Soc528 Fall 2013 Group Assignment 1 - Privacy and Surveillance in Computer-Mediated Communication
(15% of grade)
Groups will meet to integrate their individual parts of the assignmnent
during class on . A 3-5 page written
report (basically one or two good paragraphs per item) and a list of references is due .
Your report should be printed and list the contributing members of your group on a cover page.
It should also be made available electronically to other members of the class. This can be done
by emailing Prof. Perrolle a copy of your report and references or else sending her a url for a
publically viewable copy of the material.
- Expectations of Privacy: What privacy do American citizens expect in their communications?
What norms, values, and laws are these expectations based on?
- Government Surveillance of Electronic Communications: What is being done and by whom? Is it actually
effective for preventing crime and making us secure? Is it legal?
- Encryption: Who should be able to use encrypted communication and for what purposes?
Do people with nothing to hide need encryption? Is encryption convenient and secure? Why have several encrypted
email services recently shut down?
- Government Surveillance in Public Spaces: What kinds of surveillance of public spaces (both online and off) are being developed
and by whom? What should and should not be allowed? Is crowdsourcing surveillance effective?
- Surveillance and Power: Who are the economic stakeholders in the growth of the surveillance industry? Can we expect mass
surveillance of citizens to be abused? Why or why not?
- Corporate Surveillance - Advertizing: Email targeted ads, Etags, tracking cookies, spam and corporate speech
- Corporate Surveillance - Workplace Surveillance: Are there any expectations of privacy? Does surveillance
improve worker productivity? Are whistleblowers heroes or traitors?
- Corporate Surveillance - Monitoring Customers: What is being done? Is it necessary to prevent theft and and other undesirable behaviors?
- Behavioral Effects: Is widespread surveillance an effective means of getting people to behave well in a
democracy? Is it effective as a means of security or social control?
Cite your sources.