David Lyon, Director, Surveillance Studies Centre, Queen's University.
Revelations from the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden are making waves around the world. Mass surveillance programs track personal data from internet companies targeting everyone from ordinary citizens to heads-of-state. Many are outraged; few saw the writing on the (Facebook) wall. After exploring what exactly has been revealed, we ask how to respond, in ethical and critical ways? One, this has been developing for decades. The rise of “risk society” and of data-driven organizations; digital dreams dominate; public-and-private blur into one. Two, why do we tolerate it? The familiarity factor in everyday surveillance, the fear factor after 9/11 and the fun factor of social media produce compliance, not critique. Three, what’s really at stake? Not just privacy and autonomy but accountability, freedom, dignity – in short, human flourishing.
, Robert Sutherland Building, Queen's University Room 202