Date of submission
Week 14: I, B
This week I bumped across an article talking about surveillance at the FIFA World Cup. The event attracts many players and fans alike, guaranteeing a high number of people in attendance. Qatar is the hosting country for this year’s world cup, which puts them in charge of providing security to everyone attending the event. This responsibility necessitated Qatar’s surveillance of the football crowd as a means of maintaining security. CCTV cameras have been placed strategically in the stadiums and streets to monitor fan activity (Cohen, 2022). The cameras utilize facial recognition technology to monitor and control crowds. The cameras are complemented by drone surveillance systems which help estimate number of people in any particular location. Qatari officials then use the data and footage collected to monitor key crowd control areas such as transportation systems, gate security as well as monitoring crowd activities in the streets. Independent reports from human rights activists however note that security is not the only reason for the surveillance. This move is seen as a move of limiting several freedoms which the Qatari government has explicitly prohibited. Qatar has maintained its defiance in enforcing zero tolerance to wearing pride armbands and colors, indecent exposure and public drinking of alcohol. These are some of the freedoms normalized by the Western sporting culture but shunned upon by the highly conservative Qatari society.
Week 14 II, E
The Circle has greatly influenced my perspective on how society operates. I now view society as a closed setup striving to keep everyone within its confines. The Circle makes me question the concept of freedom and how it is limited by the government’s big brother policies. If no one is allowed to live outside the confines of such policies, then is anyone free to do whatever they desire? These questions express my doubtfulness on the issue of human rights in the digital age (490). Technology has greatly improved government’s watch over its citizens over the years. Because the more technology has advanced, the more surveillance has also improved. I therefore view technology as a tool used to track our actions and choices. It does this by giving us a wide access to information, after which it monitors how we go about consuming the information. We may not be aware that we are watched as we comfortably interact with the information availed to us. I believe this is the way used by every society to safeguard its values. Because every society has its values and “truths” which it seeks to uphold through its citizens by constantly watching their actions. Monitoring the citizens ensures that it keeps track of the values, and the violators of these values. Consequences abound for people striving to live outside the expected values, as they are met by the full force of the law. Hence bringing me to the conclusion that the more we are feeling free, the more we are unaware of our limited autonomy in making decisions as free-thinking humans.
Cohen A (2022). Qatar Will Deploy Facial Recognition Security at FIFA World Cup. https://www.sporttechie.com/qatari-officials-will-deploy-facial-recognition-security-at-fifa-world-cup/
Egger D (2013). The Circle. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. 504 pages