Government Mass Private Surveillance?

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by VulcanMindBlown, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. VulcanMindBlown

    VulcanMindBlown Commander Red Shirt

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    Trek probably can't get any more political than it already is... but I would like to see them tackle the issue of privacy in an age of technology.

    How could they do this???
     
  2. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer The Mod You've Known for All These Years Moderator

    There is boatloads of potential to take Trek in a dystopian / Big Brother direction...but many would cry foul because it's the exact opposite of "Gene's vision".
     
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  3. Tenacity

    Tenacity Commodore Fleet Captain

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    For convenience of plot and speed of story, especially the 24th century is shown to have little in the way of personal privacy.

    Picard and others don't seem to require any form of court order to access anyone's personal information. This is something that's bothered me for years about the show, and is one of the (many) reasons I can't see the Trek future as a utopia.

    No fourth amendment rights.
     
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  4. JasonJ

    JasonJ Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Indeed... and they (Starfleet commanders/officers at least) seem to put a varying value on life, dependent on who it is that has died. Death of casual crew or those off-screen is frequently treated far too lightly. Two dozen crew-members could get blown out a hull breach on deck 13 and it becomes a footnote in the Captain's log... no one seems all that bothered by it. Data's created daughter, Lal, dies, and the entire ship is in mourning for someone that they knew for only 48 hours or so. It's inconsistent. Not that I want to see an on-screen reference to memorial services every episode... but at least more often put something in dialogue or in the acting direction that implies this is a big deal and that crew is not expendable nor infinitely replaceable.
     
  5. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Privacy and personal space are cultural norms/expectations which vary a great deal depending on where you are. Three centuries from now, people might not give a hoot who knows what about you.

    Kor
     
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  6. psCargile

    psCargile Commander Red Shirt

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    And it's creepy that the holodeck computer will allow you to make holograms of the person you pine for who is not returning the feelings, if I'm remembering Geordie's escapades with Leah correctly (if I'm remembering the name correctly—it was the 90s last I saw it).
     
  7. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    I think Geordie was enjoying the company of the holographic Leah before he met the real one, and then he quit. I can't remember the details, either.

    Kor
     
  8. JasonJ

    JasonJ Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    All throughout ST they make it pretty clear that people sometimes have emotional attachments and "issues" with falling in love with holographic characters... the worst of them may be Harry Kim. Didn't he fall for that like 3 or 4 times in 7 years?
     
  9. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Or the fact that in VOY the ship's computer is constantly monitoring crewmembers' brain patterns, or Starfleet Security can just beam in to your quarters to arrest you. Yes, concepts of personal privacy and information will vary from culture to culture, but Starfleet seems far more open about it.
     
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  10. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    To be fair, it was the computer's idea to create the hologram in the first place. Geordi was quite surprised when it did that.

    And he didn't start pining for Leah until after he'd been working with her for awhile. At first the holo-Leah spoke very robotic and harsh, so Geordi asked the computer to update the hologram with the real Leah's personality profile (so it'd be easier to work with her). Only later did he actually develop a crush.

    They would be correct.
     
  11. Timby

    Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    I think we can safely say we don't need to be too concerned about "Gene's vision."
     
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  12. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    'Picard and others' are the law in whatever part of the galaxy they are aboard what starship they're assigned to, and thus can access personal information on whatever Federation citizen they want to, much as in the same way that Solo and Kuryakin were able to do this on The Man From UNCLE (remember what Kirk said in the original opening narration for the original version of Where No Man Has Gone Before) :

    Until now, our mission has been that of space law regulation, contact with Earth colonies and investigation of alien life.

    This presumes that for the purposes of the Federation, and Federation (and Earth) colonies, they are the law, and can enforce it (which is why they had the records of Harry Mudd and brought them up when the Enterprise caught up with him and his passengers.) This is also why in Unification (part two) they were able to do what they did to the Ferengi guy in the seedy dive bar. There's no Federation 'Space Police', aside from the police patrols of the various Federation member planets, so they have to be it for the colonies, and for any human (or alien) space freighter pilot. This is not 'violating' anybody's rights when they pull up info on somebody; that's just your paranoia talking based on what's going on now in the USA, IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  13. Tenacity

    Tenacity Commodore Fleet Captain

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    So ... Starfleet officers are in parallel with Judge Dread?
     
  14. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    Nope. They do drop them off at a place to be processed/booked, and then they're tried later, as shown in 'Mudd's Women', and as mentioned by Janeway in 'Phage', when she talks about bringing the two Vidians to book and their being tried in court, if they were in Federation space.
     
