Electronic Police States defined, ranked

The world has become a small place and the old powers want to keep control as always. The map is very interesting. Some of traditional police states don’t show but the great democracies are the worst.


via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow on 5/12/09

A report from “CryptoHippie” (don’t know anything about this person/group) has created an index to surveillance states, ranked from worst to best. What’s especially notable about this report is its concise, intelligent definition of “Electronic Police States:”

The two crucial facts about the information gathered under an electronic police state are these:

1. It is criminal evidence, ready for use in a trial.

2. It is gathered universally and silently, and only later organized for use in prosecutions.

In an Electronic Police State, every surveillance camera recording, every email you send, every Internet site you surf, every post you make, every check you write, every credit card swipe, every cell phone ping… are all criminal evidence, and they are held in searchable databases, for a long, long time. Whoever holds this evidence can make you look very, very bad whenever they care enough to do so. You can be prosecuted whenever they feel like it – the evidence is already in their database.

Perhaps you trust that your ruler will only use his evidence archives to hurt bad people. Will you also trust his successor? Do you also trust all of his subordinates, every government worker and every policeman?

The worst offenders are China, North Korea, Belarus and Russia, followed by the UK, the US, and Singapore.

The Electronic Police State


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