Lyon featured in Chronicle

The March 17 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education features an article on surveillance studies.

Volume 52, Issue 28, Page A18


Watching the Watchers

In the burgeoning field of surveillance studies, researchers scrutinize the many ways in which human activity is monitored by government and industry


Walk anywhere in Manhattan's business districts, and almost every step you take will be recorded by surveillance cameras.

But you don't need a camera or a big city for surveillance. Anyone on a computer — from a farm outside Orem, Utah, to a resort on the Fijian island of Viti Levu — is most likely being monitored by electronic forms of surveillance that track consumer habits or calculate probable voting behavior.

As a fast-growing group of scholars sees it, the recent revelations of warrantless domestic spying and "data mining" by federal agencies should come as no surprise at all. They say a public-private merger of government and commercial interests has created an expanding and ever-more-encompassing net of surveillance.

Proponents promise that, post-9/11, increased surveillance will bring security, which is why legislation like the Patriot Act is essential to clearing a path for it. Critics decry the transformation of the information age into an era of pervasive spying. The conflict means that academic research and publishing on the subject are flourishing.

Read the full article here.