Anti-surveillance through total surveillance

Read this fascinating description of the life of Hasan Elahi, a conceptual artist and professor at Rutgers University, who has put his total movements online after mistakenly falling afoul of the FBI in 2001.

Elahi, an American, was detained by the FBI at Denver airport. Through a series of mix-ups and over a period time lasting several months, the FBI subjected Elahi to 9 back to back polygraph tests and required him to report in to a FBI monitoring agent.

Elahi decided that if he had to be subject to this kind of monitoring, why not put his whole life online? So he hacked his cell phone to connect to an ankle bracelet to continually record his position on a map. He put up photographs online--hundreds of them, so that he couldn't be accused of digitally altering any of them.

Basically he is responding to the request for surveillance by providing total surveillance: the meals he eats, his bank records, his daily journeys from one place to another. In a way, this both satisfies and defeats the purpose of his monitors--a brilliant act of resistance.

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