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"Privacy Is a Basic American Value": Globalization and the Construction of Web Privacy in Israel

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North American analyses of privacy construct it as a human right that is inevitably violated by advanced communication technologies. Growing exposure is expected to become the fate of more and more people as globalization expands. However, studies of surveillance practices elsewhere suggest alternative interpretations of information disclosure, and developments in globalization theories highlight complicated relationships between the global, the local, and their mediators. This study adopts an agential approach to explore the encounter between Israeli and North American concerns over web privacy as they are mediated through local journalists' introduction of the new medium. The analysis identifies three arenas in journalists' discussion about web privacy: The U.S., Israel, and the global community of surfers, attending both to the predominance of the U.S. in this discourse, and to the absence of local structural accounts. The analysis proposes that by Americanizing the concern over privacy violation and by constructing it as paranoia of the technologically inept, the text neglects to contextualize privacy violation, and privatizes the struggle against it.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Communication, University of Haifa,

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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