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Girl chewing gum

Last month, I featured a film of a streetscape in San Francisco originally shot during the first years of the twentieth century. In that post, I suggested that this film represented one of the first demonstrations of public surveillance, and highlighted how individuals in the film had subverted the process by behaving in exhibitionistic or privacy-protective ways.

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Transparency, search engines and government appetite for data

There has been a long-standing debate between privacy advocates and government officials about the extent of government interest in the information transmitted across domestic and international networks. The passage of USA PATRIOT Act intensified this debate and prompted concern from a more general audience as well. Ever since, the digerati and online crowd have been whispering and wondering about the interface between search engines, particularly Google, and law enforcement and national security bodies.

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Conference notes – CFP 2009

Sitting in the audience at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy 2009 conference (wiki, Twitter stream, blog, ustream live broadcast) today, I’ve heard several speakers try to discuss how privacy relates to concepts like national security, surveillance, information security and Web 2.0 applications. At the core of each discussion is an ongoing (some would say never-ending) debate: does privacy come at the expense of this other “X” element?

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