Plenary panel II – University of Copenhagen

NordMedia 2015 > Speakers > Plenary panel II

Plenary Panel II

Big Brothers and Little Sisters - Surveillance, sousveillance, and coveillance on the Internet

To be present on the Internet is to be subject to surveillance. The bit trails or meta-data that users leave behind lend themselves to more or less legal and legitimate analyses and applications by businesses and governments alike. At the same time, ordinary users may engage in surveillance from below – sousveillance – of the powers that be. And, individuals as well as institutions constantly monitor the various groups and levels of society of which they are constitutive parts through coveillance {Rainie, 2012 #1751}. Increasingly, communication is recorded in and of the use of digital media, and the records are accessible by more than one big brother and many little sisters.

This panel addresses the political and ethical implications of the capacity of an omnipresent Internet to track and document the whereabouts and actions of users across private and public contexts. The panelists will consider three main questions: What is the general state of national legislation concerning privacy in online media? What are some of the current issues being debated in the area? And, what normative principles are at stake in attempts to balance the protection of individual rights with a collective interest in an open internet architecture?

Following brief statements by panel members, the session will involve participants and panelists in an extended dialogue about the Internet as a medium of both presence and surveillance.


Liv Hausken

Professor Liv Hausken, Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo

Jens-Erik Mai

Professor Jens-Erik Mai, Information Studies, University of Copenhagen

Miyase Christensen

Professor Miyase Christensen, Department of Media Studies, Stockholm University


Rikke Frank Jørgensen

Ph.D. and Researcher Rikke Frank Jørgensen, The Danish Institute for Human Rights