Do you know how many CCTV cameras you passed on your way to this meeting? How many services have already scanned the content you are currently reading? Even though we don’t think about it daily, for years we have been living in the society of control where the notions of privacy, anonymity or safety suddenly change their meaning. Various agendas of state authorities made universal, mass invigilation a norm. The panopticon – the prison where every incarcerated could be constantly under observation – became nowadays a model for organising entire societies. Current authorities of Poland, despite their archaic ideological stylisation, do not lag behind at all when it comes to cutting-edge invigilation. With the emergency state on the horizon they have been expanding powers of yet more services in the recent years – from the Internal Security Agency, to the police, to the Forest Guard, slicing away subsequent areas of basic freedom. These changes are accompanied by constantly mongered antiterrorist panic in which the oppressed themselves should demand more means of control and trust the authorities that, on principle, do not trust them. Not only radical or criminal circles, but every one of us becomes a potential suspect – and is being treated accordingly.
We will discuss certain legal and social aspects of this situation with Wojtek Klicki from the Panoptykon Foundation, whose daily work involves monitoring those who are monitoring us.