Internet and Surveillance: The Challenges of Web 2.0 and Social Media, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Internet and Surveillance

The Challenges of Web 2.0 and Social Media, 1st Edition

Edited by Christian Fuchs, Kees Boersma, Anders Albrechtslund, Marisol Sandoval


352 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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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).


'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

'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

Table of Contents

Preface Thomas Mathiesen 1. Introduction: Internet and Surveillance Christian Fuchs, Kees Boersma, Anders Albrechtslund and Marisol Sandoval Part 1: Theoretical Foundations of Internet Surveillance Studies 2. Critique of the Political Economy of Web 2.0 Surveillance Christian Fuchs 3. Exploitation in the Data Mine Mark Andrejevic 4. Key Features of Social Media Surveillance Daniel Trottier and David Lyon 5. Jean-François Lyotard and the Inhumanity of Internet Surveillance David W. Hill 6. Critical Internet Surveillance Studies and Economic Surveillance Thomas Allmer Part 2: Case Studies, Applications and Empirical Perspectives of Internet Surveillance Studies 7. A Critical Empirical Case Study of Consumer Surveillance on Web 2.0 Marisol Sandoval 8. Disciplining the Consumer: File-Sharers Under the Watchful Eye of the Music Industry David Arditi 9. Socializing the City: Location Sharing and Online Social Networking Anders Albrechtslund 10. What Do IT Professionals Think About Surveillance? Iván Székely 11. Fields, Territories and Bridges: Networked Communities and Mediated Surveillance in Transnational Social Space Miyase Christensen and André Jansson 12. When Transparency Isn’t Transparent: Campaign Finance Disclosure and Internet Surveillance 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 Monika Taddicken 14. How Does Privacy Change in the Age of the Internet? Rolf H. Weber Part 3: Conclusion 15. Postface: Internet and Surveillance Kees Boersma

About the Editors

Christian Fuchs is professor and chair for media and communication studies at Uppsala University's Department of Informatics and Media Studies. He is also board member of the Unified Theory of Information Research Group (Austria) and editor of tripleC (cognition, communication, co-operation): Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society. He is author of many publications in the fields ICTs & society, media & society, information society studies, and critical theory.

Kees Boersma is an associate professor for Science and Technology Studies at VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Anders Albrechtslund is an assistant professor of Surveillance and Ethics at Aalborg University, Denmark.

Marisol Sandoval is a research associate at the University of Salzburg, Austria.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Science, Technology and Society

Books in this series consider social science aspects of science studies. Authors discuss how science is socially situated and mediated, how science and technology are shaped by society and society by science and technology. Books will consider the social impact of new technologies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Internet / Security
COMPUTERS / Web / Social Networking
COMPUTERS / Social Aspects / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General