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Vernacular resistance to data collection and analysis: A political theory of obfuscation

Vernacular resistance to data collection and analysis: A political theory of obfuscation <jats:p>Computer-enabled data collection, aggregation, and mining dramatically change the nature of contemporary surveillance. Refusal is not a practical option, as data collection is an inherent condition of many essential societal transactions. We present one vernacular response to this regime of everyday surveillance, a tactic we call obfuscation. With a variety of possible motivations, actors engage in obfuscation by producing misleading, false, or ambiguous data with the intention of confusing an adversary or simply adding to the time or cost of separating bad data from good. Our paper develops a political theory of obfuscation, linking contemporary and historical cases to develop a descriptive account of obfuscation that is able to capture key commonalities in systems from radar chaff to BitTorrent.</jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png First Monday CrossRef

Vernacular resistance to data collection and analysis: A political theory of obfuscation

First MondayApr 26, 2011

Vernacular resistance to data collection and analysis: A political theory of obfuscation


Abstract

<jats:p>Computer-enabled data collection, aggregation, and mining dramatically change the nature of contemporary surveillance. Refusal is not a practical option, as data collection is an inherent condition of many essential societal transactions. We present one vernacular response to this regime of everyday surveillance, a tactic we call obfuscation. With a variety of possible motivations, actors engage in obfuscation by producing misleading, false, or ambiguous data with the intention of confusing an adversary or simply adding to the time or cost of separating bad data from good. