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Most interesting to note in this weeks readings was the idea that our primary model of privacy has moved from one of surveillance to one of capture. During my first semester at Brown, I was introduced to Foucault’s conception of the Panopticon and his concurrent theory of how control is exercised by those in power via surveillance. I even decided to write one of my term papers on this idea of the perpetual possibility of being watched, comparing Foucault’s theory to the pervasive CCTV networks in cities across the globe. But in reading the Agre piece proffering a “capture” model of privacy, I realized just how much more relevant such a conception is in today’s world.

A few years back I read a fascinating cover-story in Time, describing the mammoth data storage center that the US Government is building out in the desert of Utah. Instead of having to select only certain bits of information to keep about each internet user, such inconceivable storage allows for the government to keep everything – just “in case.” However, as Agre points out, centralized information storage is more symptomatic of the surveillance model of privacy. So can we really consider this “Center for Capture” to actually be a utility of the capture model?