Some Conversation Articles about Surveillance and Democracy

Digital Domesday: surveillance threatens us with a new serfdom


“In 1085, almost two decades had passed since William the Conqueror’svictory at Hastings, but his realm was not secure. The threat of internal insurrection was constant. To consolidate his rule William needed to know who owned what, what taxes he could raise and where the military capacity he could call on, or which could be deployed against him, was located.

To find out, William commissioned a “Great Survey”. Royal officers were dispatched to make a detailed inventory of holdings in villages and towns across England. The results were recorded in the Domesday Book, as it came to be known. Like the Last Judgement of God, its findings were final and could not be revised or appealed against. . . .

Almost 1000 years after their ruler demanded every detail of serfs’ lives, the digital age and mass surveillance are creating a new and undemocratic imbalance between citizens and those with power over them. . . . “

Graham Murdock specialises in media and cultural industries at Loughborough University’s Department of Social Sciences. His research examines the role of the media as a public cultural institution of communication in the constitution of modernity. Through a distinctive critical political economy, he interrogates its efficiency as a guarantor of citizenship and democratic engagement.

Throughout the last five years Graham has given keynote speeches regarding the commons in digital times and increasingly mediated contexts in Asia to international conferences in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, India, New Zealand, Norway, Mexico, Poland, South Korea, China and Taiwan. His work has been translated into nineteen languages and widely anthologised, cited, and incorporated into university curricula around the world.

In 2012 he was appointed Visiting Fellow in the School of Journalism at Fudan University in Shanghai and awarded an honorary professorship by the Chongqing Technology and Business University.

Media raids raise questions about AFP’s power and weak protection for journalists and whistleblowers

This week’s raids on media show our democracy at its darkest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.