Stasi Colonel Says Obama Surveillance Is 'Dream Come True'
Wolfgang Schmidt, a former lieutenant colonel in the East German secret police, was recently interviewed about the magnitude of domestic surveillance in the United States during the Obama administration.
“You know, for us, this would have been a dream come true,” he said, recalling the days when he was a lieutenant colonel in the defunct communist country’s secret police, the Stasi.
In those days, his department was limited to tapping 40 phones at a time, he recalled. Decide to spy on a new victim and an old one had to be dropped, because of a lack of equipment. He finds breathtaking the idea that the U.S. government receives daily reports on the cellphone usage of millions of Americans and can monitor the Internet traffic of millions more.
“So much information, on so many people,” he said.
The Stasi (the Ministry for State Security, or Ministerium für Staatssicherheit) set the standard for ruthlessly intrusive police state surveillance throughout the Cold War.
SF fans have long been familiar with different forms of surveillance from novels like George Orwell's 1948 novel 1984, which described the use of the telescreen:
Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time.
Philip K. Dick wrote at length about surveillance (and surveillance devices) in the 1950's. However, in his 1970 novel Our Friends From Frolix 8, he went further than even the NSA (I think):
Thought to be beyond the scope of probability, work on the first purely electronic telepathic listening device advances at a reassuring rate, officials of McMally Corporation, the designer and builder of Great Ear, as it has come to be called, said today in a press conference attended by many skeptical observers. "When Great Ear goes into operation," Munro Capp opined, "it will be capable of telepathically monitoring the thought-waves of tens of thousands of persons…
(Read more about Philip K. Dick's Great Ear)
From McClatchy DC.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/24/2013)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
CV Dazzle Anti-Surveillance Make-Up
'Let's hear it for the vague blur!'- Philip K. Dick, 1977.
Cities Detect Gunfire Acoustics With ShotSpotter
'Sound trackers on the roof...'- Greg Bear, 2007.
PredPol Predicting Crime As It Happens
'All day long the idiots babbled...'- Philip K. Dick, 1956.
CUPID Intercept Drone Like Niven's Copseye
'Copseyes floated overhead... each a sonic stunner... they were there to enforce the law...'- Larry Niven, 1972
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
I'll be back next week...
Origami Robot Finally Self-Assembles, Walks On Its Own
Now shipping flat, but better than Ikea, because self-assembling.
A.L.O. Robot Butler Serves You At Aloft Hotel
'Her idea of what a butler-valet combo should look like...'
Mometum Machines Burgerbot
'One of these gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus...'
Google Lobbies For Autonomous Motorcycles
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems.'
No Cages In Future Zoos Is Zootopia?
'The park... twisted through specimens from every inhabited planet of the known universe.'
Navdy HeadUp Display (HUD) For Your Car
'All displays are thrown on a mirror in front of you...'
Computer 'Aesop' Writes Fables With A Moral
'I handed Tony the master tape and he played it into the IBM'
Artificial Wombs - Ectogenesis Technology - Is On The Way
'Magnificent, aren't they? (Lama Su, in Star Wars II)
Robotic Exoskeleton For Shipyard Workers
'Earth's scientists solved the problem... devising rigid metallic clothing not unlike armor...'
Timeful Appointment App Learns, Optimizes Your Routines
'The [Daily Schedule program] suited its tone to his movements and the combined analysis of his psychophysical condition.'
3D Printing Your Science-Fictional Metals
I love science-fictional materials!
Bespoke Clothing In 30 Minutes
'He sat himself down in a sales cubicle and dialed the code number for kilts.'
Low Cost Spray-On Solar Cells
'It turns sunlight into electricity... you spray it on.'
Survival Seed Vault Low Cost Life Bank
'They existed in the Life Bank, as did virtually every plant...'
PoseiDrone Tentacled Undersea Robot Like HG Wells'
'Its motion was so swift, complex, and perfect that at first I did not see it as a machine...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories