Introduction to Surveillance Studies: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Introduction to Surveillance Studies

1st Edition

By J.K. Petersen

CRC Press

416 pages | 139 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781466555099
pub: 2012-10-12
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pub: 2012-10-12
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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.

Table of Contents

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





About the Author

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Systems