Friday, October 26, 2007

Tracking Transience

According to his biography at Creative Capital:
Hasan M. Elahi is an interdisciplinary artist with interests in technology, media, and their social implications. His research interests include issues of surveillance, simulated time, transport systems, and borders and frontiers. . . .

His project, Tracking Transience: The Orwell Project is " . . . a self-surveillance project. A former subject of an intensive FBI investigation post 9-11, Hasan Elahi is developing a network device, GPS tracker, and website that will make his exact location continuously available to anyone with access to the Internet. . . . "

That's right: this guy's entire life, all his movements, purchases, etc., are posted, in real-time, on the Internet!

In an article I read about him in Wired, he explained that he is providing this surveillance of himself, because law enforcement agencies who do surveillance often get their facts wrong. Even when they are standing there watching you.

Elahi, a Bangladeshi-American, hopes that by providing the government all this information, he will avoid being wrongfully shipped to Guantanomo Bay. He may be correct. If you can account for all your movements, then it is hard for the government to fabricate allegations of wrong-doing against you.


This will probably keep Elahi out of prison, but it raises questions bout what neo-conservatism has done to our nation. By de-funding and privatizing almost every federal agency in the past twenty-five years, the neo-cons have left us with a non-functioning government run on a bloated budget of money that is simply handed-over to private contractors who provide nothing that is promised. In this case: homeland security and protection of the citizenry.

Maybe we should all practice self-surveillance! We certainly can't count on the federal government to do it (or do anything)!

Creative Capital

The site. Visit.

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