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 -
VIDIUS Smallest First Person View (FPV) Drone
'...the Scarab... transmitting to its manipulator, far away now, all that ... it saw with its minute vision tubes.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1936.
ShotSpotter Gunshot Location Tech Expands Coverage
'Sound trackers on the roof could zero in on weapons action...' - Greg Bear, 2007.
Drone Catches Drone! In Japan
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.' - Neal Stephenson, 1995
Aerial Assault Drone Looking For Padme's Apartment
"I can sense everything that is happening in that room.'
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.
SCiO Scanner Wants You To Be Spock
Almost as easy as a tricorder?
Self-Adapting Composite Heals Itself
'...Could seal the punctures that grain-of-sand-sized meteors might make.'
Rigid Clothing, Or Wearable Furniture?
'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing...'
Swarming Intelligent Aquatic Surface Robots Ahoy!
'A remote-controlled emulsion, as it were, with uniform center...'
SuitX Cheap Medical Exoskeleton
'... standing on two corrugated-soled titanium footplates...'
Harvesting Energy From Internal Resonance
'Sometimes a man has a windmill on his roof...'
Sticker Harvests Energy From Your Skin
Another way to harvest power from the body.
Twitter Sarcasm Detected By Computer
Myo-Controlled Prosthetic Arm
'Sensitive actuators touch the tendons in your right wrist.'
Self-Driving Trucks For Netherlands' Ports
'Trucks gulped packages and scurried like beetles...'
Google Should Name Roads After Science Fiction Authors
Heinlein, DIck, Niven - and more!
Apple Ring: Finally, Engineers Want To Make My Finger Watch
'Crayn glanced at his finger watch...'
First Flower Grown In Space Is Edible
Yeoman Rand, admire the flowers, please.
Get Your Own 64 Channel, Dry-Electrode Brain-Computer Headset!
'they all relaxed and got mellow....'
Biggest Drone Swarm Sets World Record
Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne simultaneously.
ATLAS Robot Now Does Housework!
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do?'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories