Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Surveillance as Capture
Although capture applies as a model for data gathering in modern society, surveillance is still a force in many different spheres. I propose that current implementation of the surveillance model can now be considered to be a subset of the capture model. One recent instance in which surveillance appeared prominently in the news is the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, in which more than a dozen agents came to a Dubai hotel in order to kill the Hamas arms dealer. With the help of state-of-the-art software, the Dubai police were able to filter through surveillance tapes and other pieces of captured data to identify 11 of the suspects. Although the surveillance footage was key to identifying suspects in the killing, it was most useful because it was integrated with a network of captured data: airplane tickets, hotel security records, cell phone records, and passports. Using surveillance data in this way implies that the surveillance model is only a part of the larger capture model.