The Security State in service to capitalist masters – three hours of interrogation for wearing Google glass

Google Glass

External Link: Movie Theater Calls FBI to Detain Google Glass User
[Via TidBITS]

It’s a Rorschach trifecta for today’s technology world! An Ohio network engineer wore his Google Glass (turned off) in a movie because he has prescription lenses in them. An hour into the movie, he was pulled from his seat by the FBI at the behest of the “Movie Association” (the MPAA, in all likelihood) and questioned for over three hours. Once the agents downloaded and viewed the contents of the Glass (as he had been asking them to do), they agreed he had done nothing wrong, after which the MPAA guy gave him a pat on the head and four free movie passes. For self-awareness points, figure out what bothers you the most about this story: the heavy-handed FBI behavior, the response to potential movie piracy by the MPAA, or the wearing of Google Glass?


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The simple act of wearing glasses resulted in a huge invasion of a person’s life. And at most it would have been copying a film, not actual theft of property.(Because no matter how they try and spin it, the movie in the possession of the theater still existed).

This now seems to be okay with people – the Feds getting involved in what should at most be a civil action. But one where there is actually no prior evidence of any crime being committed.

Fascism has, amongst other definitions, included the collaboration between immoral corporations (not all companies are immoral, by the way) and authoritarian government in a totalitarian state. Looks like we will be fighting this battle a lot soon.

2 thoughts on “The Security State in service to capitalist masters – three hours of interrogation for wearing Google glass

    1. we are not there yet. We have a strong culture of fighting against this exact thing that few other societies have. So I expect simply sounding the alarm will start the process. Authoritarian cultures simply are a not adaptive or resilient enough to deal with the rapid changes going on. They are too brittle – as we are seeing in Russia. A few years ago, people predicted that the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) would take over the world. But each has real problems with resilience adaptations to social/economic changes.

      But totalitarian states have focussed power that makes them seem more efficient early on. They are simpler but only for simpler things. They do not handle complexity well (the only political system that does is a liberal democracy, which is why there are so many of them now). We have fought battles against authoritarian rule just about every 80 years. (even back into English history. The Glorious Revolution, which forever altered the relationship of the British Monarch with Parliament was about 80 years before ours).

      This is a battle that will again have to be fought if humanity remains able to survive. In fact, in my opinion, this one is a critical one in human history because this one will determine whether we have a future. If we succeed, which I think we have every tool necessary to do, we will be amazing.

      So I’m just doing a little Paul Revere and sounding warnings about the battles we will fight. Not along conservative/liberal economic divisions but along authoritarian/civil libertarian lines.

      As we always have.

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