reply to post by Trexter Ziam
Surveillance is stalking ... simple.
Eh, there's a bit of a difference.
When we bring Third Country Nationals onto our compound - we are always keeping an eye on them. This is for a number of reasons. Sure - the obvious
one is that they may try to do something to harm someone or something. But more often, it's because they end up getting hurt (driving their car into
stationary objects, fasting from water in observance of Ramadan while it's 120 outside, etc).
We don't have to stalk or pry into their lives to find out information about them. There's the forklift guys - always love driving their forklifts.
There's the guys who handle cleaning on the compound.
Even our contract workers. One of our Dubai Ports World Security guys recently had a baby back home. We take good care of him (and he loves running
off gypsy cabs). Half of our Gurkhas are grandfathers. We try to make sure things are going alright back home and keep them in good shape. They
work their asses off on a daily basis and many have been working here for years away from their families.
We don't pry into their life. We just make conversation and answer questions about our own lives (the first thing we're asked is if we're married
- a big thing to many other cultures).
Of course - when trucks stop outside the walls of our compound, we watch the drivers to see what they are up to. I'm not aware of a time when it's
been anything nefarious... but when you're in charge of making sure bad things don't happen, and a truck full of 10,000 liters of liquid fuel picks
the wall of your compound to park by (when there's plenty of open room where it came from) - it would be negligent to dismiss the obvious potential
for bad things.
Surveillance is collecting information. There are many methods to collect information both actively and passively.
When you offer up information - the recipient(s) of that information can collect it and use it later along with other information. This is passive
When someone has to look or search for information on you - this is active surveillance.
In practical scenarios, there's almost always an element of both. Searching through public records is not exclusively passive or active. The
records are available - but they are not being broadcast per se.
If we are not criminals or suspects, there's no excuse for stalking us.
But this doesn't change the fact that it will happen for any number of reasons.
Which is why you should be aware of how the game is played.
Like I was saying earlier - if I were investigating a crime or an individual - I would do what it took to acquire information and evidence - then
worry about what could or couldn't be used in a trial. There's only consequences for breaking laws when you're caught. Sometimes - to catch a
criminal, you have to be willing to work outside of your own laws.
That said - there is a considerable amount of evidence manufacturing in today's world. With enough evidence - you can build a case to link anyone to
just about any crime. Which is partly why I say that you need to know how the game is played.
People will conduct surveillance on you for reasons that are good, bad, selfish, or otherwise. It's a fact of life. Whether they should or
shouldn't is immaterial.
Knowledge is power - particularly when it pertains to individuals. Shopping habits, commute routines, social hangouts, personality tics - all are
things that can be exploited by those who know about them (for marketing purposes, or more sinister purposes). While you can live most, if not all of
your life naive to the reality of surveillance - it comes in handy to know what other people are looking at and for when the hair on the back of your
neck stands up.
Expect "they" know your routines, frequent social contacts, etc. Breaking those routines can flag you as suspicious or on the run - while
continuing to follow them can lead you straight into danger. You have to assess the situation and gather your own intelligence who is so hot on your
heels that you're getting spooked.
It's why I never drive home when I have someone tailgating me. I'll pass right on by and keep driving down the country road and meander my way back
into town. It's always been some gungho redneck who drives by proximity to the vehicle in front of him/her as opposed to any concept of speed. But
in the off chance it's someone who wants to make a scene (whether I can think of a reason or not is irrelevant) - it can be done in the middle of
town, not outside my home (and if they don't know where that is, I'd rather not show them).
That said - I don't believe in all-seeing eyes of the government. I've seen the bureaucracy first hand... they can't keep track of their military
with biometric data and computerized databases. Civilians are a tough mark.