Machine translations by Deepl

The Button Monster: electronic detention

By our guest columnist. 

Who does not know the series White Collar, which recently aired on RTL 5. A young inmate, fitted with an electronic ankle bracelet, is released into society, with the ankle bracelet ensuring that this young man can be checked by the FBI within a restricted area at any time of day.

In the Netherlands, such a trial was stopped in the first half of 2010 because electronic detention was not yet enshrined in law. Detainees were allowed to leave their homes daily for a short time at set times and under certain conditions. It is now known that the current cabinet will not introduce electronic detention in any case.

The developments within our current society are reminiscent of the above situation.

Innocent, naive citizens are gradually being monitored, or if you like, watched, 24 hours a day. All sorts of concepts have been set in motion by Business and Government to record citizens' freedom of movement as much as possible, "just in case".

Citizens are consistently treated as being suspicious objects to be monitored and recorded within an insecure society. This goes directly against the civil rights that the Government has managed and guarded for decades.

Citizens are tracked via satellites through connection communication 24 hours a day: via mobile phones, the digital police, chips in plastic cards, transport by car (think, for example, license plate registration), public transport and so on.

Through the Internet, your surfing behaviour is recorded and stored in such a way that it can be traced at any time, but new television providers, such as Ziggo, for example, also offer the possibility of seeing when you, and also how long you watch certain television programmes.

It is particularly strange that detainees apparently have more rights than ordinary citizens. After all, the "electronic detention" project was halted in mid-2010 because it was not yet fully enshrined in law.

Building a digital society and recording all actions and changes, on the other hand, are being implemented without the law providing for it and without protecting citizens.

Where things have been/will be legally approved, it remains to be seen whether the Government still values the interests of the individual above the interests of the Government and business.

Society demands an accelerated approach and a computer is almost impossible to imagine this complex society without. The question, however, is whether the end justifies the means. Is the goal of a digital society to facilitate communication and business transactions or is the goal total control over everything alive?

Burying our heads in the sand and lulling ourselves to sleep that it will all be okay is not an option. In that case, you give yourself less freedom of movement than a detainee. After all, the detainee is under legal protection but you are not. Is that the price you are going to pay worth it to you soon?