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The Privacy Advocates

Resisting the Spread of Surveillance

MIT Press

Today, personal information is captured, processed, and disseminated in a
bewildering variety of ways, and through increasingly sophisticated, miniaturized,
and distributed technologies: identity cards, biometrics, video surveillance, the
use of cookies and spyware by Web sites, data mining and profiling, and many others.
In The Privacy Advocates, Colin Bennett analyzes the people and groups around the
world who have risen to challenge the most intrusive surveillance practices by both
government and corporations. Bennett describes a network of self-identified privacy
advocates who have emerged from civil society--without official sanction and with
few resources, but surprisingly influential. A number of high-profile conflicts in
recent years have brought this international advocacy movement more sharply into
focus. Bennett is the first to examine privacy and surveillance not from a legal,
political, or technical perspective but from the viewpoint of these independent
activists who have found creative ways to affect policy and practice. Drawing on
extensive interviews with key informants in the movement, he examines how they frame
the issue and how they organize, who they are and what strategies they use. He also
presents a series of case studies that illustrate how effective their efforts have
been, including conflicts over key-escrow encryption (which allows the government to
read encrypted messages), online advertising through third-party cookies that track
users across different Web sites, and online authentication mechanisms such as the
short-lived Microsoft Passport. Finally, Bennett considers how the loose coalitions
of the privacy network could develop into a more cohesive international social
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Weitere Infos & Material

Bennett, Colin J.
Colin Bennett is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the
University of Victoria, British Columbia. He is the author of The Privacy
Advocates: Resisting the Spread of Surveillance (MIT Press, 2008) and
coauthor (with Charles Raab) of The Governance of Privacy: Policy
Instruments in Global Perspective (updated paperback edition, MIT Press,

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