. There are patterns, they are connected and the systems that evolve, can be simulated and acted upon. We can influence the process and the system and we can also create variables into this system that allows understanding of the bi-products of the system, the data and the resulting information Currently a research fellow at Goldsmiths Digital Studios.

datacity

Datacity: Sensors In The City. Stanza Visualisation.

I am scattering the city with sensors. Hundreds of them, some fixed, and some embedded, to access these data structures and to claim them for the public domain within the realm of social sculptures.I am trying to make smart networks that have data open to all, and not closed off spy surveillance oriented systems. The networks could be thought of as open social sculptures that can inform the world and create new meaningful experiences. Thousands of motes can be deployed across the city for gathering data in wireless sensor networks. Used in large numbers they can communicate with one another via radio signals across the network. They can reconfigure themselves, so that the network stays stable. The data is chanelled through a system to a point where it can then be interpreted. So the concept is to embed the city with thousands of motes to gather data for the creation of artistic artifacts. The motes can monitor sensors such as temperature, sounds, light, position, acceleration, vibration, stress, weight, pressure, humidity, and GPS. Motes and sensor boards can monitor the micro incidents of change in the city, the noise, traffic flows and people flows. The interactions of all this data, controlled via mixed up interfaces that can re-form and re-contextualise experiences in real time as social sculpture. Imagine walking out the door, and knowing every single action, movement, sound, micro movement, pulse, and thread of information is being tracked, monitored, stored, analysed, interpreted, and logged. The world we will live in seems to be a much bigger brother, than first realised. Its a world full of data that can help understand the fundamentals of our outside environment, and monitor the micro codes of our DNA, a world where we are liberated and empowered by data, where finally all of the technology becomes more than gimmick and starts to actually work for us.

So this is where I am at..scattering thousands sensors across the city and trying to figure this out.Sensity artworks are made from the data that is collected across the urban and environment infrastructure. I have a network of sensors which collects data, which is then published online. The sensors interpret the micro-data of the interactive city. The output from the sensors displays the “emotional” state of the city online and the information will be used to create installations and sculptural artifacts.These artworks represent the movement of people, pollution in the air, the vibrations and sounds of buildings, they are in effect emergent social sculptures visualizing the emotional state of the city. The sensor network can be moved from urban to rural setting and different types of visualization can be made depending on the environment. Sensity is an open social sculpture that informs the world and creates new meaningful experiences. Sensity is also a highly technical project that will give vast amounts of information about the fabric of our cities. By embedding the sensors like this we can re-engage with the urban fabric and enable new artistic metaphors within city space. The sensors are positioned across the city. Custom made software enables these sensors to communicate will one another in a network over a proxy server in real time. The data can also be used to create visualizations in an open source environment. Other online users can also re- interpret the data and interrogate the various sensors in the network as this is open sourced as well (see xml streams)l. Representations of these datasets will allow unique understanding of the urban environment and environment in real time. Motes are used to collect the data.

stanza

Datacity: Sensors In The City. Stanza Visualisation.

The ‘motes’ are tiny wireless sensor boards that gather data and communicate to the central server. The real world is monitored and the data stored in my archive retrieval system. Motes and sensor boards sense the micro incidents of change in the weather, the noise traffic flows and people flows. The interactions of all this data, controlled via interfaces that can re-form and re-contextualize experiences in real time. Sensity incorporates the holistic city system. The sense city is a city of, accumulated incidents of love, abuse and death. The micro incidents of change in the weather, the noise traffic flows and people flows. The archives of this data can be controlled via mixed up interfaces that can re-form and re-contextualize experiences in real time; to make emergent sculptures visualizations and sculptures. Sensity leverages the real time data city and represents it online showing the life of the system and the emerging changing bahaviours of the space. The data is the medium. Future cities will be merged real time connected up data cities. Sensity connects up networks of real time information flows. The results are mashed up cities and real time performative city mashings. The shared data space can overlap and there is a new space the space in between that only two nodes share. The aetheticization of the shared city space. I have merged collected data from various cities. The images below show an integrated architecture the space where the cities overlap and create a new architectural space. Technology. I now have several sensor kits both twenty nodes that can be placed up to 300 meters apart with GPS. I have made two versions of the Sensity interface software. One works with recorded data (ie recorded data) and one that works with the real time data, which means the sensors are switched on always and working through a router. The changing data is what affects what you see and experience. The sensors can monitor temperature, sounds, noise, light, acceleration, vibration, pressure, humidity, and gps. The sensors take a constant stream of data which is published onto an online environment where different interface can make representations of the XML and from this lots of artistic interpretations can be imagined.

Other artworks made:- HOUSE AND GALLERY:

see stanza.co.uk stanza (04 – 08)

ddc

Datacity: Sensors In The City. Stanza Visualisation.

CCTV the new planned unrest as a result of economic policy.

November 11th, 2008

Police camera action, CCTV makes quite good TV.

