The Great Technological Evolution And Emergence Of Social Media

1573 WordsApr 24, 20177 Pages
In the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States went into defensive mode, increasing surveillance and dismantling privacy rights. The Patriot Act was hastily passed just a month later in October 2001 and it severely limited the privacy of Americans and gave unprecedented power to the government and private agencies to track innocent Americans, turning regular citizens into suspects.5 In addition, the great technological evolution and emergence of social media that occurred round the same time, and shortly thereafter, created the perfect storm for the emergence of the largely unregulated surveillance society that we live in today.6 The result is digitization of people’s personal and professional lives so that…show more content…
Without government knowledge, Finch begins to save this data and he recruits Reese to investigate the people, identified only by their social security number, that The Machine has determined will be involved in the crime. While the series evolves into a critique of the artificial intelligence that is The Machine, the pilot episode provides an example that is the epitome of post-9/11 surveillance on U.S television. In the pilot, Reese is given access to all surveillance feeds that computer genius, Finch, can access, in order to investigate the imminent crimes detected by The Machine. This includes phone lines, whether in use or not, and government and private surveillance cameras. He uses this access to determine whether the person of interest is the criminal or the victim, after which he ascertains their plan and then prevents the crime from happening. Just thirteen years after The Truman Show, Person of Interest provides a clear critical shift from that of The Truman Show. The show presents the pervasiveness of modern surveillance, to the point that its production style and images remediate surveillance technology by using digital targets superimposed over the filmed footage to track those flagged by The Machine, as if the viewer was watching a real-time surveillance feed. However, it never suggests that the extent of this surveillance is negatively excessive. Rather, it suggests that such surveillance, which is so
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