Morlock Elloi on Sun, 4 Mar 2018 01:34:19 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> surveillance instincts 70 years ago

Cryptome recently published a collection of declassified intelligence documents from Italy at the end of WW2 (

While today everyone talks about surveillance, it's interesting to look at the history, to understand what it really is. Contemporary machine collecting is impersonal, detached and appears benign to many.

This particular document, for example -, demonstrates meticulous and pedantic manual transcribing of seemingly irrelevant information. Someone spent hours, if not days, compiling this, which means that it is *not* irrelevant.

Compare this to the cheap automated collection we have today, and how much the balance has been shifted.

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