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Technologies, Security, and Privacy in the Post-9/11 European Information Society

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Since 11 September 2001, many ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ security strategies have been introduced to enable more intensive surveillance and control of the movement of `suspect populations'. Suicide bombings have since generated a step-change in asymmetric threat analysis and public perceptions of risk. This article reviews how post-9/11 ‘security’ issues intersect with existing and emerging technologies, particularly those relating to identity, location, home, and work that will form the backbone of the European Information Society. The article explores the complexities generated by the way that these technologies work, sites of nationalist resistance, and formal bureaucratic roles. Many of the planned surveillance methods and technologies are convergence technologies aiming to bring together new and existing data sources, but are unable to do so because of poor data quality and the difficulty of using the integrated data to reduce serious crime risks. The delay may enable legal compliance models to be developed in order to protect the principles of privacy that are set out in the ECHR and the EC Data Protection Directive. Though (moral) panics produce changes in law, the article emphasizes the constraining effects of law.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales 2: Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, School of Law, University of Leeds, England

Publication date: June 1, 2004


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