Foucault describes panopticism as functioning through spatial coordinates:
"The panoptic mechanism arranges spatial unities that make it possible to see constantly and to recognize immediately. In short, it reverses the principle of the dungeon; or rather of its three functions--to enclose, to deprive of light and to hide--it preserves only the first and eliminates the other two." (200)

The Web functions similarly, but reverses even the first, making panoptic mechanisms more hegemonic through their ability to become their surroundings. Who knows, for example, if the person next to you on the subway is being tracked by a surveillance satellite?

The Web extends the panoptic mechanism even further by allowing more individuals to "see constantly and recognize immediately." We, for example, can track our students' writing projects more closely, monitor the traffic, and keep an eye on the weather in geographically distant locales. In that sense, we are likely defined by others through the computer screens that we watch.