Friday, 20 November 2009

Surveillance in the news over the last year

This is a very crude visualisation, but I've got a lexis nexis alert which gives me a summary each week of UK newspaper articles with 'surveillance' and 'big brother' in them (from a previous project) and I thought I might collate some of the data together. This one might be a bit too granular, but I'm thinking over overlaying it with some significant 'surveillance events' that got or caused the news coverage. The following image shows the same data, but aggregated by month.
It's early days on this, not entirely sure if it actually tells us anything, apart from surveillance topics (using the trope of big brother) crop up pretty regularly in UK newspapers, and that there is some variation in this (there were only a couple of weeks in the year when there was nothing) and that there tend to be some big spikes which look like they're linked to specific newsworthy events. There' s a background level of editorial comment on the issue too.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

ID Cards Website

copying this text from an email I just recieved:

New Website Launched the national id cards website

This website contains a comprehensive listing of national ID cards by geographic region worldwide allowing users to
study and compare specific national policies regarding identity cards, as well as a list of resources on the topic.

National identification systems have been proliferating in recent years as part of a concerted drive to find common identifiers for populations around the world. Whether the driving force is immigration control, anti-terrorism, electronic government or rising rates of identity theft, identity card systems are being developed, proposed or debated in most countries. However, there is no comprehensive database documenting the status of national identity card systems anywhere in the world, and this website has been designed in order to fill this gap.

We invite users to help compile this information. Go to ‘UPDATE ID INFORMATION’ and follow the steps to submit current information about national ID card systems globally.

This website has been developed under The New Transparency Project an MCRI project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The idea for the website is prompted by the book "Playing the Identity Card" recently edited by Colin Bennett and David Lyon, and published by Routledge (2008). The website is maintained and updated by a group of students and faculty from Queen's University and the University of Victoria.