Tag: surveillance

My notes on Wood, D. M., & Monahan, T. (2019). Platform Surveillance. Surveillance & Society, 17(1/2), 1-6. In this editorial, David Murakami Wood and Torin Monahan introduce a special issue of Surveillance & Society which considers platform capitalism from the perspective of surveillance studies. Their focus is on how “digital platforms fundamentally transform social practices […]

I’ve been reflecting on a dark but plausible prediction by Edwards Snowden in his forward to The Assination Complex by Jeremy Scahill and the team from the intercept. On loc 195 he argues that the technological barriers to ubiquitous drone surveillance are now minimal: Inevitably that conceptual subversion finds its way home, along with the […]

I just came across this remarkable estimate in an Economist feature on surveillance. I knew digitalisation made surveillance cheaper but I didn’t realise quite how much cheaper. How much of the creeping authoritarianism which characterises the contemporary national security apparatus in the UK and US is driven by a familiar impulse towards efficiency? The agencies not only do […]

I love the analogy offered by Elinor Carmi at the start of this excellent Open Democracy piece: Yesterday I walked to the supermarket, like I do every Tuesday morning. All of a sudden I started noticing a few people starting to follow me. I try to convince myself that it is probably just my imagination, and […]

From The Black Box Society, by Frank Pasquale, pg 52: An unaccountable surveillance state may pose a greater threat to liberty than any particular terror threat. It is not a spectacular dangers, but rather an erosion of a range of freedoms. Most insidiously, the “watchers” have the power to classify those who dare to point […]

A really interesting BuzzFeed article about the use of smart phones on building sites to increase efficiency (the 30% of on-site time that is regarded idle, for reasons attributed to ‘miscommunication and disorganisation’) and their implications for workplace surveillance. What’s particularly striking is that inefficiencies are often the result of the complex subcontracting arrangements now […]

From The New Ruthless Economy, by Simon Head, loc 1209. I wonder what ‘innovations’ have emerged in the ten years since this was book was published? There are at least five distinct types of monitoring software. First, there are what might be called “classic” monitoring products, software that embodies the Taylorist preoccupation with timing and […]

This great lecture by Frank Pasquale (podcast) references this note, the text of which is the title to this post, sent to Martin Luther King by the FBI. As Pasquale notes, King was under constant surveillance that both facilitated and motivated this horrendous intervention. Can we imagine a data-driven generalisation of this condition and the […]

Present it as a technology for ensuring services are “as individual as you are”. I don’t think this Barclays advert is selling surveillance but I think their advertising strategy is something we will begin to see ever more of in coming years.    

Earlier today I started reading Blacklisted, an account of the extensive blacklisting in the construction industry that was exposed by an investigation by the Information Commissioner. For those unfamiliar with the case: In 2009, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) exposed details of a large-scale surveillance operation run by a company called The Consulting Association.  This […]