The advent of the Internet is one of the greatest steps in human history. It brought so much positive but also threatened privacy to the maximum. With each of your moves on the Internet, you leave an infinite number of digital traces leading to you. Almost all internet users in the world are aware that their online steps are followed one way or another. However, almost all of us are ready to ignore the loss of privacy for the sake of all the benefits of the Internet.
Yet it is a topic that does not cease to intrigue people and creates various conspiracy theories. That is why it is the topic of many TV shows and movies, because it is something that people are very interested in. Today we will present you the most popular mass surveillance movies and TV shows.
Person of Interest
This fantastic TV series is the best example of mass surveillance. If you may have missed it, you should definitely watch it. The creator of this series is Jonathan Nolan, the younger brother of the famous director Christopher Nolan, who is the writer of almost all the best films his brother has directed. Some of those titles are “Memento”, “Interstellar” as well as the famous part of the Batman saga “The Dark Knight”. We believe that you are already intrigued by this series when you know what masterpieces the Nolan brothers have made so far. The main protagonist of Person of Interest is Harold Finch, the genius who made “The Machine” for the US government. The Machine works by collecting all available data and using algorithms to predict various types of criminal acts that will potentially occur. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It associates you with the PRISM project? But as suggested by titusalarmandcctv.co.uk Machine is a bit unrealistic for the present day, because even PRISM is not remotely close in capabilities compared to Machine.
The plot of the series is that the US government uses the Machine only to prevent terrorism, while it considers all other cases of crime and violence irrelevant. As Harold Finch thinks that no one is insignificant, he leaves the whole project but leaves the backdoor to still have access to Machine. He decides that with the help of a former member of the special forces, John Reese, played by the great Jim Caviezel, they will try to prevent as many events as possible that the Machine predicts.
Nolan says he found inspiration in The Watchers as well as in the British government’s efforts to prevent IRA terrorism by massively installing cameras everywhere in public places.
Person of Interest is much more than just a very interesting TV show, and fantastic acting by Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson. It draws our attention to what things will look like in the future or perhaps as they look today.
Two things are particularly controversial regarding the Person of Interest. The first is that Machine develops self-awareness over time, which is a very controversial topic when it comes to artificial intelligence.
And the other controversial thing is that the series started airing almost two years before Edward Snowden, a CIA and NSA agent, released details about the PRISM program that looks so much like the Machine from this TV show. It is especially interesting to mention the twenty-second episode called No Good Deed where Finch and Reese try to save someone like Snowden who revealed the government’s secret program.
We also believe that the creators of the series were shocked by the similarities when Snowden gave the now-famous interview in a hotel room in China, where Snowden said “I’m willing to sacrifice everything because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they are secretly building”
The Lives of Others
The debut of German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, which became an instant classic. A must watch movie for both mass surveillance topic and it is generally one of the best movies of all time. The story takes place in East Germany, a country of 15 million people, which had one of the most dangerous, cunning and omnipresent secret services ever in the world, something the world has never seen before or since. The secret service with the official name Ministerium fur Staatssicherheit, which the whole world knew as Stasi. It is an incredible fact that it had ninety thousand employees and over one hundred and fifty thousand informants, which is an absolutely incredible number. In comparison, the states which have ten times more citizens, have less employees in the secret services. It was not uncommon for informants to point out even the closest friends and family. In the film, we follow a man who, due to his attitudes and moves, becomes the target of tracking by Stasi, and this operation is executed by Stasi captain, who follows every step of him and his wife. In time, it grows into an obsession, and he slowly begins to envy them for such a beautiful life compared to his. In order not to reveal the plot further, you must watch this movie.
The Truman Show
Truman is the first baby adopted by a corporation, no less, for the purpose of a reality show. Truman is the main star of the most watched television show on the planet and every moment of his life, from the moment of his birth, has been filmed and broadcast on television. However, Truman is the only one who doesn’t know that, and his life actually takes place within a huge film studio, which Truman believes is the real world. To make things more interesting, all the people around him are actors and every moment of his life and surroundings is strictly staged, and yet without him being aware of it.
This movie is considered visionary in many segments, in addition to its obvious critical attitude, especially considering the limits that reality shows have reached today, and the extremes to which they aspire.
Black Mirror is also worth your attention, but we didn’t write about that TV show because not every episode is about mass surveillance.