Selected books by New Transparency team members


Surveillance After SnowdenSurveillance After Snowden, by David Lyon, Polity Press 2015

In 2013, Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA and its partners had been engaging in warrantless mass surveillance, using the internet and cellphone data, and driven by fear of terrorism under the sign of ’security’.

In this compelling account, surveillance expert David Lyon guides the reader through Snowden’s ongoing disclosures: the technological shifts involved, the steady rise of invisible monitoring of innocent citizens, the collusion of government agencies and for-profit companies and the implications for how we conceive of privacy in a democratic society infused by the lure of big data. Lyon discusses the distinct global reactions to Snowden and shows why some basic issues must be faced: how we frame surveillance, and the place of the human in a digital world.

Surveillance after Snowden is crucial reading for anyone interested in politics, technology and society.

The Private Security State? Surveillance, Consumer Data and the War on TerrorThe Private Security State, by Kirstie Ball, Ana Canhoto, Elizabeth Daniel, Sally Dibb, Maureen Meadows and Keith Spiller, Copenhagen Business School Press 2015

When businesses are required to send customer data to government, their systems and their employees become part of a wider security framework. Their commercial activities become shot through with insecurities and they are placed in a kind of double jeopardy: a failure to address these regulations can result in both national and commercial insecurity.

The Private Security State? is the first full-length academic text to address the enrolment of the private sector in national security surveillance regimes. Through detailed empirical analysis, it questions how private organizations achieve compliance with demands for customer data.

The book revolves around case studies of two public-private surveillance regimes: Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Terror Finance in retail financial services and the EBorders in the retail travel industry.

Transparent Lives: Surveillance in Canada / Vivre a nu: La surveillance au CanadaTransparent Lives, Vivre a nu by The New Transparency Project, Athabasca University Press 2014



Although most Canadians are familiar with surveillance cameras and airport security, relatively few are aware of the extent to which the potential for surveillance is now embedded in virtually every aspect of our lives. We cannot walk down a city street, register for a class, pay with a credit card, hop on an airplane, or make a telephone call without data being captured and processed. Where does such information go? Who makes use of it, and for what purpose? Is the loss of control over our personal information merely the price we pay for using social media and other forms of electronic communication, or should we be wary of systems that make us visible—and thus vulnerable—to others as never before?

The work of a multidisciplinary research team, Transparent Lives explains why and how surveillance is expanding—mostly unchecked—into every facet of our lives. Through an investigation of the major ways in which both government and private sector organizations gather, monitor, analyze, and share information about ordinary citizens, the volume identifies nine key trends in the processing of personal data that together raise urgent questions of privacy and social justice. Intended not only to inform but to make a difference, the volume is deliberately aimed at a broad audience, including legislators and policymakers, journalists, civil liberties groups, educators, and, above all, the reading public.

The Surveillance-Industrial Complex: A Political Economy of SurveillanceThe Surveillance-Industrial Complex, by Kirstie Ball and Laureen Snider, Routledge 2013

Today’s ‘surveillance society’ emerged from a complex of military and corporate priorities that were nourished through the active and ‘cold’ wars that marked the twentieth century. Two massive configurations of power – state and corporate – have become the dominant players. Mass targeted surveillance deep within corporate, governmental and social structures is now both normal and legitimate.

The Surveillance-Industrial Complex examines the intersections of capital and the neo-liberal state in promoting the emergence and growth of the surveillance society. The chapters in this volume, written by internationally-known surveillance scholars from a number of disciplines, trace the connections between the massive multinational conglomerates that manufacture, distribute and promote technologies of ‘surveillance’, and the institutions of social control and civil society..

Liquid Surveillance: A ConversationLiquid Surveillance, by David Lyon and Zygmunt Bauman, Polity 2012

Today the smallest details of our daily lives are tracked and traced more closely than ever before, and those who are monitored often cooperate willingly with the monitors. From London and New York to New Delhi, Shanghai and Rio de Janeiro, video cameras are a familiar and accepted sight in public places. Air travel now commonly involves devices such as body-scanners and biometric checks that have proliferated in the wake of 9/11. And every day Google and credit-card issuers note the details of our habits, concerns and preferences, quietly prompting customized marketing strategies with our active, all too often zealous cooperation.

