Tag Archives: Surveillance

Think twice : UN’s biometric identity management system

Biometric identity management systems raise many very important questions and some very scary ones as well.

Even more so when they are big multinational programs, like the UN Refugee Agency biometric identity management system, and collect and store biometric data of millions of the most vulnerable people on the Planet…  The sick, injured, persecuted people, refugees, asylum seekers, ethnic, religious or other minorities who ended up in a humanitarian camp because another group with more power somewhere simply wants them wiped out…  Question: Should the biometric data of individuals who are the target of a genocide even be collected in the first place ?? How is this data protected, how are these people protected, short and long term ? Not to mention the great asymmetry of power between the “helper” and the “helped”, and the questionable validity of informed consent (if it is brought up at all) in situations where it’s primarily about survival.

The following article gives an overview of these questions through the example of the Rohingya.

Tagged, tracked and in danger : How the Rohingya got caught in the UN’s risky biometric database. / Elise Thomas, Wired

Racism squared

Racism x Racism =

“Face recognition software is especially bad at recognizing African Americans. A 2012 study [.pdf] co-authored by the FBI showed that accuracy rates for African Americans were lower than for other demographics. Face recognition software also misidentifies other ethnic minorities, young people, and women at higher rates. Criminal databases include a disproportionate number of African Americans, Latinos, and immigrants, due in part to racially biased police practices. Therefore the use of face recognition technology has a disparate impact on people of color.”

>> Electronic Frontier Foundation, Street Level Surveillance, Face Recognition

Ethical research includes encryption: Surveillance Self-Defense for researchers

NEW >> EFF ‘s surveillance self-defense playlist for academic researchers

“This playlist addresses three separate but interrelated themes: first, the ethical conduct of research involving human participants, second, the protection of research data, and lastly, protection of the researchers themselves.”

Ethical research includes encryption !!!

Pas Sage en Seine @NUMA, Paris 18-21 Juin

Ateliers, conférences, accès libre de aujourd’hui à dimanche, au NUMA rue du caire à Paris. Le programme est ICI.


Samedi à 18h, Benjamin Sonntag avec “Turing, Asimov, Orwell, Huxley: 70 ans d’histoire de l’informatique et de la surveillance” et à 21h, les inculpés et amis de Tarnac “Hacker veut dire se rendre ingouvernable”

et Dimanche à 13h, “Un an de campagne avec La Quadrature du Net” par Adrienne Charmet

+ une chiffro fête aka cryptoparty

Bonne fin de semaine

>> Pas Sage en Seine

>> Pas Sage en Seine, 4 jours d’haktivisme au coeur de Paris, Jerome Hourdeaux sur le blog de Mediapart


24/7 : Late capitalism and the end of sleep


>> 24/7: Late Capitalism and the end of sleep, by Jonathan Crary (a Verso Book)

“24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep explores some of the ruinous consequences of the expanding non-stop processes of twenty-first-century capitalism. The marketplace now operates through every hour of the clock, pushing us into constant activity and eroding forms of community and political expression, damaging the fabric of everyday life.

Jonathan Crary examines how this interminable non-time blurs any separation between an intensified, ubiquitous consumerism and emerging strategies of control and surveillance. He describes the ongoing management of individual attentiveness and the impairment of perception within the compulsory routines of contemporary technological culture. At the same time, he shows that human sleep, as a restorative withdrawal that is intrinsically incompatible with 24/7 capitalism, points to other more formidable and collective refusals of world-destroying patterns of growth and accumulation.”

