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230129 SE Tracking - Targeting - Predicting. On Technologies of Surveillance and Control (2016S)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 23 - Soziologie
Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).

Details

max. 25 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Mittwoch, 09.03.2016: Exkursion 09:00-14:00

Tuesday 01.03. 14:00 - 17:00 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 02.03. 15:15 - 18:15 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Thursday 03.03. 13:00 - 15:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Monday 07.03. 11:00 - 13:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 09.03. 09:00 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 03.05. 11:45 - 15:45 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

'In the first quarter of the 21st century, it will become possible to find, fix or track, and target anything that moves on the surface of the Earth'. General Ronald R. Fogleman, US Air Force Chief of Staff 1996
The feeling of being at risk has become frequent in western societies from the 1980s on and has made security increasingly an over-all concern - a development that accelerated after 9/11 and with the 'Global War on Terror'. As risks are increasingly experienced as limitless, demands for preemptive techno-security measures are spreading. In parallel, security is less regarded as a social or ecological issue but is conceptualized as maximum high-tech total surveillance. Accordingly, technology is considered the silver bullet for security issues. Security and surveillance technologies converge. They are used to monitor, track, search and profile almost every realm of society - from economy, politics, military, to everyday life. CCTV, RFID chips, drones or scanners are used to search for terrorists, monitor sport events, grant access to ATMs, and control employees. Simultaneously, social media has made monitoring an everyday event: Millions of people are using Facebook, Foursquare, WhatsApp, or fitness trackers. In parallel, big data are collected, sorted and processed not only by state authorities such as police departments, border police, security agencies and the military but also by private companies such as Google or Amazon for predictive and future analysis but also 'affective economics'. Beside marketing reasons, tracking and targeting is used in the hope to gather new information, discover hidden patterns and to 'connect the dots' to preempt future risks. Meanwhile online users are sharing data, tracking the movement of others or are being tracked. Surveillance technologies are not only operated top-down by state authorities but used in diverse interactive ways.
In this seminar we will learn about the logic and central features of our culture of techno-security which is governed by a restrictive as well as pleasurable regime of power. Thereby we will analyze surveillance measures undertaken by law enforcement and border control (CCTV, biometrics), security agencies and the military (GPS, data mining, drones), private companies (social media mining, databases) and individuals (Quantified Self).
In addition to theoretical essays, we will design group projects in different fields of surveillance and control with a specific focus on Vienna / Austria. We will follow the presentation of the projects, partially participate (i.a. a cryptoparty; guided NSA Vienna tour), discuss the projects and give feedback.

Assessment and permitted materials

To pass the seminar, students are expected to complete the following tasks:
- Active participation in class discussions and throughout the course, including one or two excursions.
- Reading responses. For each session, students are to read the core literature and upload roughly half a page per paper given a very short summary and reflecting on the required readings, indicating what they found most interesting/problematic about the readings, and/or how they see it in relation to the rest of the course. The purpose of the reading responses is to facilitate discussion in class. Reading responses are to be sent to the lecturer (jutta.weber@univie.ac.at) by 6pm the evening before each meeting.
- Reflection of your own tracking and targeting habits and to learn strategies how to avoid being tracked (also via and especially during your group work). (Requirements include: sending an encrypted email to the lecturer, having installed and experimented with TOR (https://www.torproject.org) and eventually with TAILS (https://tails.boum.org/index.en.html))
- Conduct a group project. Possible topics include:
(1) conceptualizing and conducting a ‘NSA tour’ through Vienna;
(2) understanding the principles of cryptography and organizing a cryptoparty;
(3) watching the watchers - working with the Snowden archives, ICwatch, etc;
(4) Staatsschutz in Austria;
(5) Understanding and explaining Smart CCTV and conceptualizing a CCTV walk through Vienna;
(6) organizing a surveillance expert discussion panel on surveillance; and many more …
- Document the group project (paper, website, audio format etc.)
- Oral presentation of the group work

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The grading scheme is based on a total of 100 points. These points will be awarded in relation to students’ performance in meeting the course learning aims in the different obligatory tasks.
The maximum number of points to be acquired for each task is:

Active participation: 20 points, assessed individually
Written reading responses: 20 points, assessed individually
Group work: 30 points, assessed as group work
Oral presentation and documentation of group work: 30 points, assessed as group work

Minimum requirements
A minimum of 50 points is necessary to successfully complete the course. Failure to meet the attendance regulations, to deliver course assignments on time or to adhere to standards of academic work may result in a deduction of points.

Grades
100-87 points: Excellent (1)
86-75 points: Good (2)
74-63 points: Satisfactory (3)
62-50 points: Sufficient (4)
49-0 points: Unsatisfactory (5) (fail)

Attendance
Presence and participation is compulsory. Absences of four hours at maximum are tolerated, provided that the lecturer is informed about the absence. Absences of up to eight hours in total may be compensated by either a deduction of grading points or/and extra work agreed with the lecturer. Whether compensation is possible is decided by the lecturer.
Absences of more than eight hours in total cannot be compensated. In this case, or if the lecturer does not allow a student to compensate absences of more than four hours, the course cannot be completed and is graded as a 'fail' (5), unless there is a major and unpredictable reason for not being able to fulfil the attendance requirements on the student’s side (e.g. a longer illness). In such a case, the student may be de-registered from the course without grading. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate this in a timely manner, and to provide relevant evidence to their claims if necessary. Whether this exception applies is decided by the vice-director of studies responsible for the master programme.

Important Grading Information
If not explicitly noted otherwise, all requirements mentioned in the grading scheme and the attendance regulations must be met. If a required task is not fulfilled, e.g. a required assignment is not handed in or if the student does not meet the attendance requirements, this will be considered as a discontinuation of the course. In that case, the course will be graded as 'fail' (5), unless there is a major and unpredictable reason for not being able to fulfill the task on the student's side (e.g. a longer illness). In such a case, the student may be de-registered from the course without grading. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate this in a timely manner, and to provide relevant evidence to their claims if necessary. Whether this exception applies is decided by the vice-director of studies responsible for the master programme.
If any requirement of the course has been fulfilled by fraudulent means, be it for example by cheating at an exam, plagiarizing parts of a written assignment or by faking signatures on an attendance sheet, the student's participation in the course will be discontinued, the entire course will be graded as 'not assessed' and will be entered into the electronic exam record as 'fraudulently obtained'. Self-plagiarism, particularly re-using own work handed in for other courses, will be treated likewise.

Examination topics

Reading list


Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:39