Attacking and confronting the systems. CCTV makes a good memorial a document of our social reality, our neglect.  All those images of last seen here from Jill Dando, to Damilola Taylor, my Stars Of  CCTV….these images forever recorded before the bullet hits or the police charge.

But what use is it to contain and kettle, to lock down the people. The city is the people its for the people.

We are living in a cyber city, it could become a cyber prison, so should we just get used to it, should we just open up the system. We should do  something otherwise when the fight starts our children will suffer.

In 1994 John Major said, “No sympathy for civil liberties groups whatsoever”.  Quote from conservative local conference. CCTV sees a function creep extending its uses and purpose over time. But can we trust the technology.  We have become a society of endemic surveillance.

In the next  few years we  will see the seeds sown for endemic surveillance. The new investment from the police and councils can only  be for the new planned unrest as a result of economic policy.

These systems will be in place to track and monitor those who have “issues” and they  will have been paid for by you.

The we have nothing top hide culture will soon find out what they have “invested” in as this technology becomes embedded in the networked city. Seeing out children fight, be unemployed and spied upon….this will be our fault.

stanza world is watching

Image: Stanza. "The world is watching" Live CCTV artworks from around the globe. 2004

The above images is a canvas artwork  from the generative real  time system called  “The  World is Watching. It uses  live CCTV feeds from 1200 cameras from around the globe.

A global panoptican…only it should be transparent and open.

The seeds we are sowing will not reap  healthy rewards. This investment is blind.

Sensity: An Urban Scale Wireless Sensor Test Bed.

October 23rd, 2008
Copyright Image by Stanza

copyright stanza artwork image London

From Sensity by stanza…2004.. The sensor network can be moved from urban to rural setting and different types of visualization can be made depending on the environment. Sensity is an open social sculpture that informs the world and creates new meaningful experiences. Sensity is also a highly technical project that will give vast amounts of information about the fabric of our cities. By embedding the sensors like this we can re-engage with the urban fabric and enable new artistic metaphors within city space. The sensors are positioned across the city. Custom made software enables these sensors to communicate will one another in a network over a proxy server in real time.The data can also be used to create visualizations in an open source environment. Other online users can also re- interpret the data and interrogate the various sensors in the network as this is open sourced as well (see xml streams). Representations of these data sets will allow unique understanding of the urban environment and environment in real time.”

stanza live data

Copyright Image by Stanza …Stanza live city data from Sensity. Around Goldsmiths College London For Meta Data.


We are all becoming victims of the control state.

October 16th, 2008
Stanza.  Artwork

Stanza. Artwork

Jacqui Smith leads us down the path of total state control. (haven’t we been there before). Some more research needs to be done in this area, and the total lack of creative debate speaks volumes about this inept direction the ID, data, dna, CCTV society is moving.

Its time for a full scale review and creative think tank should be set up, to analyse use of new technologies, data mining, and misuse / abuse of technology. The police should stop setting the agenda. The public are not criminals, people on the buses are not criminals, our children are not criminals. We have are becoming victims of the control state.

Things change. There will always be danger in big cities, lets face it millions of people live in them. But the idea is that its fun to live and be in big places, not oppressive.

Where will it end when we are forced to carry id cards with rfid that trace all our habits, movement and views and earnings. Where will it end, when we have systems in place that cannot be removed, ( DNA searches, CCTV everywhere, government controlled banks, all phone calls recorded, mobile phone tracing our movement). Well for sure if we trust the government no problem. But governments change , not only that but ideologies change. And worse, businesses get sold. With governments outsourcing many of these databases like our utilities, these new data assets could be run by agencies in other lands.
From BBC below

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7671046.stm

Details of the times, dates, duration and locations of mobile phone calls, numbers called, website visited and addresses e-mailed are already stored by telecoms companies for 12 months under a voluntary agreement.

Far more widely-used are powers to track a suspect’s telephone calls, texts, e-mails and internet use, to find out whom they’re communicating with, how frequently they’re in touch, and in the case of the internet, what websites they’re visiting.

This does not involve viewing or listening to content.

‘Vital tool’

This information – known as “communications data” – is held for billing and business use by telephone companies, communications firms and internet service providers.

The data may also include other details, such as the time a message or e-mail was sent, and the location from which calls are made.



There are clearly considerable civil liberty concerns and privacy issues which will need to be overcome for any new scheme to get off the ground.

Under legislation, law enforcement agencies can request access to communications data – the companies involved are obliged to hold on to it for 12 months. It’s a vital tool for police and the security and intelligence services – and not just for terrorism and serious crimes.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7671759.stm

The data can be accessed by the police and security services on request – but the government plans to take control of the process in order to comply with an EU directive and make it easier for investigators to do their job.

Information will be kept for two years by law and may be held centrally on a searchable database.

Without increasing their capacity to store data, the police and security services would have to consider a “massive expansion of surveillance,” Ms Smith said in a speech to the Institute for Public Policy Research earlier.