In today’s liquid modern world, the paths of daily life are mobile and flexible. Crossing national borders is a commonplace activity and immersion in social media increasingly ubiquitous. Today’s citizens, workers, consumers and travellers are always on the move but often lacking certainty and lasting bonds. But in this world where spaces may not be fixed and time is boundless, our perpetual motion does not go unnoticed. Surveillance spreads in hitherto unimaginable ways, responding to and reproducing the slippery nature of modern life, seeping into areas where it once had only marginal sway.

In this book the surveillance analysis of David Lyon meets the liquid modern world so insightfully dissected by Zygmunt Bauman.  Is a dismal future of moment-by-moment monitoring closing in, or are there still spaces of freedom and hope? How do we realize our responsibility for the human beings before us, often lost in discussions of data and categorization? Dealing with questions of power, technology and morality, this book is a brilliant analysis of what it means to be watched – and watching – today.

Technocrime: Policing and SurveillanceTechnocrime, Edited by Stéphane Leman-Langlois, Routledge 2012

Technocrime, policing and surveillance explores new areas of technocrime and technopolicing, such as credit card fraud, the use of DNA and fingerprint databases, the work of media in creating new crimes and new criminals, as well as the "proper" way of doing policing, and the everyday work of police investigators and intelligence officers, as seen through their own eyes. These chapters offer new avenues for studying technology, crime and control, through innovative social science methodologies.

This book builds on the work of Leman-Langlois’ last book Technocrime, and brings together fresh perspectives from eminent scholars to consider how our relationship with technology and institutions of social control are being reframed, with particular emphasis on policing and surveillance. Technocrime, policing and surveillance will be of interest to those studying criminal justice, policing and the sociology of surveillance as well as practitioners involved with the legal aspects of law enforcement technologies, domestic security government departments and consumer advocacy groups.

Social Media as SurveillanceSocial Media as Surveillance, by Daniel Trottier (Uppsala University, Sweden), Ashgate 2012

"While there is a lot of popular and academic interest in social media, this is the first academic work which addresses its growing presence in the surveillance of everyday life. Some scholars have considered its impact on privacy, but these efforts overlook the broader risks for users. Commonsense recommendations of care and vigilance are not enough, as attempts to manage an individual presence are complicated by the features which make social media 'social'. Facebook friends routinely expose each other, and this information leaks from one context to another." --Ashgate


Routledge Handbook of Surveillance StudiesRoutledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies, co-edited by Kirstie Ball (The Open University Business School), Kevin Haggerty (University of Alberta) and David Lyon (Queen's University), Routledge 2012

The Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies is an international, accessible, definitive and comprehensive overview of the rapidly growing multi-disciplinary field of surveillance studies. The Handbook’s direct, authoritative style will appeal to a wide range of scholars and students in the social sciences, arts and humanities. This innovative Handbook explores the empirical, theoretical and ethical issues around surveillance and its use in daily life. With a collection of over forty essays from the leading names in surveillance studies, the Handbook takes a truly multi-disciplinary approach to critically question issues of:

  • surveillance and population control
  • policing, intelligence and war
  • production and consumption
  • new media
  • security
  • identification
  • regulation and resistance.

Eyes Everywhere

Eyes Everywhere: The Global Growth of Camera Surveillance, co-edited by Aaron Doyle (Carleton), Randy Lippert (Windsor) and David Lyon (Queen's), Routledge 2011

Eyes Everywhere provides the first international perspective on the development of camera surveillance. It scrutinises the quiet but massive expansion of camera surveillance around the world in recent years, focusing especially on Canada, the UK and the USA but also including less-debated but important contexts such as Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey. Containing both broad overviews and illuminating case-studies, including cameras in taxi-cabs and at mega-events such as the Olympics, the book offers a valuable oversight on the status of camera surveillance in the second decade of the 21st century.

The book will be fascinating reading for students and scholars of camera surveillance as well as policy makers and practitioners from the police, chambers of commerce, private security firms and privacy- and data-protection agencies.


securitygamesSecurity Games: Surveillance and Control at Mega-Events
Edited by Colin Bennett and Kevin Haggerty, Taylor & Francis 2011

Mega-events have become occasions for experiments in monitoring people and places. As such, they have become important moments in the development and dispersal of surveillance, as the infrastructure established for mega-events are often marketed as security solutions for the more routine monitoring of people and place. Mega-events, then, now serve as focal points for the proliferation of security and surveillance. They are microcosms of larger trends and processes, through which – as the contributors to this volume demonstrate – we can observe the complex ways that security and surveillance are now implicated in unique confluences of technology, institutional motivations, and public-private security arrangements. As the exceptional conditions of the mega-event become the norm, Security Games: Surveillance and Control at Mega-Events therefore provides the glimpse of a possible future that is more intensively and extensively monitored.


Surveillance and Control in Israel/Palestine
Edited by Elia Zureik, David Lyon, and Yasmeen Abu-LabanSCIP-cover
Routledge, 2010

Surveillance is always a means to an end, whether that end is influence, management or entitlement. This book examines the several layers of surveillance that control the Palestinian population in Israel and the Occupied Territories, showing how they operate, how well they work, how they are augmented, and how in the end their chief purpose is population control. Showing how what might be regarded as exceptional elsewhere is here regarded as the norm, the book looks not only at the political economy of surveillance and its technological and military dimensions, but also at the ordinary ways that Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories are affected in their everyday lives.


Surveillance, Privacy and the Globalization of Personal Information: International Comparisons

Surveillance, Privacy, and the Globalization of Personal Information: International Comparisons
Edited by Elia Zureik, L. Lynda Harling Stalker, Emily Smith, David Lyon, and Yolande E. Chan
McGill-Queen's University Press, 2010

The world has become familiar with the unprecedented growth of surveillance after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, but a comprehensive analysis of the public's opinion of how their privacy is being protected or invaded has been unavailable - until now. Surveillance, Privacy, and the Globalization of Personal Information reports the findings of an international survey of citizens' experiences with newly implemented security measures and their perceptions about privacy issues.


Surveillance in the Time of Insecurity
Torin Monahan, Rutgers University Press, 2010

MonahanbookThreats of terrorism, natural disaster, identity theft, job loss, illegal immigration, and even biblical apocalypse—all are perils that trigger alarm in people today. Although there may be a factual basis for many of these fears, they do not simply represent objective conditions. Feelings of insecurity are instilled by politicians and the media, and sustained by urban fortification, technological surveillance, and economic vulnerability.
Surveillance in the Time of Insecurity fuses advanced theoretical accounts of state power and neoliberalism with original research from the social settings in which insecurity dynamics play out in the new century. Torin Monahan explores the counterterrorism-themed show 24, Rapture fiction, traffic control centers, security conferences, public housing, and gated communities, and examines how each manifests complex relationships of inequality, insecurity, and surveillance. Alleviating insecurity requires that we confront its mythic dimensions, the politics inherent in new configurations of security provision, and the structural obstacles to achieving equality in societies.


Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism
by Stephen GrahamCities Under Siege
Verso Books, 2010

Cities have become the new battleground of our increasingly urban world. From the slums of the global South to the wealthy financial centres of the West, Cities Under Siege traces the spread of political violence through the sites, spaces, infrastructure and symbols of the world’s rapidly expanding metropolitan areas. This book is a new original study of the subtle interpenetration of global geopolitics and the micro–politics of cities and neighbourhoods from the ground-breaking expert of the rapidly rising, crucial, field of urban geopolitics – acts of war against cities and their inhabitants.


Identifying Citizens: ID Cards as Surveillance
by David Lyon
Polity Press, 2009Identifying Citizens

The early twenty-first century has witnessed a drive to establish national ID card systems in many countries. While some ID documents have existed for centuries, and have always been surveillant, new ones depend on electronic databases and, often on biometrics. This rachets-up exponentially their surveillance power, not least because the new systems also offer links with other databases than national registries. But even when these systems are presented as technical upgrades, they are not merely a technical matter. New IDs have a pre-history, are promoted by high-tech corporations and have new consequences for social sorting and for the exclusion of certain groups. Careful analysis of ID cards as surveillance shows how conventional assumptions about state-and-citizen need rethinking if just and fair systems of identification are to be developed.



Lessons from the Identity Trail: Anonymity, Privacy and Identity in a Networked SocietyLessons from the ID Trail
Edited by Ian Kerr, Valerie Steeves and Carole Lucock
Oxford University Press 2009

This book examines key questions about anonymity, privacy, and identity in an environment that increasingly automates the collection of personal information and relies upon surveillance to promote private and public sector goals. This work has been informed by the results of a multi-million dollar research project that has brought together a distinguished array of philosophers, ethicists, feminists, cognitive scientists, lawyers, cryptographers, engineers, policy analysts, government policy makers, and privacy experts. Working collaboratively over a four-year period and participating in an iterative process designed to maximize the potential for interdisciplinary discussion and feedback through a series of workshops and peer review, the authors have integrated crucial public policy themes with the most recent research outcomes.

An online version is available here: On the Id Trail

Playing the Identity Card: Surveillance, Security and Identification in Global PerspectivePlaying the Identity Card
Edited by David Lyon and Colin Bennett
Routledge, 2008

In some ways a companion to Identifying Citizens, this book pulls together for the first time a number of important and illuminating essays on ID cards in today’s world. Unlike some collections, that focus only on Europe or North America, this one includes work on China, India, Japan, and South Africa, which provide stimulating counterpoints to already existing debates. It becomes clear that how ID cards are “played” depends on local historical, cultural and political conditions. Co-edited with Colin J. Bennett, Playing the Identity Card will also be linked to a web-site where further information and debates over IDs will be available.


The Privacy Advocates: Resisting the Spread of SurveillancePrivacy Advocates
by Colin J. Bennett
MIT Press, 2008

Today, personal information is captured, processed, and disseminated in a bewildering variety of ways, and through increasingly sophisticated, miniaturized, and distributed technologies: identity cards, biometrics, video surveillance, the use of cookies and spyware by Web sites, data mining and profiling, and many others. In The Privacy Advocates, Colin Bennett analyzes the people and groups around the world who have risen to challenge the most intrusive surveillance practices by both government and corporations. Bennett describes a network of self-identified privacy advocates who have emerged from civil society—without official sanction and with few resources, but surprisingly influential.
--The MIT Press

Visit the companion website here:


Politics at the AirportPolitics at the Airport
Edited by Mark B. Salter
University of Minnesota Press, 2008

Politics at the Airport brings together leading scholars to examine how airports both shape and are shaped by current political, social, and economic conditions. Focusing on the ways that airports have become securitized, the essays address a wide range of practices and technologies—from architecture, biometric identification, and CCTV systems to “no-fly lists” and the privatization of border control—now being deployed to frame the social sorting of safe and potentially dangerous travelers. --Univ of Minnesota Press



Surveillance Studies: An Overview
by David Lyon
Polity Press, 2007 Surveillance Studies: An Overview

Rapid surveillance expansion in the past couple of decades has prompted the emergence of an academic field, “Surveillance Studies,” for which this book offers a succinct statement. Intended as a multi-disciplinary text suitable for a broad readership, it introduces new work being done around the world and suggests some constructive ways forward. It also makes a distinctive contribution by insisting for instance on the ambiguities of surveillance and on the need to go beyond “privacy” in considering modes of critique and resistance. The challenge to all is to consider how “those processing personal data do so responsibly, fairly and accountably.” Complete with a guide to further reading, an extensive book list and a glossary of essential terms, the book is also aware of its own involvement in surveillance – hinted at in the ironic title.


Theorizing Surveillance: The Panopticon and BeyondTheorizing Surveillance
Edited by David Lyon
Willan Publishing, 2006

Jeremy Bentham’s eighteenth century plan for a panopticon prison was picked up by Michel Foucault as the key to understanding modern disciplinary surveillance. But the concept has proved as controversial as it has illuminating. The authors involved in this collection show both how the panopticon may still prove helpful as a metaphor and how surveillance studies can only make progress when, as Haggerty says, the “walls are torn down.” As Zygmunt Bauman notes, “some of the most profound theoretical insights into the impact of surveillance on power relations and the shape of human interaction” are offered here.

The New Politics of Surveillance and VisibilityNew Politics
Edited by Kevin D. Haggerty and Richard V. Ericson
University of Toronto Press, 2005

In The New Politics of Surveillance and Visibility, editors Kevin D. Haggerty and Richard V. Ericson bring together leading experts to analyse how society is organized through surveillance systems, technologies, and practices. They demonstrate how the new political uses of surveillance make visible that which was previously unknown, blur the boundaries between public and private, rewrite the norms of privacy, create new forms of inclusion and exclusion, and alter processes of democratic accountability. This collection challenges conventional wisdom and advances new theoretical approaches through a series of studies of surveillance in policing, the military, commercial enterprises, mass media, and health sciences.--University of Toronto Press


Global Surveillance and Policing: Borders, security, identityGlobal Surveillance
Edited by Elia Zureik and Mark B. Salter
Willan Publishing, 2005

Since the 9.11 attacks in North America and the accession of the Schengen Accord in Europe there has been widespread concern with international borders, the passage of people and the flow of information across borders. States have fundamentally changed the ways in which they police and monitor this mobile population and its personal data. This book brings together leading authorities in the field who have been working on the common problem of policing and surveillance at physical and virtual borders at a time of increased perceived threat. It is concerned with both theoretical and empirical aspects of the ways in which the modern state attempts to control its borders and mobile population. --Willan Publishing


The Intensification of Surveillance: Crime, Terrorism and Warfare in the Information AgeIntensification
Edited by Kirstie Ball and Frank Webster
Pluto Press, 2003

A tightly themed and edited collection on "surveillance" - as intelligence-gathering, as a component in strategies of social control and as a socio-technical system that is increasingly impacting on every aspect of our lives - through the intrusion of overt and covert surveillance in virtually every public and private sphere, whether criminal or civil. The contributors to this volume ask what this intensification of surveillance means, how we benefit and what we might lose. How do we track suspects, define risks, combat crime without also, possibly, eroding our civil liberties and sacrificing our rights to privacy? What are the issues, the threats and the opportunities? The contributors to this volume seek to map out the dimensions of the problem and to offer a strategy for monitoring future developments.--Pluto Press


Surveillance after September 11Surveillance after September 11
by David Lyon
Polity Press, 2003

If you have nothing to hide, it is often said, you have nothing to fear. This was a false assumption before September 11, 2001, and its falsity has become even more palpable and pernicious ever since. That’s the starting point of this book, which details the dramatic turns taken by surveillance after 9/11, contributing to what are probably long-term consequences. Intensified surveillance became more automated, integrated and globalized. But it was also more aligned with suspicion, secrecy and fear. Some possible signposts are offered for the ethical and political challenges thrown up by post-9/11 surveillance.


Surveillance Society: Monitoring Everyday LifeSurveillance Society
by David Lyon
Open University Press, 2001

The sequel to The Electronic Eye fills out the current picture by focusing on the everyday life dimensions of surveillance and on the quest for data on or from the body. The global picture also appears, with illustrations from North America, Europe and Asia in particular. Again, this book avoids the paranoid and the determinist, indicating some openings for critique and for hope. Lyon concludes that “it is the cultural grammar of today’s technologies that must be explored and contested. But we must look elsewhere for the means of confronting them than within the technologic of surveillance and its person-blind obsession with monitoring everyday life.”


The Electronic Eye: The Rise of Surveillance SocietyThe Electronic Eye
by David Lyon
University of Minnesota Press, 1994

This book situates surveillance in the modern world. Michel Foucault did this classically, cleverly, but his history remained in a pre-electronic era. This book demonstrates that while surveillance is an ancient practice, it alters shape and significance not only with modernity in general but also in specific ways with new computing and communications technologies. The ambiguities of surveillance are explored in administrative, policing, employment and consumer contexts. But surveillance is neither static nor one-way. Modes of resistance, both philosophical and practical, are examined and alternative ways of embracing and confronting surveillance are assessed.


Surveillance as Social Sorting: Privacy, Risk, and Digital Discrimination
Edited by David Lyon
Routledge 2002Surveillance as Social Sorting

Although “social sorting” is discussed in Surveillance Society, this book examines the idea from a number of empirical, theoretical and practical perspectives. The authors, from North America and Europe, demonstrate vividly how surveillance operates by classifying, categorizing and assigning value across a range of social sectors. The chapters expose such sorting in workplaces, at borders, in transit, in administration, in health-care, on the internet and on the street. They also propose means of confronting surveillant sorting in policy and politics.