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日本办公室监控技术走向极端

2014-01-09    来源:fortunechina    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

日本的科技巨头NEC等正在投入巨资开发监控技术,同时推出了一系列极其复杂,令人难以想象的间谍和监视工具。它们不仅能够监控人们的言行,甚至还能监控人们的情绪。  
 
Having ceded the battle of the gadgets to Korea and the U.S., Japan's electronics titans need to reinvent themselves -- this time as our great protectors, apparently.

日本电子巨头在手持设备之战输给韩国和美国之后,急需重塑自我。这一次,他们看来打算扮演守护神角色。

Harnessing moral panics, such as fear of crime or terrorism, Japan's largest tech companies are growing and investing heavily in systems for executive command and control, surveillance, and border checks. The results are the most sophisticated spy and monitoring tools ever conceived.

日本最大的高科技公司正在利用国民对犯罪或恐怖主义的恐慌心理,投入巨资打造行政命令和控制、监视和边境检查系统。它的成果就是一系列极其复杂、令人难以想象的间谍和监视工具。

"Japanese companies are the leaders in creating innovative surveillance technology and implementation," according to a report from the University of Queens in Canada, published in Company/Governmental Surveillance in Japan, a journal of surveillance studies. Japan's NEC, a leader in the field, now dedicates 10% of its R&D spending to developing these systems.

“日本公司在开发创新性监控技术和实施方面已处在全球领先的地位,”加拿大皇后大学(University of Queens)在日本监控研究期刊《公司与政府监控》(Company/Governmental Surveillance)发布的一份研究报告这样写道。作为该领域的领导者,日本的NEC公司投入了10%的研发支出来开发这些系统。

"Traditionally, Japanese governments have been keen to protect and cultivate domestic electronic companies so that they become the driving force for Japanese economic development," explains surveillance researcher Kiyoshi Abe at Kwansei University in Japan. "So it's easy for them to develop and introduce more invasive surveillance technology, utilizing public worry and fear around rising political-military tensions between Japan and China."

“传统上,日本政府一直热衷于保护和培育国内电子企业,希望它们成为日本经济发展的推动力,”日本关西大学( Kwansei University)监控研究员小岛清解释说。“所以,对于它们来说,在日本和中国的政治和军事紧张局势持续加深,公众深感担忧和恐惧之际,开发、推出更具侵入性的监控技术是件非常容易的事情。”

Nor is this exclusively Japan Inc.'s agenda. Corporations worldwide are cashing in on deployment of electronic spying and monitoring. The global security software market grew 7.9% in 2012, according to research from Gartner, driven by "new threats and working practices."

不过,这也并不是日本公司的专属领地。电子侦察和监视设备的部署正在为世界各地的相关公司带来滚滚财源。根据高德纳咨询公司(Gartner)的研究,2012年,在“新威胁和新工作方式”的驱动下,全球安全软件市场增长了7.9%。

Japanese companies, however, appear to be among the vanguard in this space. At a recent NEC tech exhibition in Tokyo, absent were the computer monitors and laptops that once characterized the firm. In their place were booths dedicated to data surveillance and face recognition systems marketed as "technologies to safeguard lives and property."

然而,日本企业似乎正处于这个市场空间的先锋行列。最近在东京举行的一次NEC技术展上,我们看不到这家公司昔日的代表性产品,比如电脑显示器和笔记本电脑。取而代之的,是一些专门陈列数据监视和人脸识别系统的展台。NEC的营销口号声称,这些都是用来“保障生命和财产安全的技术。”

The eye-catching "safety solutions" include programs aimed at snooping on workers -- known as "performance monitoring" in the industry -- and an application dubbed the Mental Health Check Tool. As we grow accustomed to business and the state harnessing the tools of the Information Age to scrutinize everything we do and say -- privacy is no longer a social norm, claims Facebook's (FB) Mark Zuckerberg. Japanese technology, it seems, is going one step further: enabling corporations to monitor our feelings.

