Monday, 21 September 2009


Education game about the dangers of social networking, including privacy violations. Designed for young people, and produced by Channel 4. Smokescreen revolves around a face social networking site 'White Smoke'. Looks pretty interesting.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Terrorism and Securing Identity

I'm giving a talk at Royal Holloway tomorrow as part of a workshop on Media and Radicalisation. I'll be talking about some of the findings from the discourse analysis in my PhD which have some small implications for terrorism, security, and technology research.

Below is the powerpoint presentation that I'll be using. I mainly talk over pictures, so this won't make a huge amount of sense without the presentation, which I'm working on uploading as a video. It's mainly here to provide the quote slides for anybody at the workshop who might want a more detailed look.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Provisional programme for Security Workshop at POLSIS

"What threatens? Building Bridges in Security and Conflict Studies'

Tuesday 22nd September, G51 ERI Building, University of Birmingham

Panel 1 The Value of Military History for Contemporary Practitioners and Policy Makers

Chair: tbc

Peter W. Gray, “The Value of Military History in the Contemporary Environment”

Gary Sheffield, “Staff Ride and Seminar Room: The Realities of Applied Military History”

Christina Goulter, “Military Historical Support to the Royal Air Force”

Panel 2 American Hegemony and Its Maintenance

Chair: Richard Lock-Pullan

Adam Quinn, "In search of limits: AfPak and the 'new realism' in US foreign policy"

David Dunn, "Innovations and Precedent: the United States Use of Force and the Kosovo War"

Ben Zala, "American Hegemony and the Re-emergence of the Nuclear Disarmament Agenda"

Panel 3 What does Statebuilding Mean in Practice?

Chair: tbc

Paul Jackson, “State building, nation building and what the liberal peace means in practice”

Danielle Beswick, “The politics of regime security after genocide: Exploring Rwanda interventionism from DRC to Darfur”

Peter Albrecht, “Security Sector Reform, State-Building and Innovation in Sierra Leone”

Panel 4 Exploring the Boundaries of Critical Security: Identity, Time and Space

Chair: tbc

Laura Shepherd, “Gender and Global Social Justice: Peacebuilding and the Politics of Participation”

David Wills, “Securing Identity - Securitisation or Governmentality?”

John Carmen, “A Critical Approach to the Study of Conflict over the Long Term”


Chair: tbc

Paul Jackson, David Dunn, Garry Sheffield

Media and Radicalisation: Closing Symposium

I'll be presenting at the Media and Radicalisation closing symposium at Royal Holloway, on the 15th of September.

Panel One - Project Findings
  • Andrew Hoskins, Akil Awan, Ben O'Loughlin, Mina Al-Lami, Carole Boudeau

Panel Two - Identifying Terrorists on and offline
  • David Barnard-Wills - University of Birmingham - Terrorism and Securing Identity - a Discourse Analysis
  • Maura Conway - Dublin City University - How Technology and Terrorism are framed (title tbc).

Panel Three - Audience responses to global terrorism
  • Janroj Keles - Frech audience responses to discourses of radicalisation
  • Pierrick Bonno - French audience respones to discoures of radicalisation
  • Matilda Anderson - Open University - Responses to the Mumbai Attacks among theBBC World service audiances (title tbc)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Identity blogs

Heres a couple of blogs that I'm adding to the 'blogs I'm following' section down towards the bottom right of this page. They're at the technical/crunchy end of identity issues.

Firstly, Kim Cameron's Identity Weblog - Kim is the chief identity architect at Microsoft, and author of the 7 laws of identity which have been brought back to my attention by some current research (specifically, Ontario privacy commissioner Anne Cavoukian's re-interpretation of them as the 7 privacy-embedded laws of identity)

Secondly, the Digital Identity Forum blog - which in one post, used the shakespeare quote that's scrawled in the back of my diary awaiting use somewhere:

Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.
"Othello", Act 3 Scene 3.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Representing the Self

Journal of Information Technology and Politics

The special edition of the Journal of Information Technology and Politics on 'Politics: Web 2.0' is currently free to access. This state of affairs will not last, and it's probably worth grabbing these papers now. As I'm certainly doing.

most westerly CCTV in Europe?

This might just possibly be the most westerly CCTV camera in Europe. It's positioned near to the Gallarus Oretory, County Kerry, Ireland, presumably to keep an eye on the archeological site. I didn't do a very detailed search physical search, but it's towards the west end of the Dingle peninsula, and there's not much continent left at that point.

Conference announcement - A Global Surveillance Society?

A Global Surveillance Society?


City University London, UK
April 13 – 15, 2010

Surveillance is a ubiquitous feature of life in the global north, with citizens routinely monitored by institutions employing a range of sophisticated technologies. Increasing levels of surveillance are typically justified by the threat and fear of terrorism, crime and disorder, and to improve public and private services. In spite of this, little is known about the effect of surveillance on individuals, society, the democratic polity, nation states in the developed and developing world, and the evolving nature of humanity. The conference will feature papers which analyse and question these often taken for granted aspects of life within globalising surveillance societies. In particular we welcome papers which examine:
• Citizens’ everyday experiences of surveillance
• The attitudes to surveillance of the watching and the watched
• The development and diffusion of surveillance technologies in their institutional settings
• The political economy of surveillance, and the surveillance industry
• The surveillance of consumers and workers
• Regulatory developments in surveillance, including comparative constitutional and legal settings, privacy, freedom of information and data protection
• The philosophy of surveillance, and philosophical perspectives on surveillance
• The problems inherent within contemporary definitions of surveillance
• The role of the 'Technological' in surveillance studies
• Surveillance, intelligence and war
• Surveillance, sovereignty and the nation state
• Surveillance and the production of space
A formal conference call will be made on the 28th September 2009

Resistance to speed cameras in the US

Aaron Martin just pointed me in the direction of this Washington Times article about vandalism of speed cameras in Maryland. As the use of speed cameras seems to be fairly minor in the US compared with the UK, it'll be interesting to see if and how this type of resistance develops.

I would imagine that it could be potentially quite different to the discourse of the resistance to speed cameras here that Helen Wells and I wrote about in our Surveillance and Society article. However, the opposition here in the UK has primarily been from right-libertarian groups, which might map relatively well onto US political discourse. We found that one of the main problems resisters percieved with speed camera technology was the way that it challenged their self-ascribed 'normal, non-criminal' identity in an automatic technocratic process.

The article doesn't say if the speed cameras are the older type that are triggered by a sensor detecting the vehicle travelling over the speed limit, or the increasingly more common ANPR 'smart' cameras. Helen's identified some substantial differences between opposition to the two types in the UK, at least in part due to police forces learning from the experience of the older cameras and marketing ANPR a little more subtly.