On authors who were publishing information technology panopticon concerns in the 1980s, or earlier

A quickie dump.

Paul Baran / RAND

"On the Engineer's Responsibility in Protecting Privacy"
"On the Future Computer Era: Modification of the American Character and the Role of the Engineer, or, A Little Caution in the Haste to Number"
"The Coming Computer Utility -- Laissez-Faire, Licensing, or Regulation?"
"Remarks on the Question of Privacy Raised by the Automation of Mental Health Records"
"Some Caveats on the Contribution of Technology to Law Enforcement"

Largely written/published 1967--1969.


Willis Ware / RAND

Too numerous to list fully, 1960s --1990s. Highlights:

"Security and Privacy in Computer Systems" (1967)
"Computers in Society's Future" (1971)
"Records, Computers and the Rights of Citizens" (1973
"Privacy and Security Issues in Information Systems" (1976)
"Information Systems, Security, and Privacy" (1983)
"The new faces of privacy" (1993)



Shoshana Zuboff, In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power (1988) Notably reviewed in the Whole Earth Catalog's Signal: Communication Tools for the Information Age (1988).

worldcat.org/title/in-the-age- archive.org/details/inageofsma

"Danger to Civil Rights?", 80 Microcomputing (1982)

archive.org/stream/80_Microcom (news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1)

"Computer-Based National Information Systems: Technology and Public Policy", NTIS (September 1981)


"23 to Study Computer ‘Threat’" (1970)


The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"Privacy and Information Technology" bibliography is largely 1990--present, but contains some earlier references.


Similarly "Privacy"


Credit Reporting / Legislation

US Privacy Act of 1974


Invasion of Privacy Act 1971 - Queensland Government, Australia


Arthur R. Miller, The assault on privacy: computers, data banks, and dossiers


"The Computer, the Consumer and Privacy" (1984)


Richard Boeth / Newsweek

The specific item I'd had in mind:

Richard Boeth, "Is Privacy Dead", Newsweek, July 27, 1970


Direct PDF: assets.documentcloud.org/docum

Based on an HN comment: news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2

#privacy #surveillance #panopticon #PaulBaran #WillisWare #RAND #ShoshanaZuboff #RichardBoeth #CreditReporting

@dredmorbius Nice list!

You could potentially add The Human Use of Human Beings (1950) by Norbert Wiener, and The Myth of the Machine (1967) by Lewis Mumford.

@vortex_egg Did Weiner address privacy/surveillance?

Fascism and Catholocism, I know he did.

Mumford's on my Very Copious List.

@dredmorbius It's been years since I read it... it might have addressed automation more specifically that surveillance. Let me check.

@dredmorbius In a way, it could be argued that automation, fascism, and surveillance all roll up in to the same set, which I believe is what Mumford refers to as the megamachine.

To be fair, I haven't read Mumford yet either; but my partner read it at the same time I was reading Zuboff's book on surveillance capitalism and we talked a lot about the similarities.

@dredmorbius No, you are right. Just paged through Human Use of Human Beings and God & Golem, Inc, and it seems like Wiener's primary target of concern for potential societal harm is that of learning machines and automation.

While that is tangentially related to the present-day manifestation of panopticon, he doesn't treat on the topic.

@vortex_egg Yeah, no mention of privacy, propaganda, surveillance, or advertising in the index.

Final chapter remains good.

@dredmorbius It's interesting to think about though... I wonder if Wiener and the other early cyberneticists were clued into and thinking about those topics in any way, or if they had enough other things on their minds.

Edward Bernays' work to wage "psychological warfare on behalf of corporations" against the American public, in the form of the newly created field of public relations, was public knowledge from the 20s with the publication of Bernays' books "Crystallizing Public Opinion" (1923) and "Propaganda" (1928).

@vortex_egg Them, Arendt, the Frankfurt School, George Seldes (and I.F. Stone after him). Possibly John Dewey and Walter Lippman. There's another set of mid-century sociologists, give me a minute.

Vance Packard, The Hidden Persuaders, popularly.

And later, Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky, Robert W. McChesney. Possibly Charles Perrow.

At least tangentially: Marshall McLuhan & Elizabeth Eisenstein.

Not directly addressing this, but medhia generally:

Media, Advertising, Sustainability, Externalities, and Impacts: A light reading list


@dredmorbius Wish I've known about your list when I was writing my good ol' anti-advertising rant...


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@temporal If it makes you feel any better, I'd not written it yet.

Progress is incremental. That's why I share.


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