Bentham en Information is power: Silvio Waisbord on how digital technology changes the public sphere and notions of privacy <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">How do digital media affect traditional theories of the “public sphere” and power? Are we living in a modern-day panopticon?<br /><br /> The notion of the “public sphere” is useful worldwide to consider how citizens can and do articulate demands to the market or to states. The <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">public sphere</a> is generally conceived as a place (figurative or literal) in which citizens can share information, debate issues and opinions, and restrain the interests of the powerful elite. This space is critical to the formation of public will and the transmission of it to official authorities.<br /><br /> In contrast, the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Panopticon</a> is a design for a prison or jail which allows watchmen to observe all inmates at all times without the inmates knowing whether they are being observed or not.  The idea has been used to discuss online privacy, as individuals are often unaware of how governments and companies collect and use the information they gather about them online.  Moreover, the revelation that governments and companies work together to “spy” on citizens, as <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">revealed by Edward Snowden</a> revived the concern that a modern-day panopticon might be possible.   <br /><br /> But these concepts raise another important question: How can the public sphere, which aims to limit excess power, continue to function if the state is monitoring citizen activity?  Much of the information that is collected and tracked online is willingly shared by individuals as they search the internet, use mobile apps, and contact friends and family. This activity is vital to the future of a public sphere around the world, but it also allows governments and companies to intrude in our private lives.<br /><br /> Silvio Waisbord explores these two evergreen, yet very immediate concerns. He argues that while digital technologies have improved the capacities of states and companies to track human activity, digital media can also be used for democratic purposes. <br />  <div class="asset-wrapper asset aid-262 asset-video"> <strong > The modern public sphere vs. The online panopticon </strong> <div class="content"> <div class="field field-name-field-asset-video-file field-type-emvideo field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="360" data="//"> <param name="movie" value="//" /> <param name="wmode" value="transparent" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> </object> </div></div></div></div> </div></div></div></div> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 18:31:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7385 at Living in a Panopticon <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="" style="float:left; height:186px; margin:0px; width:280px" />"I have nothing to hide" - that's a sentence I dread in conversations about blurred lines between what's private and what's public. I hear it often in discussions about reality TV, Facebook pictures, and surveillance technologies, including cameras on every street corner and in every bus.<br /> For surveillance, there is a security argument to be made – personal security, national security. For Facebook and reality TV, there’s an entertainment argument to be made – it’s what the audience likes to see, and in any case, the inhabitants of the Big Brother house chose to be there. These arguments are insufficient. The problem about blurring the lines between what’s private and what’s public is a matter of principle, not a matter of personal convenience.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 07 Nov 2013 18:22:00 +0000 Anne-Katrin Arnold 6522 at Quote of the Week: Jeremy Bentham <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><em><img height="273" alt="" hspace="0" width="280" align="left" border="0" src="/files/publicsphere/bentham.jpeg" /></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&quot;The more strictly we are watched, the better we behave.&quot;</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p class="rteright">&nbsp;</p> <p class="rteright">&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="">Jeremy Bentham</a></p> <p class="rteright">unpublished, from the manuscripts of Jeremy Bentham in the Library of University College London</p></div></div></div> Mon, 26 Jul 2010 15:21:00 +0000 Sina Odugbemi 5496 at The Age of Communication Research <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img height="225" alt="" hspace="0" width="280" align="left" border="0" src="/files/publicsphere/communication_DailyPic.jpeg" />Communication is something of an ugly duckling in the social sciences &ndash; not many people take it seriously and not many people see the immediate relevance of the research. However, the study of public opinion is a good example to outline the immediate relevance of the field &ndash; and its future relevance.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 08 Jun 2010 19:41:16 +0000 Anne-Katrin Arnold 5459 at