Research questions

a. What are the technical infrastructures that are targeted, used, and exploited for digital surveillance as indicated by the Snowden leaks and what role have technical standards played in enabling or hindering surveillance?
b. What technical tools and infrastructures are being developed in response to digital surveillance, in particular with regards to strategies of ‘privacy by design’?

Research methods

The project team has 1) developed a map of the technical infrastructures targeted, used and exploited by governmental online surveillance programmes; 2) analysed the features of technical tools and software solutions that are based around user protection and studied the processes that produce standardised technologies that enable or hinder surveillance, and 3) conducted a series of interviews with members of standards institutions.

Lead investigator

Dr Michael Rogers (Technical University of Delft; Briar Project)

Research results

Journal article – The Snowden Disclosures, Technical Standards, and the Making of Surveillance Infrastructures. International Journal of Communication

Database and map

Counter-Surveillance – A detailed list of privacy tools, their capabilities and vulnerabilities

Surveillance Programmes – A list of the key surveillance programmes and their capabilities

Glossary of Terms – A to Z list explanation of the more technical terms used in the database entries

Visualisations – Graphical representations of the findings of the technology theme

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