Registration is now open for the 2nd ETHICS OF SURVEILLANCE CONFERENCE: Moving towards Ubiquitous Surveillance? 24-25 June 2013 at the University of Leeds

An international and interdisciplinary conference coordinated by the University of Leeds’ Leeds Humanities Research Institute, the Institute of Communications Studies and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Applied Ethics IDEA CETL.

Keynote speakers:

Professor Emeritus of Sociology, M.I.T., United States

Professor of Government at the University of Edinburgh School of Social and Political Science

Professor of Social Media at the University of Westminster’s Communication and Media Research Institute and the Centre for Social Media Research

Reader in Surveillance and Organisation at the Open University Business School, Milton Keynes

Deputy Director of the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia

For further information and to register please go to

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Reading group session: surveillance & politics

Tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday the 23rd of April 4pm we’ll be holding the next reading group of the series – the theme will be politics & surveillance, and the set reading is Ian Hosein’s “Sources of Laws: Policy Dynamics in a Digital and Terrorized World”, The Information Society, 20, 187-199, 2004.

4pm at the Leeds Humanities Research Institute, see you there!

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Moving towards Ubiquitous Surveillance? The 2nd Ethics of Surveillance Conference

The Leeds Humanities Research Institute (LHRI), the Institute of Communications Studies (ICS) and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Applied Ethics IDEA CETL are pleased to announce the 2nd Ethics of Surveillance Conference taking place at the University of Leeds on:

24th-25th June 2013

Call for papers:

Recent years have seen rapid technological advances in the field of information and communication technologies (ICTs), with increasingly powerful computers moving into devices so small they are becoming invisible. The accelerating digitization of surveillance means surveillance technologies have been developing along a parallel trajectory. Ubiquitous computing is becoming increasingly synonymous with invisible surveillance, raising a number of ethical questions which the 2nd Ethics of Surveillance Conference aims to shed light on.

This conference will bring leading scholars from the fields of Surveillance Studies and Critical Theories of ICTs together to discuss the current state of the art in state and corporate surveillance and debate the questions driving their current research. Keynote speakers: Prof. Christian Fuchs, Dr. Kirstie Ball, Prof. Charles Raab and Dr. Mark Andrejevic.

Submission of abstracts (no more than 200 words) by the 1st of May to

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Heidegger’s “The Question Concerning Technology”

For the next reading group session on Tuesday, the 6th of November, Heidegger’s essay “The Question Concerning Technology” is available here

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Screening of Article 12: Waking up in a Surveillance Society

We are very lucky to be able to screen Article 12: Waking up in a Surveillance Society, shown at Leeds International Film Festival two years ago, which has not yet been commercially released. Directed by Juan Manuel Biain, it “presents a sharp loook at the current state of privacy and debates around the rights and desires of individuals, governments, terrorism and the increasing accessibility and use of surveillance” (press pack). Article 12 features interviews with Noam Chomsky, A.C. Grayling and David Murakami-Wood.
The film has kindly been made available to us by Junco Films for teaching and research purposes.

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Reading groups

The first two sessions on analytic philosophy approaches to ICTs yielded some really interesting discussions. What philosophical approaches are there to defining privacy? Question after question presented itself (If I accidentally leave my diary at work overnight, but no-one has noticed and thus no-one has read it, has my privacy been violated?) and in the true spirit of philosophical discussion, answers remain outstanding.

The second month is dedicated to Continental Philosophy, and the first session on the 6th of November will be a discussion of Martin Heidegger’s The Question Concerning Technology, generally regarded as a seminal text in philosophy of technology. The second session will address Karl Marx’ Philosophical and Economic Manuscripts, which provide a good introduction to his thinking and introduce the concept of Alienation. We will be aiming at a comparison between the two, looking for common ground between two thinkers often considered as irreconcilable.  Both texts are available online.

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Reading group starts 9th of October at LHRI

The 9th of October is the first event in a series of reading groups where we’ll be getting our heads round some key texts to do with technology and specifically ICTs. 
In the first session we’ll be dealing with analytical philosophy approaches to studying ICTs. Join us for some reading, discussing and afterwards drinks at the pub. Details of readings and locations can be found in our calendar. 

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