Popular culture often reflects the concerns of many ordinary people. There’s been a number of songs about people’s concerns about the increasing power of the surveillance state. Increasing, US-led capabilities for mass spying threatens to invade all our privacies.
It was bad enough when Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald reported that the activities of ordinary Kiwis were being sucked into the ever watchful US state surveillance system of the NSA – also linked to NZ’s GCSB.
But now it seems the lives of Aucklanders are going to be put under multiple surveillance systems – car license plate recognition, CCTV cameras, social media activities, and more – and all using systems of the US corporate see the post about it on the No Right Turn blog), Hewlett-Packard, based in California. Stuff reports that the data will be analysed in an HP cloud based in Palo Alto, California.This makes the claim by the Auckland Transport Authority, that no data will be transferred to the US, questionable.
A lot of songs have been written about the surveillance state, indicating that many people have concerns about the increasing lack of privacy. For many this is linked to the way some major multinational corporates are tapping into state surveillance systems, in order to promote their dominance, and continue to make large profits.
Here’s 3 such songs:
Jill Scott’s “Watching Me”, is about a sense of her every move being watched.
I’m under some kind of microscope
satellites over my head
transmitters in my dollars
hawking, watching, scoping, jocking
checking to see what im doing
where i be
who i see
how and where and with whom I make my money
What is this??
She questions the claims that all this surveillance is being done in the m=name of democracy and freedom:
Damn can i get that to my democracy
Equality and privacy
You busy watching me, watching me
That your blind baby
You neglect to see
The drugs coming into my community
Weapons coming into my community
Dirty cops in my community
And you keep saying that im free
Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” describes a life where there’s always a sense of being watched, even in the privacy of one’s home:
Midnight Oil’s “Power and the Passion video, brings the surveillance state closer to home. The video is dominated by the towering billboard proclaiming:
The Land Of Corporate Chains:
The video begins with neon versions of logos from some major US corporates, dominating the Australian nightscape, “wasting away paradise”. The song ends tellling of a land that includes the satellite tracking station at at Pine Gap in Australia, partly run by the US’s CIA and NSA. Here the song links the corporate dominated land with the US military-industrial complex:
Flat chat, Pine Gap, in every home a Big Mac
And no one goes outback, that’s that
You take what you get and get what you please
It’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees
Oh the power