No privacy for spouses (Check Mate)


On SPOUSE-BUSTING: Intimacy, Adultery and Surveillance Technology,

Melissa Gregg

“The rise in online communication has brought an accompanying demand for services that facilitate, obscure and discover intimate and adulterous behavior, from dating sites to detective services and location-based tracking devices. This paper takes recent examples of  “spouse-busting” applications to investigate the relationship between intimacy, transparency and security. Adultery anxieties hold useful lessons for surveillance studies, since intimacy often means entitlement to a certain kind of knowledge – the provision of which equates to dominant ideals of commitment, care and trust. As Laura Kipnis argues, the modern relationship is one in which lovers “ must know everything there is to know about one another ”(2003, 162). This premise accords with broader transformations in intimacy encouraging openness and communication between self-directed individuals (Giddens 1992, Shumway 2003, Illouz 2007). According to Kipnis, the practice of “withholding information or having secrets is a definite warning sign of relationship distress ” , since “in principle nothing should be off limits (even if on occasion, ‘making sure’ may be required)”(2003,162-3). Spouse monitoring software provides the means for  “ making sure”. It demonstrates a major tenet of contemporary intimacy in so far as it presumes there is no need for privacy “if there’s nothing to hide”.”



On Lateral Surveillance (when hell is other people)




Lateral Surveillance, Risk and Governance – Mark Andrejevic


“This article focuses on emerging strategies for what might be described as lateral surveillance: not the top-down monitoring of employees by employers, citizens by the state, but rather the peer-to-peer surveillance of spouses, friends, and relatives.”



“Lateral surveillance, or peer-to-peer monitoring, understood as the use of surveillance tools by individuals, rather than by agents of institutions public or private, to keep track of one another, covers (but is not limited to) three main categories: romantic interests, family, and friends or acquaintances. It also comprises several levels of monitoring, ranging from casually Googling a new acquaintance to purchasing keystroke monitoring software, surveillance cameras, or even portable lie detectors. Rather than providing an exhaustive taxonomy of surveillance technologies and practices, this section explores examples of monitoring strategies in an effort to elaborate the logic of peer-to-peer surveillance, one that it is hoped might prove of some use in illuminating a constellation of practices ranging from the use of lie detectors in reality TV formats to the growing market for home surveillance products, and the commonplace practices of peer monitoring via cell phone, IM, or the Internet. While some of the practices described below might seem absurd, such as submitting children to a portable lie detector test, others have become so commonplace that they have passed into unreflective use, such as caller ID, once a technology paid for by those with security concerns, now a service as ubiquitous as cell phones. The following sections explore three inter-related forms of lateral surveillance: the use of the Internet, the development of do-it-yourself information gathering technologies, and that of offline investigative tools. In each case the goal is to use representative examples of the technologies to provide some concrete examples of the argument developed in previous section as well as to illustrate developments in lateral monitoring that don’t receive the kind of attention academic or otherwise that more top-down forms of surveillance have generated. Of central interest to this paper is the constellation of monitoring practices that emerge from a consideration of the available technologies and techniques. They are, I would argue, worthy of consideration in their own right not as a unique phenomenon but as part of the monitoring assemblage associated with the deployment of new information and communication technologies.”

Article abstract:


This article explores a range of technologies for ‘lateral surveillance’or peer monitoring arguing that in a climate of perceived risk and savvy skepticism individuals are increasingly adopting practices associated with marketing and law enforcement to gain information about friends, family members, and prospective love interests. The article argues that the adoption of such technologies corresponds with an ideology of responsibilization’associated with the risk society: that consumers need training in the consumption of services and the development of expertise to monitor one another. Rather than displacing ‘top-down’ forms of monitoring, such practices emulate and amplify them, fostering the internalization of government strategies and their deployment in the private sphere. In an age in which everyone is to be considered potentially suspect, all are simultaneously urged to become spies.

Screenshot from 2015-03-15 13:29:38



Tools and Tactics for LGBT communities in Arabic region and sub-Saharan Africa

Security in-a-Box is a collaborative effort of the Tactical Technology Collective and Front Line Defenders, which was created to meet the digital security and privacy needs of advocates and human rights defenders. The Community Focus editions of Security in-a-Box are a series of guides which aim to better place digital security in the context of the work carried out and threats faced by different communities of human rights defenders.

