In classical mythology Gyges was a shepherd who discovered a magical ring that could make him invisible. Armed with his new power, Gyges eventually killed the king, married the queen and seized the throne. ‘Invisibility’, [Grégoire] Chamayou notes, ‘conferred upon him a kind of invulnerability.’ In Plato’s Republic the story is used to ask searching questions about virtue and justice: what happens to morality, to virtue, if it becomes possible to evade responsibility for one’s actions?
The dilemma is no longer confined to the realm of story-telling or philosophical speculation, Chamayou argues, because the thought-experiment has been realised through the political technology of the drone. The modern answer to Plato’s question is now all too clear: invisibility produces not only invulnerability but also impunity.
via geographical imaginations | war, space and security. August 8, 2013
…we live in a world that has to make decisions concerning its future under conditions of manufactured, self-inflicted insecurity. [T]he belief that modern society can control the dangers that it itself produces is collapsing — not because of its omissions and defeats but because of its triumphs.
Ulrich Beck, World at Risk (2009)
James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, has responded to reports from the Washington Post and the Guardian which broke news that authorities were monitoring data from US citizens via a number of major tech firms.
The Director added that the leak was “reprehensible” and “risks important protections for the security of Americans”.
“Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats,” Clapper further explained.
via US Director of National Intelligence: WaPost, Guardian PRISM reports contain ‘numerous inaccuracies’ – The Next Web.