Doing business in Latin America under the Eye of the Dragon
Business Management

Doing business in Latin America under the Eye of the Dragon

It's a standard movie trope nowadays. Government operatives in a high tech ops room are at work.

The high-tech spies become interested in a given location, perhaps thousands of miles away on a different continent. The person in charge merely has to bark something like "Is there any CCTV?" and within seconds live images of the given place are thrown onto a big screen, usually with ample resolution allowing faces to be easily identified. Sometimes the initial clue, indeed, is supposed to have come from automated facial or gait identification software trawling across huge areas and populations.

In the blockbuster Fast and Furious 6, London has a central control room with live access to every camera in the city, and which can offer remote hookups. In the Bourne movies, CIA personnel in the USA can routinely call up live imagery from cities around the world.

The movie people didn't come up with these ideas on their own. As long ago as 2006, the UK was described as "the most spied on nation in the world" in the national press, and academic researchers asserted that Londoners were then being imaged by CCTV systems no less than 300 times a day.

So it's true, then? At least in major western cities, the surveillance society is here.

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Lewis Page

Lewis Page has been writing about technology across various industry sectors since the early noughties. He has a degree in engineering and is based in London.

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