Development of the guides is ongoing. The first two guides, for the Arabic-speaking and sub-Saharan African LGBTI communities, were published in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

The guides are researched and written in collaboration with human rights defenders. They include information about the particular digital security risks which the communities tend to face and also add to the existing material in Security in-a-Box to include new How-to chapters and Hands-on guides where necessary, in order to help you to better protect your information, yourself, and your community.”

Proteja-se nas ruas e na rede


O destaque do projeto é o guia Vai protestar? Proteja-se!. Ilustrada, a publicação contém informações de fácil entendimento sobre o uso de tecnologias que protegem a privacidade. Através dela, os manifestantes podem também munir-se de dicas jurídicas sobre seus direitos e estratégias de mitigação de riscos em caso de vigilância ou abuso de poder antes de ir para as ruas.



Le droit à l’anonymat et au chiffrement

“L’âge numérique s’est traduit par une capacité accrue de chacun à créer et publier des contenus accessibles par tous (en théorie) et à correspondre presque instantanément avec d’autres. Mais ces capacités accrues se sont en réalité accompagnées d’un affaiblissement de la confidentialité des communications et de l’anonymat des producteurs de contenus ou correspondants. La centralisation des services Web, la création d’un marché des données personnelles et le développement de techniques de croisement transforment l’idée d’anonymat (et l’intimité qu’elle permet) en une illusion que les dispositions juridiques de protection ne suffisent pas à transformer en réalité. Ce ne sont donc pas seulement les protestataires ou les lanceurs d’alerte qui ont besoin de techniques d’anonymisation, de chiffrement et d’outils décentralisés, mais également tout un chacun qui souhaite préserver son intimité.

L’anonymisation de type Tor (et technologies liées) et le chiffrement des communications doivent être vus comme un semble de techniques (réunies par exemple dans le système Tails [4]) qui rétablissent un équilibre perturbé, reconstituant les conditions technologiques d’un droit à l’anonymat et au secret des correspondances qui est mis en danger notamment par les différents programmes de la NSA et de ses partenaires. Ce rétablissement renforce le pouvoir distribué des individus et des organisations qu’ils forment face aux pouvoirs étatiques et privés.”

Extrait de la note de Philippe Aigrain élaborée pour la Commission parlementaire de réflexion et de propositions sur le droit et les libertés à l’âge numérique de l’Assemblée nationale


Protect all Rhinos




“Une image, peut-être plus parlante que mes histoires de selfies piégés et d’attentats futurs, est celle qui demande aux visiteurs de cette réserve – où vivent des rhinocéros – de ne pas diffuser les photos qu’ils prennent sur les réseaux sociaux, ou sinon de désactiver la géolocalisation de leurs appareils.

Parce que celles-ci pourront, sinon, servir à indiquer aux braconiers où et quand vont les animaux qu’ils vont abattre pour leurs cornes.

C’est pour cette raison que, quelles que soient leurs qualités, je ne prête que peu d’intérêts à la majorité des initiatives de messageries sécurisées « post-snowden ». Non qu’elles soient inutiles, loin de là, mais simplement parce qu’elles répondent à un problème du siècle dernier.

Oui, se protéger soi-même est utile. Mais quand l’énorme majorité de nos correspondants ne le sont pas, alors nous sommes autant à l’abri de la surveillance que nos amis rhinocéros. Or – et même si c’est triste il faut se rendre à l’évidence – l’énorme majorité de nos contemporains ne va pas quitter Gmail, ne va pas cesser de publier des photos sur Facebook, ne va pas désactiver la géolocalisation de ses smartphones, ni rien de tout ça.

Parce que l’énorme majorité de nos contemporains n’a « rien à cacher » et qu’à ce jour personne ne lui explique que ce qu’elle a à cacher, c’est nous.

Extrait de Rien à cacher de Laurent Chemla su rle blog Mediapart.

