New study on social networking and surveillance

One of our collaborators on the new Living in Surveillance Societies (LiSS) project, Christian Fuchs, from the eTheory Research Group of the ICT&S Center – Advanced Studies and Research in Information and Communication Technologies & Society at the University of Salzburg in Austria, has an interesting-looking new study out on social networking and surveillance. You can also find more information about the study here.

Just like me, Christian also has a blog on wordpress – although he hasn’t updated it much recently (I know that feeling!) – and runs an open access online journal, tripleC (cognition, communication and cooperation). Check them out…

Internet Surveillance in Brazil

At the same time as the UK government is pressing ahead with its plans for a massive database of all communications (that even the European Commission doesn’t like), and the US Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review has ruled that warrantless Internet surveillance is constitutional, Brazilian lawmakers are also attempting to restrict Internet liberties in the name of security.

In particular Senator Eduardo Azeredo last year pushed a ‘cybercrime’ bill through the upper house of parliament, that includes measures to create fixed identities for ISPs and IP numbers – see this blog post from my host, Rodrigo Firmino back in October when this first came to light. The struggle over this bill has been going on since 2006 and there are a whole host of other controversial measures particularly around cracking mobile phones which also seem to be not much more than ways of putting more money in the pockets of telecoms companies… there are more details,links to legal analyses, and a translation of the law into English here.

The Brazilian anti-Internet Surveillnce Campaign
The Brazilian anti-Internet Surveillance Campaign

Whatever the justifications or political objections – and there is a widespread campaign now ongoing as the bill still has not cleared the other chamber of parliament here – this would seem to be technically difficult, could effectively destroy the productive and collaborative use of the Internet in Brazil, but would also be very expensive with little actual benefit. I will be trying to arrange an interview with Senator Azeredo while I am here – as well as talking to the objectors.