Event Title

Understanding the Role of Citizens in Regulating the Surveillance State of the 21st Century

Location

Multicultural Center, Hardge Forum (Rm. 101)

Start Date

3-10-2014 12:00 PM

End Date

3-10-2014 12:50 PM

Description

Dr. David Murakami Wood, Associate Professor, Sociology, and Canada Research Director, Surveillance Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. This workshop explores the question of global surveillance, information and everyday life in the world that has been revealed by a whole range of contemporary phenomena from the Edward Snowden revelations to the theft and public posting of private photos. It identifies three connected trends. The first is the ‘opening up’ of both the surveillance apparatus and the lives of individuals, with closed networks of surveillance being connected to the public Internet and private data stored in ‘the cloud’ and shared both willingly and otherwise. The second is the ‘crowdsourcing’ of social and organizational practices of surveillance over these networks. The third is the gradual ‘infrastructurization’ of surveillance as these new surveillance networks are embedded in our lives through ‘smart’ objects, homes, cities and so on. Almost all states and corporate actors are taking advantage of the massively increased availability of data and the possibilities of greater knowledge and control, but at the same time, this new openness is also posed as a threat with attempts to associate openness with threats to decency, law and democracy, and ultimately, with ‘cybercrime’ and terrorism. The talk concludes that the new world of what I call ‘ambient government’ will not necessarily equate to the kind of more democratic ‘transparent society’ hoped for by some advocates, nor will it be (only) a technological authoritarianism, rather it will involve a more complex, contradictory and messy reconfiguration of social life, but one in which surveillance will remain central and essential.

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Oct 3rd, 12:00 PM Oct 3rd, 12:50 PM

Understanding the Role of Citizens in Regulating the Surveillance State of the 21st Century

Multicultural Center, Hardge Forum (Rm. 101)

Dr. David Murakami Wood, Associate Professor, Sociology, and Canada Research Director, Surveillance Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. This workshop explores the question of global surveillance, information and everyday life in the world that has been revealed by a whole range of contemporary phenomena from the Edward Snowden revelations to the theft and public posting of private photos. It identifies three connected trends. The first is the ‘opening up’ of both the surveillance apparatus and the lives of individuals, with closed networks of surveillance being connected to the public Internet and private data stored in ‘the cloud’ and shared both willingly and otherwise. The second is the ‘crowdsourcing’ of social and organizational practices of surveillance over these networks. The third is the gradual ‘infrastructurization’ of surveillance as these new surveillance networks are embedded in our lives through ‘smart’ objects, homes, cities and so on. Almost all states and corporate actors are taking advantage of the massively increased availability of data and the possibilities of greater knowledge and control, but at the same time, this new openness is also posed as a threat with attempts to associate openness with threats to decency, law and democracy, and ultimately, with ‘cybercrime’ and terrorism. The talk concludes that the new world of what I call ‘ambient government’ will not necessarily equate to the kind of more democratic ‘transparent society’ hoped for by some advocates, nor will it be (only) a technological authoritarianism, rather it will involve a more complex, contradictory and messy reconfiguration of social life, but one in which surveillance will remain central and essential.