Charlie Hebdo : Non à l’instrumentalisation sécuritaire

LA QUADRATURE DU NET Paris, le 9 janvier 2015

Sans même attendre la fin d’une quelconque enquête sur l’ignoble attentat ayant visé Charlie Hebdo le 7 janvier, le gouvernement persévère dans son obstination à accroître l’arsenal antiterroriste, en notifiant à Bruxelles du décret d’application permettant le blocage de sites « terroristes » ou pédopornographiques et en annonçant de nouvelles mesures antiterroristes. La Quadrature du Net appelle les citoyens à refuser cette surenchère absurde et à défendre coûte que coûte la liberté d’expression et d’information.

L’attentat commis contre l’équipe de Charlie Hebdo mercredi matin 7 janvier montre de façon terrible à quel point la liberté d’expression est une valeur à défendre comme un des fondements de notre démocratie. Les victimes de l’attentat, journalistes, policiers ou visiteurs, ont donné leur vie pour ce qui, plus qu’un symbole, est en démocratie la première des libertés publiques.



UK health sector’s “duty to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”

Check UK government Prevent duty guidance: a consultation (which will run until Friday January 30th 2015). Direct implications for the healthcare sector.
“The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, which is currently before Parliament, seeks to place a duty on specified authorities (identified in full in Schedule 3 to the Bill, and set out in the guidance) to ‘have due regard, in the exercise of its functions, to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. Preventing people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism also requires challenge to extremist ideas where they are used to legitimise terrorism and are shared by terrorist groups. In carrying out this duty, the specified authorities must have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State. A draft of that guidance is attached here, for consultation.
Purpose :
“The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on the draft guidance from: local authorities, schools, further and higher education institutions, the NHS, the police, prison and young offender institution governors, and providers of probation services. These bodies are listed in Schedule 3 and will be subject to the duty, when the provisions come into force. We would also be interested in hearing from other bodies working in these fields who feel that they should also be subject to the duty.
We have included specific consultation questions throughout the document which we invite responses on. But more generally, we would like to hear views on the practicality of the guidance, what other measures could proportionately be taken to comply with the duty, any examples of existing good practice, and any opportunities and barriers to implementation. “
The health sector (p.30-32)
119. Healthcare professionals will meet and treat people who may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. Being drawn into terrorism includes not just violent extremism but also non-violent extremism, which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise views which terrorists exploit. The key challenge for the healthcare sector is to ensure that, where there are signs that someone has been or is being drawn into terrorism, the healthcare worker is trained to recognise those signs correctly and is aware of and can locate available support, including the Channel programme where necessary. Preventing someone from being drawn into terrorism is substantially comparable to safeguarding in other areas, including child abuse or domestic violence.
120.There are already established arrangements in place, which we would expect to be
built on in response to the statutory duty.
Health specified authorities
121.The health specified authorities in Schedule 3 to the Bill are as follows:
•NHS Trusts
•NHS Foundation Trusts
Question for consultation
19. Are there other institutions, not listed here, which ought to be covered by the duty?
Please explain why.
122. NHS England has incorporated Prevent into its safeguarding arrangements, so that
Prevent awareness and other relevant training is delivered to all staff who provide services to NHS patients. These arrangements have been effective and should continue.
123. The Chief Nursing Officer in NHS England has responsibility for all safeguarding, and a safeguarding lead, working to the Director of Nursing, is responsible for the overview and management of embedding the Prevent programme into safeguarding procedures across the NHS.
124. Each regional team in the NHS has a Head of Patient Experience who leads on
safeguarding in their region. They are responsible for delivery of the Prevent
strategy within their region and the health regional Prevent co-ordinators (RPCs).
125. These RPCs are expected to have regular contact with Prevent leads in NHS

organisations to offer advice and guidance.
126. In fulfilling the duty, we would expect health bodies to demonstrate effective action in the following areas.

The “chilling effects” of surveillance on freedom of speech

In 1975 psychologists P. Zimbardo (also known for the Stanford Prison Experiment) and G. White exposed the results of an experiment designed to test psychological side effects of surveillance, and more precisely, the negative effects of surveillance on freedom of speech. Their focus was on subjects “de-individuation” which refers to someone giving up on their individuality, inhibiting their self-expression, and “reactance”, which is defined as an “aversive motivational state experienced when a person thinks one of his freedom has been threatened or eliminated”.

