ACLU Surveillance Clock

Americans are fast approaching a total surveillance society - a "midnight" of lost privacy. And it's only six minutes before the hour.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has created a "Surveillance Clock" -- a graphical dramatization of just how close we are getting to the midnight of a true surveillance society.

Americans above a certain age probably remember the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock." Created in 1947 and used throughout the Cold War, the Doomsday Clock dramatized the threat of nuclear war by moving its hands closer or further away from "midnight" as the threat of nuclear war with the Soviets ebbed and flowed.

Thankfully, the Doomsday clock never reached midnight.

These days we have new worries. On the Surveillance Clock, the time is 11:54. And the seconds are blinking by.

Along with the clock, the ACLU has also released a couple of other items:

* A new report, "Even Bigger, Even Weaker: The Emerging Suveillance Society: Where are We Now?" This is an update to a previous ACLU report, "Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains, which was released in 2003 and which attracted a huge amount of attention at the time.

* A video of "Monster Among Us," a new piece written and performed by the talented spoken-word artists Steve Connell & Sekou (tha misfit). The piece is another way the ACLU is trying to dramatize the growing surveillance society, especially for a youth audience.

* A timeline of surveillance technologies and policies, which shows just how fast the development of such technologies has accelerated in recent years. The ACLU is also inviting visitors to help fill out the timeline by contributing items.

The Surveillance Society Clock, Report and Video are available online at: