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You Know Who Else Collected Metadata? The Stasi

by Julia Angwin
http://www.informationliberation.com

The East German secret police, known as the Stasi, were an infamously intrusive secret police force. They amassed dossiers on about one quarter of the population of the country during the Communist regime.

But their spycraft — while incredibly invasive — was also technologically primitive by today's standards. While researching my book Dragnet Nation, I obtained the [below] hand drawn social network graph and other files from the Stasi Archive in Berlin, where German citizens can see files kept about them and media can access some files, with the names of the people who were monitored removed.


http://i.imgur.com/A21l7FJ.png

The graphic shows forty-six connections, linking a target to various people (an "aunt," "Operational Case Jentzsch," presumably Bernd Jentzsch, an East German poet who defected to the West in 1976), places ("church"), and meetings ("by post, by phone, meeting in Hungary").

read more http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=46748

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That's a social network diagram.

Exactly the same kind of diagrams are used to construct social network diagrams from phone record metadata. Of course, they are now computer generated and interactive and also show the volume of calls from point to point for the given period of time queried.

Cyril's picture

Thanks Chris.

Thanks Chris. For the refresher.

Put otherwise:

many times, "The Thought Police" DID turn out to be significantly more than just a metaphor.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Cyril's picture

Case in point from the past.

Case in point from the past.

GUN POINT.

Ask the dead.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

a little daub will do ya.

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It was probably the pandas.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Suggested watching

The Lives of Others


http://youtu.be/n3_iLOp6IhM

Thanks Panda. Or should I say, Meta Panda.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

Whoa! and whoa - imdb shows another film of the same name

in production http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0976234/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2

would have to be the same story in English or no? If it is a remake I hope they don't screw it up - 'timely and timeless as they say.

It was probably the pandas.