The authors not distinguishing between psychological integrity and actual constitutional rights is in part what makes that article still so relevant today, 40 years and a considerable extension of the domain of surveillance later.

In the introduction of their paper, the authors don’t take detours to make clear that:

If people are inhibited by surveillance, the first amendment has at least been psychologically breached. If so, courts and legislatures may need to consider these effects in order to specify more narrowly those conditions that justify surveillance and those where surveillance violates important rights of citizens”

This research, they conclude, demonstrate that surveillance does indeed tamper with freedom of speech, and not only that, but that these “chilling effects” also come “at a price of increased disrespect for the government and society itself “. That sounds counter-productive, doesn’t it ?

Abstract :

Americans are becoming more aware that one’s private life may be under surveillance by government agencies and other institutions. Two social- psychological theories are discussed that can be applied to the effect of potentially aversive surveillance on opinion inhibition. The deindividuation- individuation hypothesis predicts that people will avoid opinion expression, while the psychological reactance hypothesis predicts opinion assertion and attack upon threatening agents. To test these notions, a reactance-arousing threat (videotaping of marijuana opinions which would be sent to the FBI) was orthogonally crossed with actual performance of the threatened action. The results are reported.

Access article here

How will surveillance and privacy technologies impact on the psychological notions of identity ?

After discussing the developments of surveillance and privacy technologies (with privacy protection lagging behind), Ian Brown (Oxford University) argues that they are likely to :

> Bring about Distrust in personal relationships and technology

“Control of information disclosure is an important part of managing personal relationships. Between partners and friends, controlled disclosure builds intimacy and trust, while the ability to tell “little white lies” can be essential to smooth over conflict. If new surveillance technologies do not come with adequate privacy features, this disclosure control will be damaged. This could erode social ties and potentially contribute to family breakdowns and fewer quality relationships. ”

> Negatively affect Social mobility and cohesion

“Private and public-sector surveillance and profiling will lead to individuals increasingly being offered differentiated products and services based on past behaviour, and to a more targeted exercise of power in areas such as criminal justice and social security (Anderson et al. 2009). Unless approached carefully, this could significantly reduce aspiration and social mobility. It may also cause a reduction in social cohesion, if levels of common experiences and the perception of equal treatment are reduced.”

> Create Conformity and stigma 

“The Internet has given individuals greater freedom to explore different identities, reducing constraints on finding information about and participating in online discussion with similar others (McKenna 2007). Greater surveillance could constrain such “potential” selves, and force the revelation of stigmatised identities and interest in fringe ideologies – as well as reinforcing feelings of isolation, difference and shame”

> “Criminalize” citizens and be counter-productive in catching criminals : (mis) Judgment by authority

“While the use of privacy technologies (such as e-mail encryption) remains relatively unusual, users could be wrongly identified with those attempting to hide criminal activities. ”

> Disable the Plural society 

“Surveillance can have a significantly constraining effect on political debate and protest, and hence reduce the broader public debate on socially contested issues, and the ability of weaker groups to resist power.”

“Despite the technological opportunities for sousveillance, Ullrich and Wollinger (2011) note that power asymmetries remain for protestors. Police are “better equipped, outfitted with public legitimacy, more trusted by courts, in possession of other preventive and repressive instruments,” and can also seize protestors’ recordings for their own use (Ullrich and Wollinger, 2011: 24). They conclude that “a technical arms build-up of open and concealed surveillance… signals the encroachment of authoritarian concepts of the state and is a potentially dangerous attack on political participation from below” (p.33). ”





Every breath you take, they’ll be tracking you

“The Propeller sensor keeps track of your medication use for you, with a record of the time and place you have used your inhaler. The sensor is a small device that attaches to the top of your existing inhaler and stays out of your way when you need to use it.”

