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Ethics of Big Data: 'Inside Snowden's Suitcase'

When Oct 21, 2015
from 12:00 PM to 02:00 PM
Where Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building
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Evan Light (Concordia University)

The Portable Snowden Surveillance Archive is a replica of the Snowden Digital Surveillance Archive – created and maintained by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and researchers at the University of Toronto. The suitcase here is two tools in one: it is an autonomous wifi network and web server that enables one to search all of the until-now published Snowden documents; and is a surveillance demonstration tool, replaying the Internet Protocol conversations that occur between the user’s smartphone/tablet/laptop and the tiny server inside the suitcase.

The Sensing Mass Surveillance workshop presents the legal concept of privacy and examines our historical relationships with telecommunications providers. I then present a number of important mass surveillance programs revealed through the Snowden documents and introduce the audience to the Portable Snowden Surveillance Archive. Here, the audience will be able to search through all the documents as well as the media articles with which they were first published into the public domain. Finally, I show the audience how the Portable Snowden Surveillance Archive has been learning things about them and extend the conversation into debates over agency, consent and legal authority in the context of big data.

The Portable Snowden Surveillance Archive is the creation of Dr Evan Light, FRQSC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mobile Media Lab, Concordia University and part of Performigrations, a touring EU-funded interactive art exhibit.

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About this website

This is the website for Ella McPherson's work related to her 2014-17 ESRC-funded research project, Social Media, Human Rights NGOs, and the Potential for Governmental Accountability.