这些引人注目的“安全解决方案”包括旨在窥探员工的方案(业内的行话叫“性能监控”),和一个被称为心理健康检查工具(Mental Health Check Tool)的应用程序。随着我们越来越习惯企业和国家利用“信息时代”的工具来审查我们的一言一行,用Facebook公司掌门人马克•扎克伯格的话说就是,隐私不再是一种社会规范。而日本的技术似乎正在向前迈出一大步:让企业监控我们的情绪。

Now in use by several undisclosed blue chip companies in Japan, NEC's new health tool is PC-based and can monitor the mental stability of a workforce while flagging any potential psychological problems. For Japanese management, this could prove indispensable, dealing, as they do, with one of the most overworked and stressed workforces in the developed world. (Japan is second only to South Korea in suicide rates among wealthy nations, suffering an attrition rate nearly double that of the U.S.). According to a promotional leaflet for the app, the check tool works in tandem with workers' "attendance data" and boasts benefits including addressing "lost productivity, and lost cost reduction."

NEC开发的这种新型心理健康检查工具现已在好几家没有公开名称的日本蓝筹公司投入使用。这种基于电脑运行的工具不仅可以显示任何潜在的心理问题,还能够监视员工的心理稳定程度。这一点对于日本的管理者来说或许是不可或缺的,因为他们应对的是发达国家中最劳累、压力最大的劳动力群体之一(在富裕国家中,日本的自杀率仅次于韩国,员工流失率几乎是美国的两倍)。一份宣传单声称,这种检查工具可以跟工人的“考勤数据”协同运行,它的好处包括解决“生产力损失和白费的成本降低机会”等问题。

Japanese surveillance tech also includes tools to check on the quality of train station guards' smiles and face recognition ad boards. And retailers in Japan have tracked their salespeople with GPS tech since 2002.

日本的监视技术还包括检查火车站售票员笑容质量的工具,以及人脸识别广告板。早在2002年,日本的零售商就可以通过GPS技术跟踪销售人员。

These products were introduced without much fuss in the media or protest from the general population. Such deference to employers, some argue, means Japan is riper than most for a total surveillance society. (By contrast, consider the outrage in the U.S. prompted by revelations thatthe NSA had engaged in widespread electronic surveillance of American citizens.)

这些产品的推出既没有引发媒体一片哗然,也没有招致普通民众的抗议。一些人声称,对于雇主的这种顺从意味着,日本成为一个全面监控型社会的条件比大多数国家更加成熟。与之形成鲜明对比的是,美国国家安全局(NSA)曾经对美国公民实施大规模电子监控的消息一经披露立即引发美国社会各界强烈反弹。
 
In another study from the University of Queens, Japanese employees reported feeling fatalistic about snooping by the state, although some voiced distaste for employer breaches of privacy during focus group discussions. "I don't really care about the government collecting data on me if it is for security purposes," was one typical response.

根据皇后大学的另一项研究,日本员工据说对国家的窥探采取了一种听天由命的态度,尽管一些人在小组讨论会上声称非常讨厌雇主侵犯自己的隐私。典型的反应是,“如果是出于安全目的,我真的不在意政府收集我的数据。”

Such faith in authority and a lack of public debate no doubt encouraged a confident Japanese government to recently railroad a new secrets bill into law that will significantly curtail free speech. The law, which went into effect last week, makes it a crime to divulge any secret the Japanese government deems vital to state security. Officials have refused to elaborate on what categories of secrets they are referring to, rendering investigative journalism and whistle-blowing nearly impossible, with offenders facing 10-year jail terms. Spirited dissent from the opposition came too late.

对当局的信任,以及公开辩论的缺失,无疑促成了一个胸有成竹的政府。日本政府最近强行通过了一项必将显著削弱言论自由的法案。这项已于上周正式生效的法律规定,泄露任何被日本政府视为国家安全机密的信息即构成犯罪行为。政府官员拒绝详细说明这项法律所指的机密包括类别,进而使得调查性新闻报道和举报几乎面临绝迹的可能,因为违法者将面临10年刑期。同时,来自反对党的激烈异议来得太晚了。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has argued that the new security measures are necessary to plug a notoriously leaky government machine, which prevents the U.S. from sharing intelligence with Japan.