  15. VulcanMindBlown

    VulcanMindBlown Commander Red Shirt

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    The novel Section 31: Control is supposed to have commentary on the mass surviellance posed by governments in our past, at least.
     
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  16. Rahul

    Rahul Captain Captain

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    And rightffully so.
    Star Trek is, and always has been, an optimistic version of the future. That's basically one of it's unique selling points. Having the Federation or Starfleet "turn evil" would be fundamentally against everything Trek stands for.

    Now, that doesn't mean Trek can't handle serious topics. DS9 pretty thoroughly handled war and the uglier sides of it. So Star Trek DEFINITELY should handle mass surveillence and privacy as well. Just don't turn it into a dystopia.

    The Enterprise (or Discovery, or whatever) can easily handle this stuff by either visiting other civilisations, or having problems with a rogue-ish Earth colony. That doesn't even have to be a 'planet-of-the-week'. It can be central theme of a whole story/season arc as far as I'm concerned. But have them "visiting" the place with the problems, and look at it from an outside point-of-view. Don't make their homebase the center of evil. That's Star Wars.
     
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  17. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer The Mod You've Known for All These Years Moderator

    I think that it could be done subtly with the Federation itself...especially given how much hard sell the TNG-era shows did about how perfect everyone was in the 24th century. What if you're living in that society and you don't want to be perfect? It could be as simple as people with 23rd-century sensibilities looking at 24th century society and asking, "Have we taken a wrong turn here?" Have characters in-story who look at 24th-century society as critically as many fans do.
     
  18. Tenacity

    Tenacity Commodore Fleet Captain

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    From Space Seed. Kirk: This hearing is now in session. Under the authority vested in me by Starfleet Command, I declare all charges and specifications in this matter have been dropped.

    The are usually two ways major criminal charges are brought against a person. Through an indictment voted by a grand jury, or through the (county, district, or state) prosecuting attorney's office.

    Also a a police officer can directly bring charges for minor criminal matters.

    Khan had already been charged with crimes, Kirk (or his JAG officer) apparently had the power of a prosecuting attorney. Prosecutors can drop charges.
    Some fans view optimistic to by necessity mean "utopian." I feel that the future depicted has enough persistent problems not to be considered a utopia.

    The society of the future likely takes a on-going effort to maintain. Just because that society is willing to be less than teddy bears and unicorns wouldn't then make them a dystopia. Some lines should not be crossed, but we could argue for days as to where the Federation's lines should be on a normal day, and how far the lines might be moved under unusual circumstances.
    Would a large group of people (billions) all have generally the same ideas when it came to "perfect?" How much conformity would be required of society and how far would the people in power be willing to go to maintain that perfection ... and the conformity?

    Given my own vision of the Federation, I believe it's impossible that there's a single set of rules and laws for this massive multi-species/multi-cultural society. Certain rules and laws would apply to many, but not to all. Adaptability and flexibility would be a unavoidable requirement.

    I really don't think that the Federation (as such) has very many laws, the majority of laws would be at the member level, and those would differ from member to member.
    Providing that the Federation in fact doesn't have a single monolithic culture, you'll have people who were raised on different planets and in societies with very different ways of thinking.
     
  19. Rahul

    Rahul Captain Captain

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    There's varying levels of course. Star Trek is an optimistic future. It doesn't necessarily needs to be a perfect one.

    Indeed, it never was. It showed humanity has progress, sociologically and technologically. Racism, poverty, crime, ilness are almost completely gone (Star Trek is a post-scarcitiy-society). But with new technologies and advancements came different problems, like e.g. Barclays holodeck addiction. That has never been disputed. But simply, as a whole, it shows humanity going to improve itself, and the problems of the future - holodeck obsession, A.I. rights - are arguibly less worse than those of the present or past (war, hunger, diseases, poverty, ...). Even the perfect future needs to constantly try to improve itself.


    This on the other hand would fundamentally be against the spirit of Trek. It doesn't need to be a perfect Utopia (and again - seldom was), but Star Trek was always optimistic, progressive, and about humanity having the capacity (and being on the right track) to solve it's problems. The society "Having taken a wrong turn" as a whole simpy is not Star Trek. "Having problems"? Of course. Handling those problems? Sure. But "oh my god, we have been wrong the whole time" is some backward regressive interpretation of human development that is diametrically against the optimistic future of Trek on a basic level.
     
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  20. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There is in the Star Fleet Battles universe. :whistle: