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Who's Watching? Surveillance in the Digital Enclosure

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cara b

on 29 October 2012

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Transcript of Who's Watching? Surveillance in the Digital Enclosure

DIGITAL ENCLOSURE class discussion of Andrejevic's article led by
Rebecca, Gabrielle, and Caralyn covering the bases Three sections of article: Recentralization
Digital Enclosure Movement
Implications Big and.... ... small the cloud Recentralization Digital Enclosure Movement Implications dropbox http://diasporaproject.org/ http://tent.io/ http://friendica.com/ It is the term used to describe where people's private or public data can be stored in a virtual location of cyberspace.

The Cloud can be accessed at any place and any time with portable media devices.
Therefore it hovers over us "ubiquitously". what is it? Andrejevic compares today's digital enclosure model with past example of land enclosure in England.

He uses the Marxist argument of "primitive accumulation" to demonstrate inherent ideals of production have been stripped by capitalist gains.

"Primitive accumulation" is the process by which precapitalist modes of production, such as feudalism and slavery, are transformed into the capitalist mode of production. Andrejevic relates digital enclosure to the false sense of "freedom" and "primitive accumulation".

Since the cloud is "ubiquitous" or accessible at any time, people are inclined to use "the cloud" to "freely" upload content to private servers owned by various companies.

By doing so, companies can pilfer people's information for statistics and patterns of content use which can be distributed to advertising and marketing companies or even the government.

This is why digital enclosure is a "vicious cycle" of invasion of privacy for economic reasons (309). Bill Gates is quoted in the article for stating that interconnectivity and information contribution on commercial sites enhances the "documented life" since "every detail is redoubled in storage, searchable, digital form into data bases".

But, Gates imagined users would be able to control their personal information instead of it being harnessed by an "invisible" server.

How does it make you feel that your information is being gathered unknowingly and you do not have the ability to access its base?
Does that make you conscious of things you say, do, play, post online? google drive piratebay http://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-moves-to-the-cloud-becomes-raid-proof-121017/ The term "cloud" is very misleading.

Obscure shift in power and control over the data it contains. "Computing is moving off your machine and into the cloud." The model of "digital enclosure" theorizes the forms of productivity and monitoring facilitated by ubiquitous interactivity. Monitoring: collection of information, with or without knowledge of its users, that can have actual or speculative economic value. This model of universal interactivity can lead to:
1. the commodification of previously non-proprietary information and
2. an aggressive competition over who controls the information resources. The Google Wifi project in San Francisco
The DVD regions Two important things to consider:

1. The structures of ownership
2. The control over the resources of
information Is control becoming irrelevant?
Will property rights and ownership no longer matter? Control over information
The processes of privatization and separation of the digital enclosure facilitate recentralized control over information.

Ex: Chinese Political blogger Zhao Jing
Democracy and Microsoft

"...the technology that facilitates the ability to challenge entrenched power could evolve into a breathtakingly efficient tool for monitoring, tracking, and filtering dissident expression" (Andrejevic 312). Digital enclosure as a form of exploitation

Pervasive and productive forms of data-gathering as part of an exchange that is structured by private control over the means of interaction.

"If the city of San Francisco controlled its own Wi-Fi service, residents would approach the decision of whether or not to track and record their own time-space paths as a public issue subject to citizen oversight and accountability" (Andrejevic 313). Do you agree with Andrejevic when he says that the Internet is a "very powerful tool for free expression" (312)? Why and why not? Asymmetrical control over users' information for marketing purposes

Creation of "high resolution data portraits" (313) used by marketers to target specific individuals and create personalized ads.

"...relations of unequal access to and control over resources structure the terms of entry." (314)

The digital enclosure separate those who generate value from communication networks and information databases and it also structure the terms for accessing these resources. (315). Why do you think Andrejevic automatically assumes that this particular kind of labour is a form of exploitation?

If users are aware that their information is being collected and sold as commodities, are they really being exploited?

If Internet services were to be public, would it be more advantageous for people? Why and why not?
Would people really be more inclined to question the tracking of the information? When asserting the implications of the digital enclosure, do you think the author is being too negative? Why and why not?

Can you think of ways in which the privatization of cloud computing services would be positive? Network labor has the ability to harness our data "in the form of cybernetic commodities" (307). Major companies have enormous "server farms" where our data is stored out of our control.

Do you think users will ever control their data or do you think there is so much data that there is no point to control it?

Do companies have the right to use our information because we have "signed" their Terms and Agreements?
Or are they taking more than they should?

Do you check the "I agree" box without looking through the document? The two scenarios provided for Land and Network "enclosure" of society both instill a false sense of "freedom" in two ways:"
Freedom from people's means to control to their own sustenance," which results in the"Freedom" to agree to a labor contract that will provide them means of sustenance.
"Workers must be separated from the land so that their access to it [their property] can be contractually regulated" (302).

People become dependent on the vague idea that they control their property and income so that they must depend on their employers to provide regulations and labor contracts. examples of how companies are using the concept of "the cloud" as a selling point to their networked products Interestingly Google attempts to differentiate itself from its competition by making their own concept of a "drive". Google disguises the concept of the cloud in their service by relating it to a term people know and understand as being an object where data is stored - like a hard drive.
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