11:15 - 12:15

Short thesis

We live in an era of ubiquitous surveillance. Surveillance is however seldom a goal in itself, but part of a larger scheme of socio-political domination. This talk will examine a few pieces of the puzzle leading to societal control: control of your activities via the internet, of your thoughts via the media and of your movement via border surveillance.


Two years after the first Snowden revelations, awareness around governmental and corporate surveillance has entered the mainstream media. Yet, broad resistance has been slow to develop - partly because of the intangible nature of surveillance, and because it is just one piece of a much larger game of control. This talk aims at explaining how society is being controlled through the internet, the media and the surveillance of movements.

  1. The Internet is an unprecedented human rights enabler. But governments and companies have developed a vision to connect people and things whose ultimate goal is to have everyone under control. To what extent do we need the Internet of Things? What are the consequences of using self-measurement apps? Do you think twice before posting something online?
  2. In the past years, technological developments have propelled the possibilities for media control to a whole new level. While political spins and newspeak remain the preferred methods to control the public discourse, the growth of new media platforms has reached a point where companies influence what we buy, how we vote and how we feel. On multiple occasions, Facebook's users have already been subject to experiments in civic-engineering. What is media control and how does it affect us?
  3. Historically, governments had an interest in controlling movement not only within their cities but also at their borders. In the past decade, ubiquitous surveillance has opened up a new range of possibilities for the constant monitoring of our movements by governments. Surveillance of air travellers and refugees RFID devices, thermic cameras, drones are just few examples. What are the consequences of this constant tracking on our rights?

The outcome of the three pieces of the puzzle show that we don't have a right to be different, we censor ourselves, we fear consequences of enjoying our freedoms, our life stops being ours. We will present solutions and creative alternatives to the audience.