Monday, March 2, 2009

A Case Of SSAD*

I suppose it was only a matter of time before not liking being watched became some psychological condition.
Colin Gant, 41, of Lowestoft, who drives more than 500 miles a week in his job, was forced to take detours to avoid the detection devices.

He then approached Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership for help.


[Inspector Marcus] Rowe added: "It's recognised that if you drive past a fixed site camera the average person will probably check their speed to make sure they are doing the appropriate speed.

"Colin's reaction went beyond that and he felt anxiety and stress."

The surveillance society that the postindustrial West is fast becoming is affecting our daily lives more than any of us would like or would care to admit. David Kravets reviewed the situation not two months ago for Wired, and wasn't particularly impressed with what it found.
If you think you're being watched, you're probably right.

The American Civil Liberties Union posted a website Monday showing that government-financed surveillance cameras are running rampant across the United States.

The situation is such that even publications like Popular Mechanics, not especially attuned to civil liberties, has taken notice.

What bothers me is that, while the BBC story is the first article I have seen where the aversion to one's every action being monitored has been treated as a problem for the individual and not society, it likely not the last. As more cameras and surveillance equipment enter our public spaces, the likelihood that such "anxiety" will increase is substantial.

* SSAD, or "Surveillance Society Anxiety Disorder," is not a genuine psychological condition. However, it is a rational extrapolation of the mindset behind the writing in the BBC article, and an actual clinical diagnosis based on this premise (and likely given a very similar name) is only waiting to be applied.

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