Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Securing public opinion: police surveillance of the city in crisis  
Lian Song (UC San Diego)

Short abstract:

This paper examines the historical and ongoing processes through which urban publics are constructed as in need of police-centered surveillance — as well as the practices of resistance that challenge this conception as a carceral racial logic.

Long abstract:

This paper examines how municipal surveillance technology remediates the language of public administration and governance through a carceral, racial logic — in particular, by shaping which actors have a right to articulate and decide upon ‘exigent situations’ within the city.

I attend to the political work of securing public opinion by police — within an invoked ecosystem crime, crisis, and exigency — such that urban populations can be hailed as citizens who want surveillance, even if they do not realize it (yet).

Drawing from situated, anti-surveillance activist research in San Diego, I trace how the purported benefits of the ‘smart city’ come to be framed not through the notion of a ‘common good’ — that is, a site where issues of privacy ought to be weighted against promised, if nebulous, ‘future-oriented’ civic gains. Instead, municipal actors like the police move strategically to claim virtues such as ‘transparency’ as a quality that they guarantee, positioning themselves as good municipal stewards of urban data and surveillance — a claim that relies upon and reproduces a carceral logic demarcating which groups have access to the care of the state, and which are in need of management and policing.

In sum, this paper looks beyond discourses of surveillance technology that seek to evaluate their technical efficacy or technological promise; rather, it attends to the ongoing processes through which urban publics are constructed as in need of surveillance. Finally, I examine ongoing fights for transparency and accountability that engage surveillance on this political terrain.

Traditional Open Panel P142
Datafied publics
  Session 1 Thursday 18 July, 2024, -