“Dr. Lawrence Madoff, an epidemiologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Boston, says this is a new trend in public health. “The patient or the public is actually participating in their surveillance directly. You’re moving back closer to an event actually happening – when does someone get sick? When do they show symptoms? When do they first report something going on?”


by Alison Bruzek for Popular Science


Para Além do Big Brother @Lisbon & Estoril Film Fest. 14-16 Nov.

VIVA ! Este fim-de-semana, o simpósio a não perder do festival de Estoril : Três dias de discussões e projecções sobre a vigilância de massas (incluído a projecção do CITIZENFOUR de Laura Poitras em sua presença) e participantes como o advogado Baltasar Garzòn, Jacob Appelbaum (TOR), Julian Assange (Wikileaks), fundadores de La Quadrature du Net Jeremie Zimmerman, Philippe Aigrain, entre outros. FORÇA !

L’assureur emboîte le pas du big data

Attention, en santé aussi l’enfer Big Brother est pavé de bonnes intentions.

En Juin dernier Axa lançait “Pulsez votre santé avec AXA” un jeu concours promettant des trackers santé à qui souscrirait bon pied bon oeil une assurance, assortis de bons cadeaux à qui rapporterait le bon nombre de pas…

Ou comment se voir perdre quelques bons degrés de libertés à l’horizon…

Capture d’écran 2014-11-12 à 15.33.34

Pour info 

“Parmi ceux qui ont le plus d’intérêts à acheter les données personnelles stockées et vendues par les géants de l’informatique grand public figurent en première ligne les assurances santé, qui disposent grâce aux technologies de médecine personnalisée d’une base d’informations sans précédent sur les comportements individuels des clients qu’ils doivent assurer, et qu’elles ont donc intérêt à influencer par une forme de chantage à l’assurance.

Ceux qui refuseront de voir leur activité surveillée pour vérifier qu’ils ne font rien de dommageable pour leur santé paieront plus cher leur assurance, voire n’y accéderont plus. Ou de façon plus pernicieuse, ceux qui accepteront de porter des objets connectés qui permettent à l’assurance de vérifier leur comportement auront le droit à des réductions tarifaires, mais devront alors s’interdire le moindre écart de conduite pour continuer à bénéficier des remboursements prévus au contrat. C’est ainsi la liberté individuelle qui risque de se dissoudre dans la mode du “quantified-self”.

Guillaume Champeau, “Ça y est, Axa conditionne un avantage santé à un objet connecté”


“Et les libertés individuelles ? Ne pas s’en occuper au motif que l’individu est volontaire pour offrir les données de son corps à son assureur, via son smartphone ? Le respect de la vie privée est-il compatible avec une nouvelle « médecine » (personnalisée et numérisée) véhiculée par les géants du marché, Axa, Apple, Nike et leurs concurrents ? Où sont, ici, les puissances publiques, les responsables politiques ?”

Jean-Yves Nau, “Offrez votre corps à Axa, Apple, Nike etc.”

Surveillance Self-Defense (EFF)

Capture d’écran 2014-10-29 à 10.14.16

Surveillance Self-Defense is EFF’s “guide to defending yourself and your friends from surveillance by using secure technology and developing careful practices.”

Activists or protesters, journalists, human rights defender, everyone, on the move or at home: Be introduced to threat modeling, find out how to keep your data safe, how to create strong passwords, learn about encryption, choose your tools…

For inspiration, you can read Laura Poitras on the crypto tools that made her journalistic work with whistleblower Edward Snowden possible, and the film CITIZENFOUR 




Holly Herndon’s NSA break up song

Holly Herndon’s HOME, a love/break up song “for prying eyes” and corrupt confidants/devices. Data rain of NSA symbols in music video by Metahaven.

Holly Herndon says:

For my debut album Movement, I communicated an intimacy with my laptop. It is my instrument, memory, and window to most people that I love. It is my Home.

The ongoing NSA revelations have fundamentally changed this relationship. I entrusted so much in my device. To learn this intimacy had been compromised felt like a grand betrayal. Is everything done privately on my laptop to be considered a public performance?

