It would feel strange if a library started taking fingerprints of patrons who entered and exited just for the purpose of matching them against a state or federal database containing fingerprints of criminals.
Stand, is an original, hour-long play about political and intellectual freedom written by Matthew Ivan Bennett. It’s a story of compelled speech, thought, action, and surveillance “by the minute”–a perfect work of art for intellectual freedom proponents to engage with and explore.
In the wake of Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional testimony last week and the related explosion of public interest in how online personal data is collected, stored, shared, used and sometimes misused, this year’s Choose Privacy Week theme—“Big Data is Watching You”—could not be more perfectly timed.
One might think of the covert, sometimes illegal FBI surveillance of the Black Panthers, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and various other political dissidents as the petri dish where experiments with overreach were conducted years before they were unleashed on the general public. It is only within past decade or so that we are learning just how extensive the surveillance was through the Freedom of Information Act. It is only now that people like artist Sadie Barnette are beginning to come to terms with what it means.