Surveillance

the Week of October 7, 2014
A sign in a window that reads These Premises Are Under Surveillance.

Explore the politics, culture and technology of surveillance. In this issue, we feature pieces on sex work and surveillance, black women and surveillance theory, and the ethics of academic surveillance from elementary schools to the research establishment. We critique anti-surveillance methodologies, explore the histories of state violence and civilian surveillance, and learn how surveillance became Silicon Valley’s business model. Plus, social media as a digital panopticon and Big Brother, race and immigration. Photo CC-BY Kelly Bumford, cropped and filtered.

A large image of an eye painted on a wall set back from the street.

Big Brother is An Asshole

There is no way to confirm we’re being treated unfairly because we chose to voice our opinions, whether our visa is rejected or we’re put through extra security at airports. As an immigrant, Big Brother feels even more oppressive.

Aerial shot of Silicon Valley and the Bay.

How Silicon Valley Learned to Love Surveillance

Since the dot-com crash, data collection and analysis have become the core DNA of most internet companies.

Rusty barbed wire.

Social Networking as Peer Surveillance

Are we the greatest threat to our privacy online?

Artwork of four Black people standing outside a storefront that reads 'Foremost Ice Cream. Frost City. Tasty Hamburgers. Hot Dogs.'

Feeling Some Kind of Way About Surveillance

Racial profiling fundamentally relies on surveillance, and in the case of African Americans, it’s been going on for hundreds of years; so far we have not been able to opt out of being constantly watched.

A metal detector at the entrance of a school.

Grooming Students for A Lifetime of Surveillance

The same technologists who protest against the NSA’s metadata collection programs are the ones profiting the most from the widespread surveillance of students.

Cars on a highway at night.

Sex Work and Surveillance

Sex workers live at some of the most complicated intersections of surveillance and its many threats.

by Hexe
Photo of Shonda Rhimes and Viola Davis on stage.

Everyone Watches, Nobody Sees: How Black Women Disrupt Surveillance Theory

Our picture of surveillance needs to factor in not just tech developments, but the cultural standards that have bred surveillance, especially towards black culture, as part and parcel in our world.