1st Edition

Introduction to Surveillance Studies

By J.K. Petersen Copyright 2013
    416 Pages 139 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Surveillance is a divisive issue—one might say it is inherently controversial. Used by private industry, law enforcement, and for national security, it can be a potent tool for protecting resources and assets. It can also be extremely invasive, calling into question our basic rights to freedom and privacy. Introduction to Surveillance Studies explores technological trends, past- and present-day rationales for surveillance and surveillance devices, and current social issues surrounding them.

    The book begins with a brief historical perspective on the evolution of surveillance technologies, then charts the development of modern-day devices from the invention of radar to the dawn of the Internet. Next, it describes emerging technologies—including GIS, GPS devices, Google Maps, biometric technology, surveillance cameras, global satellites, miniaturization of devices, and social media—that are challenging notions of privacy and the right of access to information. While focusing on the technology, the book also discusses surveillance as a phenomenon and what these technologies mean to our understanding of freedom, privacy, and the impact of technology on communications and the structure of society.

    Enhanced with numerous photos, the book presents the pros and cons—and some of the controversy—of these increasingly sophisticated technologies, their collective impact, and what the future may hold. It is ideal for those new to surveillance; security, military, and law enforcement professionals who utilize surveillance technologies; and students of privacy, constitutional freedom, journalism, and sociology.

    Introduction & Overview
    Brief History of Surveillance
    Technologies & Techniques
    Optical Surveillance
    Aerial Surveillance
    Audio Surveillance
    Radio-Wave Surveillance
    Global Positioning Systems
    Computers & the Internet
    Data Cards
    Biochemical Surveillance
    Animal Surveillance
    Practical Considerations
    Prevalence of Surveillance
    Effectiveness of Surveillance
    Freedom & Privacy Issues
    Constitutional Freedoms
    Privacy Safeguards & Intrusions


    J.K. Petersen has been a computer and telecommunications educator, consultant, and writer for over 25 years, observing the emergence of consumer electronics into the mainstream since hobbyist days.