Surveillance

In the DDR Museum in Berlin there is an exhibit made up to look like a typical East German flat. You walk around it thinking how old fashioned everything looks. Then you go around the corner to an exhibit about the Stasi, which includes a set of headphones. When you put them on, you can hear other people in the museum. The flat was bugged. It is a deeply unpleasant moment, realising that everything you just said could have been heard by complete strangers.

After I visited the museum last year, I felt thankful I lived in a different world, where my thoughts were my own and my personal communications were private. Evidently, I was mistaken. It doesn’t matter whether it’s technically legal or whether we can trust the people doing it or whether you have nothing to hide. We are being watched and it feels just as creepy and intrusive as the Stasi planting a bug in your flat.

I agree with Bruce Lawson: this doesn’t feel right. I don’t know where to start, but for now I will paying a lot more attention to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. And I sure as hell won’t be putting anything personal in an email.