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Spycasting

November 14, 2007

AT&T is announcing today a new set of services that will allow the owners of small and midsized companies to monitor their employees and customers with video feeds delivered over the internet. The New York Times reports:

Under AT&T’s Remote Monitor program, a business owner could install adjustable cameras, door sensors and other gadgets at up to five different company locations across the country. Using a Java-enabled mobile device or a personal computer connected to the Internet, the owner would be able to view any of the images in real time, control room lighting and track equipment temperatures remotely.

Governments and large corporations have long used expensive monitoring systems to keep tabs on people and buildings. What the AT&T program shows is that, thanks to the rapidly falling costs of bandwidth and networked sensors, sophisticated remote monitoring - let's call it spycasting - is being democratized. A starter spycasting kit goes for just $200, with a $10 monthly charge for the feed. “It is Big Brother," says a restaurant owner who's been testing the AT&T system, "but in this day and age, you need these type of tools.”

Comments

My employer has long been able to monitor my computer usage, with this new technology my movements and productivity can now be monitored in real time.

I suspect that just like the monitoring of my computer usage the new technology will be mostly used like an insurance policy or preventative measure. There to be implemented if one needs a slap on the wrist or in the case of serious philandering or any perceived non compliance with policies, a good by kiss with video back up as proof!

Alan

Posted by: alan at November 14, 2007 09:53 AM

"What does a scanner see? I mean, really see? Into the head? Down into the heart? Does a passive infrared scanner … see into me — into us — clearly or darkly? I hope it does see clearly, because I can't any longer these days see into myself. I see only murk. Murk outside; murk inside. I hope, for everyone's sake, the scanners do better. Because if the scanner sees only darkly, the way I myself do, then we are cursed, cursed again and like we have been continually, and we'll wind up dead this way, knowing very little and getting that little fragment wrong too."

Philip K. Dick "A Scanner Darkly" 1977

Posted by: Linuxguru1968 at November 15, 2007 01:22 AM

Wise man, that Dick.

Posted by: Nick Carr at November 15, 2007 08:53 AM

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