Metahaven says:

The NSA spying on our network may have been tacitly known from reports going back as far as 2002, but the aesthetics of this surveillance were not so known. Code names, acronyms, icons and graphics from a shadow world designed to never be publicly exposed.

For “Home,” we created a data rain of these NSA symbols.


Oficina Cyber – Crypto Party, 8/10 @ PORTO

A tecnologia que nos controla ou a tecnologia que nós, cidadãos, controlamos ?
Guerra cibernética ou paz cibernética?
Que futuro queremos para a tecnologia, e de que forma podemos combater a vigilância em massa?
Nesta oficina será abordada a história das redes, ética, co-respondabilidade e co-dependência, os ciclos virtuosos e os ciclos viciosos.
O tema central será o anonimato, a descentralização e o software livre, a alternativa ao Google, Skype, Dropbox, entre outros.

Não é obrigatório trazer um dispositivo próprio (laptop, tablet ou telefone).

A oficina será orientada por Jérémie Zimmermann, engenheiro informático Francês co-fundador da La Quadrature du Net, grupo de defesa das liberdades fundamentais dos cidadãos na internet.

Jérémie foi um dos contribuidores para o livro “Cypherpunks: freedom and the future of internet”, de Julien Assange.

Quarta feira, 8 de Outubro, na Sonoscopia, PORTO
Das 15H às 20H
Preço Livre


Prosthetic Surveillance

Prosthetic Surveillance: The medical governance of healthy bodies in cyberspace

(Emma Rich, Andy Miah)

Abstract : 

This paper examines how ‘surveillance medicine’ (Armstrong 1995) has expanded the realm of the medical gaze via its infiltration of cyberspace, where specific features of healthism are now present. Drawing on Foucault’s notion of biopower, we examine how digital health resources offer new ways through which to discipline individuals and regulate populations. The emergence of health regulation within and through cyberspace takes place in a context wherein the relationship between the body and technology is rendered more complex. Departing from early literature on cyberspace, which claimed that the body was absent in virtual worlds, we articulate a medicalized cyberspace within which the virtual and corporeal are enmeshed. 

The range of health issues articulated through surveillance discourses are many and varied, though of significance are those related to weight and health, as they provide a particularly rich example through which to study medical surveillance in cyberspace due to their moral and regulative focus. We argue that the capacity for health resources to encourage disciplinary and regulative practices defies the designation of virtual, as non-reality. Moreover, with the advent of a range of digital platforms that merge entertainment with the regulation of the body, such as Internet based nutrition games, and the use of games consoles such as Nintendo wii fit, cyberspace may be providing a forum for new forms of regulative practices concerning health. These virtual environments expand our understandings of the boundaries of the body, since much of what takes place occurs through both a virtualization of identity, such as the use of an avatar or graphic image of one’s body on screen, and a prostheticisation of the body within cyberspace. To conclude, while surveillance medicine regulates physical selves in real time, we argue that there is a growing tendency towards a prosthetic surveillance, which regulates and defines bodies that are simultaneously hyper-text and flesh. 

Full article (pdf) on Surveillance & Society journal :


Edward Snowden un an après: Asile politique, Reconnaissance et Rise Against The Machine

Capture d’écran 2014-07-08 à 20.08.25

SNOWDEN, TERMINATOR ET NOUS, par Jérémie Zimmerman

“Il y a un an jour pour jour, un courageux jeune homme nommé Edward Snowden a sacrifié une grande partie de sa vie et de ses libertés pour nous révéler la dure réalité du monde dans lequel nous vivons. Ses révélations en cours nous enseignent et nous permettent de comprendre à quel point notre relation à la technologie a changé à tout jamais, et pourquoi nous ne pourrons plus faire confiance aux machines. Edward Snowden nous a aussi montré le chemin à emprunter pour reprendre le contrôle des machines, et l’importance de cette tâche que plus personne ne peut ignorer.”

