Surveillance and the experience of technological sin

Philosophical Politics

English: Official portrait of J. Robert Oppenh... English: Official portrait of J. Robert Oppenheimer, first director of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Français : Le portrait officiel de Robert Oppenheimer, alors premier directeur du Laboratoire national de Los Alamos. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout the furore over the NSA revelations, one thing that has remained constant is the way that technology companies and technologists have expressed a certain naiveté over politics. I do not mean that they are unaware of politics. Instead, I mean they are unaware of how or why their technological inventions would be used politically. For example, Ross Anderson a well known academic on computer security expressed surprise that the NSA were able to build the machine to monitor the internet. “To find that they had built this machine and got it working is an eye-opener,” he told the BBC.

The question for me is why should this be a surprise? The atomic bomb project should…

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