Networks of Surveillance: Big Brother and Big Data go Digital

Presentation by Heidi McKee (Miami University).

In this presentation I will analyze the laws (mostly U.S., but some international) governing the surveillance, collection, and use of personal data and communication— laws that often predate the development of the Web (e.g., ECPA, 1986) or that are drafted by people with little to no familiarity with how the Internet works (e.g., CALEA, 1994; U.S. Patriot Act, 2001). From sous-surveillance (Kingsley, 2008) to selective targeting (Kerr et al., 2009) to country-wide crackdowns (Diebert et al., 2010), what we do and say online is watched, targeted, and, ultimately, controlled in ways that are far more troubling then with pre-Web communications/interactions.  Drawing from specific examples, I will analyze the implications of this for teaching and scholarship, for citizens, and citizen-led movements.  I argue for changes in custom and law for which we need to advocate.

Heidi A. McKee is an Associate Professor of English at Miami University and affiliate faculty with Interactive Media Studies. She is co-editor of Digital Writing Research: Technologies, Methodologies, and Ethical Issues (2007) and Technological Ecologies and Sustainability (2009). With James Porter, she co-authored The Ethics of Internet Research: A Rhetorical, Case-Based Process (2009).


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