Welcome to our last blog post of this section of the course on privacy and surveillance. First, a quick note on the Tufecki reading – the course packet doesn’t correctly reproduce the images that go with Tufecki’s writing (those large blank spaces), so as you’re reading, take a look at the original article online. They’re a pretty striking accompaniment to the things she’s discussing.
Tufecki’s article itself takes us further into our consideration of the social and political possibilities and dangers of digital media through surveillance. Many of the issues we’ve discussed recently come up here again—corporate and governmental surveillance in various forms, how that surveillance shapes our lives as consumers and citizens, and the differences between old and new media in relation to those processes, to name just a few—but Tufecki has something new to add to this conversation. She wants us to consider how digital media allows for both new modes of social activism and new modes of political control, both of which are powerful and both of which we need to consider carefully as informed members of a digital culture.
So for this blog post, I’d like you to play out a specific connection between Tufecki and one of the other texts we’ve studied for this section (Greenwald, Watson, or the creators of Do Not Track). You should quote and integrate substantial passages from both authors into a paragraph of your own writing, and in doing so you should show how their arguments in those passages relate to one another and how you would respond to that conversation. In your response, you should introduce, quote, cite, and analyze at least one substantial passage each from Tufecki’s article and from your other chosen author – not just a single small term or concept, but a fuller claim of the kind that you might quote in a paper. We’ll work on developing and improving this approach over the process of writing the fourth paper.
Keep in mind that all of these authors are advancing complex perspectives about the politics of digital information and connection, so you need to make an argument of your own that’s aware of their ideas and the relation between them — instead of just siding with one author, for example, try to offer a closer, more specific response to their argument through conversation with the other.
Reminder: your response should go in the comments section for this post — click the “Leave a Comment” link at the top of the post. It should be at least 250 words, and is due by 11:59pm on Sunday, November 25. If you have any questions, let me know via email.