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Digital technologies have exponentially expanded the power of government and corporations to keep tabs on citizens. But citizens in turn are exploiting new technologies to expose the activities of governments, companies and even each other. How does the persistence and ubiquity of surveillance in our digitizing world affect what it means to be a citizen? Does our emerging condition of constant surveillance encourage individuals to curtail how they speak and act — or to offer more information? In what ways are new forms of citizen surveillance and public witness instruments of democracy and transparency? In what ways are they tools of distortion and propaganda for ideologues or special interests? Our panel of three distinguished scholars will engage these and related questions on evolving notions of citizenship in the digital age.
Panelists include Sandra Braman, a professor of communication at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and author of Change of State: Information, Policy, and Power from The MIT Press; Susan Landau, a visiting professor at Harvard University and author of Surveillance or Security? The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies, also published by The MIT Press; and Marcos Novak, professor and artist at the University of California, Santa Barbara.