Data about use of telephones, internet and e-mails would be channelled to one central point, but the database would not store the content of people’s messages or calls.

Another possibility is that internet service providers and communications companies would be given some government funding to improve the way they collect and store data.

No decisions have been taken yet. There are clearly considerable civil liberty concerns and privacy issues which will need to be overcome for any scheme to get off the ground.

But counter-terrorism officials have warned that there is no time to lose. “The ground is shifting under our feet,” said one.

————————————

The ground is “shifting” indeed. To a society based on mistrust where we are stopped getting off the bus daily to have bus passes checked by hundreds of waiting police. Our children are monitored in schools, they are being stopped daily and searched ( not hundred of times but over 2000,000 searches last year alone and the police want more.

I think its always a fair point when people say its ok I have nothing to hide. However badly trained police often traumatise young people with these searches. Face down on the floor surrounded by armed police, must nt be fun if your sixteen. This is not uncommon as one sixteen year old recently found out. So my point; imagine if this was your child, how would you feel, or imagine if it was you. So all you people saying its ok for more dna test, id card, cctv , and police searches you have to ask what sort of society are we be led into.

———————————————————

Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: “The government’s Orwellian plans for a vast database of our private communications are deeply worrying.”

Errr..is that all you got to say.
“Ministers claim the database will only be used in terrorist cases, but there is now a long list of cases, from the arrest of Walter Wolfgang for heckling at a Labour conference to the freezing of Icelandic assets, where anti-terrorism law has been used for purposes for which it was not intended.” “Our experience of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act suggests these powers will soon be used to spy on people’s children, pets and bins.

“These proposals are incompatible with a free country and a free people.”

But Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said “lines must be drawn” to defend “fundamental liberties”.

Later he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One: “I’m not saying it’s right or wrong but I think there should be absolute full transparency.”

This is a great quote, talk about hedging your bets.
———————————————————

So who is actually listening here. By setting up a think tank it could explore this notion “full transparency”, and what it means.
from

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7671046.stm
The government’s own reviewer of anti-terror laws, Lord Carlile, said: “The raw idea of simply handing over all this information to any government, however benign, and sticking it in an electronic warehouse is an awful idea if there are not very strict controls about it.”

Shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve, said the government’s record on protecting data was “appalling” adding: “Putting all this data into the hands of the government will threaten our security, not make it better.

———————————————————–

Putting this information into the hands of any government will threaten our personal long term security, although its possible true the state itself might well be protected more by all this control. One has to understand the technology and the way it can be abused.

So the question is why the sudden mis- placement of trust in society and the current need and belief in technology to combat crimes.

This whole debate is between the police and wrongdoers and its now directing policy, energy and money.

Stanza painting Control. 1989. Oil On Canvas

Stanza painting Control. 1989. Oil On Canvas

Google are our big brothers. Masters of our Universe.

July 7th, 2008

And we thought google was just a search. Well, for the past few years they have come up with some cool tools. But now it seems their cards are on the table, their intentions are clear. Its world domination by surveillance culture. We are just data and google aims to “own” us.

Think of  Will Smith in the film “Enemy of The State”, and then maybe we are getting close. Google in two months, two years, or twenty years.  Maybe its cool we can all watch each other going peacefully about out business as long as google make our faces blurred, what planet are google on, google earth?…yeah right.

So just what are Googles longer term intentions here? Spying on us through serach algorithms in the digital world is one thing, tracking us via open internet is another….time for the ethical debate to be brought to the centre stage with some creative input other than it makes the world a safer place.

ref

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7492844.stm

Google has defended its controversial Street View photo-mapping tool, saying it will meet local privacy laws in European countries at launch.

The tool, which matches real world photos to mapped locations, has drawn fire from some privacy campaigners.

In the UK, Privacy International said the tool could breach data protection laws if people’s faces were shown.

Google has said it is using face blurring technology to preserve the privacy of individuals photographed.

“In our view they need a person’s consent if they make use of a person’s face for commercial ends,” Simon Davies, of Privacy International told BBC News.

Street View has already been launched in the US and includes photos of streets in major American cities. Photographing of areas in the UK, including London, is believed to have started last week.

Mr Davies has written to Google asking for details of the face-blurring technology, saying he would ask the UK Information Commissioner to intervene if he did not receive a satisfactory response.

He told BBC News that he was concerned that Google’s technology would not work.

Google’s senior privacy counsel Jane Horvath has responded saying that the technology had already been deployed.

So Jane I guess thats all right then is it.?

Copyright Image by Stanza

Copyright Image by Stanza: Globals live visualusation of media over the net 2004

Shows my live maps work from 2004…..now google maps can just take what they  want.

They  even have a photo of me in my house on google earth that they  took just as the google van passed…( glad I had my shorts on)..? Will google become the enemy of the state? ….

Stanza image from 2004. Global…Never the same again always different….forever.” by Stanza 2004