True liberty necessitates privacy.If this is true, can freedom truly be found in the ever-growing, ever-infiltrating surveillance state? How much freedom and how much privacy are you willing to give up? As with all things, are we even thinking about the destination of this “Big-Brother” road we are being coerced to travel along?
If one has been paying attention, it’s easy to see how surveillance and facial recognition are affecting Hong Kong (protesters) and China (social scores and how they affect one’s personal life); but are we recognizing the direct and the collateral damage that can be done to societies, freedoms, and individuals in the name of progress and safety? Again, with the advancement of 5G, the changes and their effects on society and freedom are going to explode exponentially, leaving many heads spinning.
Last Friday we shared an article with you regarding how various apps and technology will make it difficult to discern the truth. Today, let’s look at the advancement, use, and potential dangers that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can bring to our lives.
A 2017 article from The Guardian, entitled “Face-reading AI will be able to detect your politics and IQ, professor says,” states that there are already algorithms in place that can identify sexual orientation correctly for men 91% of the time and women 83% of the time, by using only a handful of photos. It’s also believed that such AI can also identify people as conservative or liberal, not to mention it will soon be able to identify other traits, such as criminal disposition.
In 2017 that might just have been an interesting story; but with today’s climate of increasing political rage, Leftist politicians encouraging attacks on Trump supporters, and false accusations of hate or violence, the truth of this article could become a political tool or a weapon when put in the wrong hands.
Wake up! The surveillance state in America isn’t a thing of the future; it’s NOW and it’s growing. Most Americans aren’t even aware of the increasing number of cameras in their communities or don’t give them a second thought—after all, it’s for our good, our safety, or our entertainment, right?
I live one block from the main intersection of a small town. While walking with my wife I noticed two newer cameras and wondered if my house could be seen from them or not. Are others even aware of “Big Brother’s” intrusiveness surrounding them? We find these ever-watchful “eyes” in stores, schools, intersections, public buildings, private homes, stadiums, parks, and the list goes on.
Read this headline from the Atlanta Journal that Dr. Mohler spoke about on The Briefing from November 5, 2019—“Around 11,000 Cameras Watch Over Atlanta.”
Quoting The Briefing: “But how does the city of Atlanta come down to having 11,000 cameras? Well, the article becomes even more interesting when we find out that law enforcement and government in Atlanta do not own anything like this number of cameras, but rather in a city wide program, they have been given access to these private cameras, which are largely put in place by businesses, schools, and others who want to have surveillance of their own facilities. The article tells us, ‘When the initiative was announced in September 2011, authorities had access to about 100 public and private cameras. Today, it's near 11,000, a feat that has Atlanta near the top in a study of cities using security footage.’”
Let me interject here to say there is a huge jump from 100 spying eyes to 11,000; and, who’s to say that the people today,(in 2019) are okay with what the people of 2011 were willing to put up with? Are you aware of what initiatives your city passed eight years ago? The Briefing continues:
“The next sentence is actually astounding: ‘Eight out of the top 10 most surveilled cities are in China. London and Atlanta are the only cities outside of China to make the top 10.’ But when you look at the two cities, Atlanta and Beijing, the numbers aren't even close. Atlanta has the 11,000 surveillance cameras, but in Beijing, the surveillance state under the control of the Communist Party, has no less than 800,000 cameras. They're watching everyone, everywhere, all the time.”
As far as surveillance goes, the road from Beijing to Boston, or your home town, isn’t so long. True liberty necessitates privacy. This matters!
Public surveillance is the camel’s nose and is sold to Americans under the pretext of safety; but privacy and liberty are stolen as the rest of the camel comes slipping in, under the tent.
Not surprisingly, Dr. Mohler’s next news story was about how the Chinese have moved from “Facial Recognition” to “Emotion Recognition.” Commenting on and quoting from a Financial Times article, he had this to say: “A team of reporters from China tell us, ‘After facial recognition, prepare for emotion recognition. This was the crime prevention buzz phrase on everyone's lips this week in China's largest surveillance tech expo held in the Southern tech hub of Shenzhen. The technology,’ we're told, ‘which is being rolled out at airports and subway stations to identify criminal suspects is the latest development in crime prediction systems in the world's largest surveillance market, which already relies on facial and gait recognition, eye tracking, and crowd analysis.’
“A policing expert in China explaining the technology said, ‘Using video footage, emotion recognition technology can rapidly identify criminal suspects by analyzing their mental state to prevent illegal acts, including terrorism and smuggling.’ The Chinese policy expert went on to say, ‘We've already started using it.’”
Let’s keep a few things in mind. First, if on the one hand they can identify certain emotions and use that knowledge (really guessing) to “prevent illegal acts”, then on the other hand, they can identify other emotions and guess at what anyone might do. Secondly, those in charge will determine what is legal or illegal, and could use facial/emotional recognition to prevent or arrest one for so-called crimes of thought or feeling. Remember, facial recognition is already being used against those liberty lovers in Hong Kong who are protesting in the streets. Thirdly, invasion of privacy and attempted mind reading through emotion is an attempt to inhibit or limit free speech, free thought, and freedom from second guessing our every action.
Before surveillance cameras and AI there has always been an “eye in the sky,” a Divine Eye. God created ALL things and saw that “it was good.” (Gen. 1) By one man, sin entered into the world (Rom. 5:12); and now, instead of man being “very good,” God sees the heart and knows that it is “desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9),” for all have sinned (Rom. 5:12). By God’s grace and mercy He sent Jesus—His only begotten Son—bringing righteousness, justification, and eternal life to those who believe (Rom. 5:18; Jn. 3:16).
One—with other technology—might be able to fool the surveillance state; but no one can ever fool their Creator. God knows everything we do, say, or even think—before we do, say, or think it (Psalm 139)! Many can fool their friends and family but none can fool God. Our only hope is in Jesus, trusting in His atoning work upon the cross.
Things are going to get bad here on planet Earth; make sure you’re ready for eternity. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!
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