HIST 090S. Surveillance, Privacy, and Transparency: A History, A Debate, Some Futures

When did governments begin to collect comprehensive information on their people, their territories, and their own operations? How did human beings in communities keep watch on one another? How did ordinary people come to be surrounded by technologies and practices of surveillance while governments and institutions continue to hold many of their own affairs to be secret or confidential? What will-and ought-to happen to privacy and information in our near-term future? We will look at key works in the development of modern surveillance and espionage from Bentham's Panopticon to the "Truman Show". We will also do hands-on exploration of actual technologies of surveillance in contemporary use, including smartphones, cashless payments, security cameras, course management systems, and social media. Students will have an opportunity to do interdisciplinary projects either in teams or by themselves. 
Social Sciences.
1 credit.
Eligible for INTP
January 2021. Burke.
Catalog chapter: History  
Department website: https://www.swarthmore.edu/history

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