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The Soft Cage and millions of other books are available for Amazon Kindle. The top history books of last year picked by Amazon Book Review Editor, Chris Schluep. Christian Parenti is the author of Lockdown America. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Attempts to keep an eye on Americans are nothing The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America, From Slavery to the War on Terror - Kindle edition by Christian Parenti. Download it once and read it on.
Your rating has been recorded. Write a review Rate this item: 1 2 3 4 5. Preview this item Preview this item. It also explores the role computers play in creating a whole new world of seemingly benign technologies - such as credit cards, website "cookies," electronic toll collection, "data mining," and iris scanners at airports. Find a copy online Links to this item Table of contents Table of contents.
Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item From the cutting-edge young historian and reporter Christian Parenti, a vivid, chilling history of surveillance in American life-from the antebellum South to the computerized landscape of the futuristic present.
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Electronic surveillance -- Social aspects -- United States. Political culture -- United States. See all 3 brand new listings.
Buy It Now. Add to cart. Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Product Information On a typical day, you might make a call on a cell phone, withdraw money at an ATM, visit the mall, and make a purchase with a credit card. Each of these routine transactions leaves a digital trail for government agencies and businesses to access.
As cutting-edge historian and journalist Christian Parenti points out, these everyday intrusions on privacy, while harmless in themselves, are part of a relentless and clandestine expansion of routine surveillance in American life over the last two centuries-from ling slaves in the old South to implementing early criminal justice and tracking immigrants. Parenti explores the role computers are playing in creating a whole new world of seemingly benign technologies-such as credit cards, website "cookies," and electronic toll collection-that have expanded this trend in the twenty-first century.
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Cameras film you day and night, your passage through toll booths is recorded if you use a system designed to save you time, and your employer can monitor your work through your computer. It's odd that a technology espoused as liberating and boundary-free - the Internet - is one of the prime vectors of controlling dissent and monitoring the actions of citizens. Its ubiquity makes data transfer cheap and easy, and allows the authorities to combine databases and provide trans-national access to police forces all across the country.
In spite of all this, Parenti avoids being overly hysterical, and presents these technologies with a cool objectivity that surprises at times. But make no mistake; his presentation of these technologies is designed to inform you of the eye that watches you in everything you do. Whether people will eventually react to this loss of freedom is unclear.
As it stands, the majority of people, when polled, are generally in favor of such devices as closed-circuit cameras, since they make for safer neighborhoods. In France, where I live, the police have recently introduced automatic radar cameras to catch speeders on highways.
There is little complaint about this - and in my opinion rightly so - because this is helping to reduce the highest rate of road deaths in Europe. But when these cameras are used to track people doing other things, or the data is allowed - on purpose or accidentally - to get into the hands of others, will the public be in favor of it?
Orwell's was merely a rehearsal for today's surveillance technologies, and this book shows you why.