Towards a Cyber Panopticon? - How surveillance and censorship affect who we are and what we do
What is the state of censorship vs. surveillance? Where do they meet and where do they diverge?
Half a century ago, French philosopher Michel Foucault argued that society was turning into a Panopticon - a model prison based on Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarian idea that prisoners would adapt their behaviour to potentially rather than actually being watched.
Thus, we depart from the argument that surveillance curtails freedom of expression and should be considered one method of censorship, by enforcing a climate of fear and self-censorship, because once you know or suspect you are being watched, you end up losing your freedom to openly speak your mind. This is most saliently so under authoritarian rule.
Combining a from-the-ground perspective - cyber activists from authoritarian states - with academic and technical aspects, we ask ourselves if surveillance is turning us into our own watchmen or if defiance might to the contrary augment our urge for online freedom of expression.
Andrew Lewman, The Tor Project
Brett Solomon, Access Now
Walid Al-Saqaf, Örebro University
Vilhelm Konnander, Blogger
Vilhelm Konnander commented
Confirmed panelists are currently:
- Lina Ejeilat, 7ibr.com
- Afrah Nasser, The Yemeni Salon
- Andrew Lewman, The Tor Project
- Brett Solomon, Access Now
- Vilhelm Konnander, Blogger
- Walid Al-Saqaf, Örebro University