Lay back, relax and try to remember the typical features of oppressive, authoritarian police states in Sci Fi since the 80's.
What are commonalities of different such portrayals?
I think it's dark-clothed anonymous 'security' personnel, 'shock' ticks used to maltreat people into submission, flying surveillance drones, domestic spying and people getting snatched and arrested without the right to challenge this treatment in a fair court.
It's probably the greatest and most surprising tragedy of the past ten years how easily and silently Western nations moved towards this horror. I began to warn about the import of warzone population control methods for domestic policing five years ago.
No, I did not expect to make any impression of note. Still, it's frustrating.
The US military and CIA have used drones armed with lethal weapons to target militants overseas for years. The prospect of having “lite” versions of those remotely controlled killer-machines circling over America gave some second thoughts to rights groups.
It's not like Tasers, black or militarised-look SWAT teams and equivalents, Patriot act etc weren't enough. Some think the time is ripe to get the drones, too. Not only for surveillance, but even with armament.
The good news is that this crap doesn't develop in all Western countries in a synchronised way.
The bad news is that those which 'advance' a lot on this appear to inspire followers, for there are enough authoritarian-minded people out there, and they're clearly over-represented among police personnel.
Again my position: We MUST NOT build up the arsenal of dictatorship in a democracy for supposed "security" reasons. Effective police, that's crime scene investigation and detective work, in case of major crimes a committee of up to 40 detectives. Such committees ("SOKO") have almost 100% success rate in Germany.
Good policing - that's having the resources and allocation of resources to actually investigate instead of administrate crimes. It is NOT about spying, surveillance, weapons or tasers. The German police uses almost no tasers and pepper spray only very rarely. Still, all German policemen combined did shoot only 85 bullets in conflict with humans during 2011, 58 of which were warning shots. (Germany has about 81.8 million inhabitants!).
So don't fall for the bullshit arguments for such new and police state-ish things. Whenever there's a security challenge - be it organised crime, errorists, pedophiles or other idiots - demand proper funding and allocation of funds to conventional police work first. Make sure that the police actually has the resources and (if necessary) the political backing to actually investigate crimes properly first. We should only pay attention to police state-ish stuff only when this is already accomplished and still insufficient.
Trust me, there's almost no place where this has been accomplished so far. Politicians are much too populist and prefer to let the police show off too much, not investigate enough.
Germans: Remember my words when you read the next time about some police chief sending his men out on patrol in groups with bulletproof vests and submachine guns. That's -next to the excessive stationary object security- among the most useless police activities ever.