The question of ethics and surveillance involves looking at when surveillance should or should not be employed. When is it right to monitor someone, and when is it wrong to do so? Are there any rules or principles that can guide the decision to use surveillance in particular situations? Yet it also goes beyond these questions; the impact that surveillance has on society must also be considered. Two famous literary examples of negative types of surveillance societies are George Orwell’s 1984 and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We. To what degree is our society approaching these dystopias, and to what degree is that acceptable in attempting to reduce crime and terrorism? This entry provides an overview of responses to these questions. It starts with the normative issues of ...

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