The days of James Bond and swauve secret agents are quickly coming to an end. We are now in an age in which the government may tap your phone, an age in which any human being with a cellular phone may be tracked to his or her exact location within a matter of minutes. What then, dare I ask, happens to privacy? Does this basic right get taken away with the imergence of newer gadets? Mitchell brings to the table a frightening possibility. As technology rapidly evolves will the line between public and private access begin to blur?

With these pervasive audio and video sensing systems, the lines dividing electronic conversation, accidental overhearing, deliberate electronic eavesdropping, and systematic suveillance are thin ones — more a matter of context and intention than of technology. As wireless bandwidth increases, as video equivalents of cellphones emerge, and as sound and image capture points proliferate, the balance is inexorably shifting toward surveillance....

Re-released Big Brother (or Big Other 2.0) is made from little pieces linked together; he/she is everywhere and all of us-at least when we pay attention. And combating the unwanted gaze or audience is no longer a matter of proximity and enclosure- of hushed voices, drawn veils, and retreating behind closed doors-but of controlling access to networks, databaces, and messages. [Me++, 25-26]

Discussion Questions

1. As technology constantly evolves have we used it to create another form of control opposed to this virtual freedom we intend it to be? In our quest to return to Eden, have we taken a wrong turn and landed in an unknown land where the men and women in power control the networks?

2. What kind of existence is then created? (when looking for your tracker isnt as easy as turning around, but as complicated as tracking the wireless singals around you) Is the paranoia worth whatever inovatinos that may follow?

3. Is technology leading humanity down a long and winding road, only to stop at Big Brother's house?

4. Is this an appropriate fear or a fear only for the technologically ignorant?


Mitchell, William J. Me++: The Cyborg Self and the Networked City. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003.

Course Website cyborg Body & Self Me++

Last modified 13 September 2006