Recently at the Dublin Science Gallery, an exhibition has been running. Secret: Nothing to see here is an attempt to show people where surveillance, espionage and privacy in the future may lead, as well as the benefits of online safety and security. The exhibit brings to mind George Orwells’ 1984, in which Orwell foresaw a dystopian future where the government monitored the thoughts of its citizens and tried to prevent ‘Thought Crime’ as he put it.

One of the exhibits that really tickled my fancy was the Crowed Sourced Intelligence Agency. This exhibit invited members of the public to read tweets and then rate them as threatening, non-threatening or flag them to be viewed by other ‘agents’. This offered the public the chance to see how Intelligence Agencies actually monitor the online world but presents the question: What could be considered threatening or non-threatening? One person may think that a tweet or post is threatening while another may think it as harmless. Because we can’t actually see the person tweeting we don’t know what state of mind they were in at the time the tweet was posted (If that makes sense?). A person might tweet something really risqué or taboo but may only be joking or attempting to get a reaction from the public. In this sense, the exhibit makes me ask myself some really good questions.

From what I’ve read about it, I really like this exhibit and from what I’ve gathered on the Science Galleries’ website, I think many people wonder the same thing I do: What is considered threatening? I think this exhibit in particular is very clever and offered the best lesson for the public to learn. Here is a link to the Crowed Sourced Intelligence Agency exhibit on the website. The featured image is taken from the Science Galleries’ website.

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