Police states do not just happen overnight. They never do. The elements that make them what they are, are built up over time – years, even decades. At some point, the buildup reaches critical mass and accelerates.
Right now, it is picking up speed, made possible by technology.
The most interesting thing about police states is that only a very small group of people do the heavy-lifting to make them happen, but not without support from the populace.
At the same time, there will always be that small group that’s actively fighting and warning everybody else that the society is moving in the wrong direction.
In this society, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is on the good side, that is, doing everything they can to beat back the accelerating march towards that police state that all sane people dread.
The latest effort from the EFF concerns Stingray surveillance tool. Here’s what they say about it:
The device, which acts as a fake cell phone tower, essentially allows the government to electronically search large areas for a particular cell phone’s signal—sucking down data on potentially thousands of innocent people along the way. At the same time, law enforcement has attempted use them while avoiding many of the traditional limitations set forth in the Constitution, like individualized warrants. This is why we called the tool “an unconstitutional, all-you-can-eat data buffet.”
The Stingray is the digital equivalent of the pre-revolutionary British soldier. It allows police to point a cell phone signal into all the houses in a particular neighborhood, searching for one target while sucking up everyone else’s location along with it. With one search the police could potentially invade countless private residences at once.
Read more here.