日本首相安倍晋三认为,就堵塞泄密丑闻频发的政府机器而言,这些新的安全措施非常必要。此前,因日本政府的保密工作不力,美国一直不愿意与日本共享情报。

But, as Kwansei University's Abe points out, a burgeoning cold war with North Korea and China has thrown Japan into new moral panic, sending the state to look to technology to make itself feel safe. Foreigners are now electronically photographed and fingerprinted at Japan's borders. NEC is also currently working on border control technology that will make "fortress America" look like a ring of roses, according to one source who was not authorized to speak publicly on these matters.

但正如关西大学的小岛清所言,与朝鲜和中国持续发酵的冷战让日本陷入新的道德恐慌之中,导致政府寻求通过技术手段获得安全感。现在,外国人进入日本国境时需要接受电子拍照和指纹采集。一个未获权公开谈论这些议题的消息源透露称,NEC公司目前也在开发一种将让“美国堡垒”看起来像是玫瑰花环的边境控制技术。

"So the market for surveillance in Japan is very attractive for electronic companies like NEC, Sony (SNE), and Panasonic," says Kwansei University's Abe.

小岛清说:“因此,日本的监视市场对NEC、索尼(Sony)和松下( Panasonic)等电子公司极具吸引力。”

Gripped by fear of war, terrorism, and crime in general, there has never been a better time to sell total surveillance to what is one of the safest countries in the world. Yet Japanese people contend they have much to fear, contrary to the facts. "Japan tends to evaluate risks using two level scales: 'safe' and 'not safe.' Often there is nothing in-between," says Ivan Poupyrev, a researcher who lived in Japan for 15 years.

对于战争、恐怖主义和普通犯罪的恐惧犹如乌云一般笼罩在日本国民的心头。推销全面监控,再也没有比现在更好的时机了。尽管日本是全球最安全的国家之一,但有违事实的是,日本人声称他们担心许多事情。在日本生活了15年的研究员伊万•波普列夫说:“日本倾向于使用两个层级评估风险,即‘安全’和‘不安全’,通常没有介于二者之间的层级。”

In fact, the country has a very low crime rate that has been declining over the last 60 years. Japan's particularly successful brand of social cohesion has resulted in densely crowded cities -- like Tokyo -- where it is common to see children as young as six walk home alone in apparent safety. Although those same children are often subject, like nowhere else in the world, to electronic surveillance, tracked by special GPS software provided by mobile networks to anxious parents.

事实上,过去60年来,这个国家原本就已经非常低的犯罪率一直在呈下降趋势。日本特别成功的社会凝聚力品牌促成了许多类似东京这样的人口密集型城市。东京街头显然非常安全,我们时常可以看到年仅6岁的孩童一个人步行回家。然而,这些孩子往往也是电子监控的对象——焦虑的父母通过移动网络提供的专用GPS软件跟踪自己的子女,这种现象在全世界可谓绝无仅有。

Rather than being "empowered by innovation," as NEC would have it, Japan might be the first nation to be "enslaved by innovation" given that so few of its citizens care about their rights. No matter the intentions, such snooping opens the door to abuse. Nothing is being done to stop such behavior. The maxim that Japan is a "nation of sheep ruled by wolves" never seemed so apt.
 
NEC公司的宣传口号是“创新带来力量”(empowered by innovation),但鉴于关心自身权利的日本国民少之又少,事实或许恰恰相反,日本有可能成为第一个“被创新奴役”(enslaved by innovation)的国家。无论本意如何,这种窥探都给滥用大开方便之门。目前并没有任何旨在阻止这种行为的措施。有一句格言说吗,日本是一个“被狼统治的绵羊之国”,如今看来似乎再贴切不过了。(财富中文网)



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