If total surveillance can’t be stopped, let’s make certain we can look back as well

Bruce Schneier said in May 2013 :

You’d think that your privacy settings would keep random strangers from learning everything about you, but it only keeps random strangers who don’t pay for the privilege — or don’t work for the government and have the ability to demand the data. Power is what matters here: you’ll be able to keep the powerless from invading your privacy, but you’ll have no ability to prevent the powerful from doing it again and again.

One way to balance that disparity of power may be to campaign for laws requiring that:

  • All that personal private data (Axciom and similar databases, NSA, etc) becomes accessible to everyone for free for non-commercial use, as advised by Morozov for NSA-collected data.
  • A public agency with thorough direct-citizen oversight (citizens juries?) is delegated to ensure that such database was complete and updated with all the info of all powerful or rich citizens, and officials.
  • User-controlled IT end-to-end infrastructure becomes widely available that ensures against tampering against the integrity of such data by the powerful, skilled and/or rich (similar to User-Verifiable Social Telematics)
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