Privacy Concerns, Tracking, Surveillance of individuals, Public Privacy

As part of our planning for the next Assignment for Computational Arts-based Research, my theme will be Privacy Concerns, Tracking, Surveillance of individuals, Public Privacy.


What are the key questions or queries you will address?

How much are we being tracked by government agencies, companies?

How much is revealed already?

“In the wake of the Government’s proposed “Snoopers’ Charter”, ORG asks why intrusive new laws are being suggested, if they are needed at all and what the alternatives are. Some of the UK’s most prominent surveillance experts examine the history of UK surveillance law and the challenges posed by the explosion of digital datasets. Contributors include journalist Duncan Campbell, legal expert Angela Patrick from Justice, Richard Clayton of Cambridge University Computer Labs and Peter Sommer, Visiting Professor at De Montfort University.”

Open Rights Group

Snowden Global surveillance disclosures

What Google has Hidden

Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon’s Secret World




Trevor Paglen

Why are you motivated to undertake this project?

This is a concern of mine, for example, even yesterday (14th February) 2018), Amber Rudd announced a new means of tracking citizens in their internet activity.

Google have increased the resolution of the street mapper software. Up until recently, a house might be only a vague blob, until now.

My home address is revealed on my ‘whois’ search on my website. I have to pay the hosting company extra to hide it.

Tracking through cookies – possible eavesdropping of metadata on personal emails, e.g. correspondence appearing on Facebook.

Amber Rudd and her efforts to ‘fight’ terrorism may be circumvented:

by… (recruiting now!)

What theoretical frameworks will you use in your work to guide you?

I will explore the contrast between the uninvited (yet legal) surveillance of my own ‘back yard’ vis a vis my un-noticed intrusion to neighbouring houses Wi-Fi (illegal).

If there is a problem undertaking this option, I will be investigating ‘hidden/secret’ sites in UK and abroad to see how much can be gathered using web tools such as Google maps.

I may only in the end enact the possibility of the latter to avoid problems with the law – however, I will use publicly available data online to show how international companies like Google intrude on our private lives. I will use Actor-Network theory to take us through the players in this scene, illustrating with real life examples.

What theoretical frameworks will you use in the analysis of your project?

I will investigate how much can be found out about me in the public domain online.

I will explore tools for intrusion, legal and illegal. (Kali Linux tools, Aircrack-ng, Reaver, Pixiewps, Wireshark.)

Using Actor network theory to determine who is the victim and who is the perpetrator, are they both?

How will you document your project?

Video capture, demonstration of software intrusion tools using Kali Linux on Raspberry Pi.

How close can I get with Google streetview of private and secret establishments, recording this using Camtasia.

Logging into password protected Wi-Fi in public spaces using open source Linux distro Kali Linux (covertly) via hidden battery powered headless Pi Zero. (possibly will not be available as there may be legal issues here.)

Possible logging of public data traffic and using Wireshark for forensic study.

Timeline for project milestones

Week 1, 2. Further research

Week 3. Artefact 1; covert monitoring of data

Week 4. Google Street view compilation

Budget (if any)

Raspberry Pi 3, Pi Zero (already have these)


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