Internet and Surveillance: The Challenges of Web 2.0 and Social Media

Fuchs, Christian, Kees Boersma, Anders Albrechtslund and Marisol Sandoval (Eds.). 2011. Internet and Surveillance: The Challenges of Web 2.0 and Social Media. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-89160-8. EU COST Publication. 332 pages.

The publication has been supported by EU COST – European Cooperation in Science and Technology and the EU COST Action IS0807 “Living in Surveillance Societies“.

The book is available both as papberback and hardcover.

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About the book

This book is the first ever published volume that is dedicated to Internet surveillance in the age of what has come to be termed “social media” or “web 2.0″ (blogs, wikis, file sharing, social networking sites, microblogs, user-generated content sites, etc). The Internet has been transformed in the past years from a system primarily oriented on information provision into a medium for communication and community-building. The notion of “Web 2.0”, social software, and social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace have emerged in this context. With such platforms comes the massive provision and storage of personal data that are systematically evaluated, marketed, and used for targeting users with advertising. In a world of global economic competition, economic crisis, and fear of terrorism after 9/11, both corporations and state institutions have a growing interest in accessing this personal data. Here, contributors explore this changing landscape by addressing topics such as commercial data collection by advertising, consumer sites and interactive media; self-disclosure in the social web; surveillance of file-sharers; privacy in the age of the internet; civil watch-surveillance on social networking sites; and networked interactive surveillance in transnational space. This book is a result of a research action launched by the intergovernmental network COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).

Christian Fuchs is professor and chair for media and communication studies at Uppsala University’s Department of Informatics and Media.
Kees Boersma is associate professor for Science and Technology Studies at VU University Amsterdam.
Anders Albrechtslund is associate professor at Aarhus University’s Department of Information and Media.
Marisol Sandoval is a scholar at the Unified Theory of Information Research Group.

Voices about the book

“With its careful balance between theoretical and empirical, critical and relatively neutral perspectives on the internet and surveillance, this excellent collection helps to define the challenges we face in understanding and coming to terms with social media and the still evolving network environment. Its impressive scope, accomplished through contributions from an international community of scholars updates the familiar, while setting the ground upon which future assessments of exploitation, alienation and resistance will have to begin once again.”
- Oscar H. Gandy, Jr., Professor Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania, author of “The panoptic sort. A political economy of personal information

“The spread of digital technologies presents the opportunity of people accessing and producing information more readily than ever before, a liberating potential. However, it also means that each and every one of us leaves a digital trace whenever we use credit cards, undertake a Google search, or pass through card-operated barriers. The opportunities for harvesting information – for using surveillance to order and organise people and places – is unprecedented. From the compelling reflections of pioneering analyst Thomas Mathieson, through sophisticated theoretical observations from the likes of Christian Fuchs and David Lyon, to richly-detailed case studies, this is a volume to savoured.”
- Professor Frank Webster, Head of Department of Sociology, City University London and author of Theories of the Information Society, 3rd edition 2006

“What is new now is surveillance that is hidden, unseen, and impossible to trace. [...] This book [...] is a most important volume on a most important feature of our society today”
- Professor Thomas Mathiesen, Professor of Sociology of Law at Oslo University and author of Silently Silenced. Essays on the Creation of Acquiesence in Modern Society.

“Web (2.0) is contested terrain, so much is clear after reading this book. In studying the new Internet-based surveillance practices, the authors of this book use – roughly speaking – two perspectives or approaches to Internet and surveillance that go beyond the one-sided utopian-dystopian debate. [...] On the one hand there are approaches that employ a critical political
economy approach for studying Internet surveillance. Many authors in this book find this perspective meaningful. [...] On the other hand there are approaches that focus on the analysis of the social dimension of Internet surveillance”.
- Dr. Kees Boersma in the book’s summary discussion presented in the postface

Contents

Preface (pp. xv-xxi)
THOMAS MATHIESEN

1 Introduction: Internet and Surveillance (pp. 1-28)
CHRISTIAN FUCHS, KEES BOERSMA, ANDERS ALBRECHTSLUND, AND MARISOL SANDOVAL

PART I: Theoretical Foundations of Internet Surveillance Studies

2 Critique of the Political Economy of Web 2.0 Surveillance (pp. 31-70)
CHRISTIAN FUCHS

3 Exploitation in the Data Mine (pp. 71-88)
MARK ANDREJEVIC

4 Key Features of Social Media Surveillance (pp. 89-105)
DANIEL TROTTIER AND DAVID LYON

5 Jean-François Lyotard and the Inhumanity of Internet Surveillance (pp. 106-123)
DAVID W. HILL

6 Critical Internet Surveillance Studies and Economic Surveillance (pp. 124-143)
THOMAS ALLMER

PART II: Case Studies, Applications, and Empirical Perspectives of Internet Surveillance Studies

7 A Critical Empirical Case Study of Consumer Surveillance on Web 2.0 (pp. 147-169)
MARISOL SANDOVAL

8 Disciplining the Consumer: File-Sharers under the Watchful Eye of the Music Industry (pp. 170-186)
DAVID ARDITI

9 Socializing the City: Location Sharing and Online Social Networking (pp. 187-197)
ANDERS ALBRECHTSLUND

10 What Do IT Professionals Think About Surveillance? (pp. 198-219)
IVÁN SZÉKELY

11 Fields, Territories, and Bridges: Networked Communities and Mediated Surveillance in Transnational Social Space (pp. 220-238)
MIYASE CHRISTENSEN AND ANDRÉ JANSSON

12 When Transparency Isn’t Transparent: Campaign Finance Disclosure and Internet Surveillance (pp. 239-254)
KENT WAYLAND, ROBERTO ARMENGOL, AND DEBORAH G. JOHNSON

13 Privacy, Surveillance, and Self-Disclosure in the Social Web: Exploring the User’s Perspective via Focus Groups (pp. 255-272)
MONIKA TADDICKEN

14 How Does Privacy Change in the Age of the Internet? (pp. 273-293)
ROLF H. WEBER

PART III: Conclusion

15 Postface: Internet and Surveillance (pp. 297-307)
KEES BOERSMA

Contributors (pp. 309-315)

Index (pp. 317-331)

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