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The idea of progress : how does mass-surveillance affect today's society ? Does it have a positive effect ? Or a negative one ?

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I’m going to talk about the notion entitled « Idea of progress ».

First of all, I would like to give a definition of this notion:

The idea of progress can be defined as an improvement, a development or a change not only technical but also scientific or social which contributes to make the world a better place.

This year in class we studied several documents about the Idea of progress and in particular about the new technology. That’s the reason why in order to illustrate this notion I have chosen to talk about Mass-Surveillance so that to answer the question:

How does Mass-surveillance affect today’s society? Does it have a positive effect? Or a negative one?


  • On the one hand, thanks to mass surveillance terrorism attack could be more easily identify. Besides, that’s the reason why we have seen in class, that after terrorism attacks against the twin towers on November the 11th George Bush the president at that time decided to established “The Patriot Act” in the United States of America. 1 paragraph:  “It took just one month after the events of 9/11 for the Patriot Act to zoom through Congress and get signed into law by President GW Bush, giving law enforcement and intelligence agencies sweeping powers to thwart terrorist plots.”
  • By the way this law makes security agency able to phone-tapping without warn people. Infact  “Americans did not know it at the time but the law would give the NSA access to the private information of millions of US citizens.” Paragraph 3.
  • For this purpose, they could know the identity of the caller not only who he calls but also how long he calls. So much that they could deduce: gender, religion, age and political leanings… Thus a lot of private information.

It doesn’t matter as far as the American president his concerned

“It will improve our nation’s security while we safeguard the civil liberties of our people” Paragraphe2.  

  • Besides, we also seen in class a short movie entitled “Plurality” which could anticipate our world in few years as long as we depend more and more of new technology.
  • The scene is set in New-York in 2023 a futuristic version of the city, “It's been two years since the Bentham Grid went online”. It’s an identify-scanning technology which allowed citizens to do a lot of thing like make purchase, unlock and start their car instead of using their credit card to buy or their keys to go inside and start their car, they just have to use their hand. To go further l1/4 “The Grid takes all those things unique to you: your social security number, your passport, your debit and credit accounts and links them to one thing: our DNA.”
  • Thus this new technology is very convenient given that it makes life easier.
  • Moreover there’s no more crimes because not only it’s going to be difficult to steal but also no more citizen’s identity can be theft.

“There hasn't been a reported case of identity theft in over 18 months. NYPD cases clearances have soared above 90%. And fugitives have been found and captured in record

numbers."  Paragraph 4

Otherwise mass-surveillance gives safety in citizen’s life furthermore mass-surveillance gives a better comfort. However even if Mass-surveillance has positive aspect it has negative one too.


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