Questioning Surveillance

Journal article

Wright, David; Rowena Rodrigues; Charles Raab; Richard Jones; Ivan Szekely; Kirstie Ball; Rocco Bellanova & Stine Bergersen (2015) Questioning Surveillance, Computer Law & Security Review 31 (2): 280–292.

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The aim of this article is to make suggestions that could empower different socio-political groups to question surveillance. It does so by formulating sets of questions that different stakeholders can ask of themselves, of the private sector and of government, including intelligence agencies. It is divided into three main parts. The first part provides some background on resilience in surveillance societies. It defines the terms and identifies features of resilience and today's surveillance society. The second part lays out a set of questions addressed to each of the stakeholder groups. The questions are intended to promote consideration of a proposed or existing surveillance system, technology, practice or other initiative in terms of the necessity and proportionality of the system, and of whether stakeholders are being consulted. The third part offers a list of measures that can be taken to increase resilience in a surveillance society, to restrict the scope of surveillance systems to what can be legitimately justified, and to minimise the impacts of surveillance systems on the individual, groups and society.


Surveillance; Empowering stakeholders; Resilience; Proportionality; Necessity

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