Lire la suite sur le blog de Mediapart ICI 


“Le 5 juin 2013 paraissait le premier d’une série d’articles de Glenn Greenwald et Laura Poitras et une vidéo d’Edward Snowden. L’onde de choc des révélations d’Edward Snowden n’a pas fini d’ébranler l’édifice monstrueux du partenariat public-privé de surveillance planétaire de chacun d’entre nous. Ce même jour, chacun découvrait le pouvoir des actes d’un seul être humain, dévoué aux valeurs démocratiques et aux droits fondamentaux, lorsqu’ils sont relayés à destination de tous. Hélas, nous découvrions également l’indifférence, ou pire : la complicité d’États qui ne cherchent qu’à nier leur propre responsabilité, ou à légaliser rapidement leurs propres atteintes à la vie privée des citoyens”

Lire la suite ICI 

Caption by http://terminatorstudies.org

The tech community needs compassion and inclusivity to fight surveillance, by Jillian York

Jillian York (EFF) In the Guardian today : “We are living amidst a crisis of conscience, politics and action. We must approach surveillance from all angles, taking care not to shame or dismiss people in the process”

She describes the harm reduction approach applied to the epidemic of surveillance she and jacob Appelbaum talked about last week at re:publica 14.

Read her article HERE

Journalists Sarah Harrison and Alexa O’Brien @ re:publica 14

SARAH HARRISON, who, on top of her great work with Wikileaks as an investigative journalist and legal researcher, has provided whistleblower Edward Snowden with some ultimate form of care last year, from Hong-Kong to his asylum in Russia,

and ALEXA O’BRIEN, the journalist to whom the world owes an extensive searchable archive of the only available transcripts of WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning’s closed trial,

together put a few facts straight about Wikileaks, Manning and Snowden in their conversation @ re:publica 14.

Watch it HERE.

TOR against cyberstalkers and the extension of domestic violence


“For several years, Tor, spearheaded by Tor Project executive director Andrew Lewman, has been tackling cyberstalking, working with domestic violence groups to set up countersurveillance programs to help victims evade online surveillance, just as dissidents, whistleblowers, or cybercriminals use the onion router to mask their identity.

“Tor Browser and Tails [an incognito operating system] help keep victims anonymous, so they can browse without being watched, at least for a moment in time,” Lewman told me in an email.

The onion router can hide a victim’s identity long enough for them to research where to find help, and look up what data they can find about themselves without tipping off their stalker that they’re online, he said.”

“How to talk to your children about mass surveillance”, by Cory Doctorow

“Kids care intensely about privacy, because kids make a lot of mistakes. Making mistakes is how you learn not to make more mistakes in the future. Making mistakes while someone else watches is a qualitatively different experience from making them on your own. Kids know, intimately, why privacy matters.

So I’m not surprised that my kid wants to talk about surveillance with me, and that this subject has grown to eclipse all others during our talks: ‘‘Daddy, let’s talk about the spies some more.’’


“If you want to connect to me, you have to do it safely” – Jacob Appelbaum & Jillian York @ re:publica 14

Like people didn’t give up on sex because of STDs, they are not going to give up using the Internet or today’s communication devices because they are bugged. There are however (transitive) risks in exposing our lives to constant capture / monitoring by third parties, and these could be minimized if the variety of us become better informed and start to adopt know-better behaviors, like in safer sex. Could we then learn how to use crypto tools like we learnt how to place condoms on bananas ? Drawing analogies with public health campaigns, environmental education for children and other social movements, Jacob Appelbaum (TOR) and Jillian York (EFF) lay out the principles of what could be a harm reduction campaign against the epidemic of mass surveillance and erosion of privacy, in their talk @ re:publica 14. Note that in a salutary queering of the debate, Appelbaum and York also point to the fact that opting out of the problem today saying “I have nothing to hide” is pretty much equivalent to (dominant white male) hetero saying AIDS is a gays thing and doesn’t concern them : false of course, and irresponsible. True, not everyone exposed to mass surveillance in their countries is exposed to the same risks (as of now white westerners might not risk to be put in jail or drone striked overnight for expressing their thoughts or gathering together on a regular basis), but understanding the interconnectedness is a vital key for all across the globe.