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An interview I did in the aftermath of the riots that turned out to reflect many of the issues of 2011 in general.

NASA consultant, scientist and writer David Brin has long concentrated on the effects technology can have on people. In 1998, he wrote The Transparent Society, an award-winning book investigating privacy, surveillance, people's rights and the state.

Famously, he considered the solution to too much surveillance by the state was even more surveillance — but by the people, guarding their rights by checking up on the activities of the watchers.

Now we have police turning to Flickr to identify rioters, Anonymous disclosing user data, Google+ pushing users to prove their names and even Swiss banks giving up some of their famous secrecy. Given this, I asked Brin: Are we living in the transparent society now?

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/security-threats/2011/09/19/david-brin-state-secrecy-and-science-fiction-40093955/

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Mary Branscombe
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