CryptoHarlem Founder: Surveillance is the Enemy

• CryptoHarlem founder Matt Mitchell explains why surveillance is the enemy of personal security.
• Surveillance tools are often used to oppress and control citizens or even ignore criminal acts of those in power.
• Mitchell believes that people exist as targets of surveillance no matter what they do, and Black people are particularly vulnerable to law enforcement and commercial surveillance.

Surveillance: Friend or Foe?

CryptoHarlem founder Matt Mitchell recently spoke on The Agenda podcast about the complicated relationship between surveillance technologies and personal security. He argues that while these tools could be useful for deterring crime, they can also be used by governments and corporations to violate citizens’ privacy and monetize their data. Furthermore, he believes Black communities across America are particularly vulnerable due to both private and law enforcement surveillance.

The Dangers of Surveillance

According to Mitchell, people exist as a target of surveillance no matter what they do. This includes tracking cookies on web browsers, phone tracking apps, data collection by businesses, and even housing project surveillance. When all these layers of monitoring come together, it creates a highly detailed image of someone’s life without their knowledge or consent. As such, many argue that this type of surveillance is an invasion of privacy that should not be allowed in a free society.

Law Enforcement Surveillance

Mitchell specifically notes the heightened danger posed by law enforcement surveillance in Black communities across the US. This type of monitoring has long been used as a tool for oppressive control over minority populations in particular. By targeting these communities with invasive tactics like facial recognition technology, police departments have been able to further alienate already marginalized individuals from society at large.

Combatting Unjust Surveillance

In order to combat unjust forms of government or corporate surveillance, activists like Mitchell are calling for greater transparency around such practices so that citizens can protect themselves from potential abuses or violations of their rights. Additionally, it is important that lawmakers continue to pass legislation which strictly regulates how companies collect user data so that everyone can feel safe when using digital services online or through mobile applications without fear of being monitored without their knowledge or consent.


Surveillance technology presents both opportunities and challenges when it comes to protecting citizens‘ rights in the digital age; however it is clear that any form which is used to oppress certain populations must be met with swift action from advocates who understand its dangers firsthand. By increasing public awareness around the issue and working together on solutions which promote open dialogue between all stakeholders involved – including users – we can create a secure environment where everyone feels safe from unnecessary invasions into their private lives

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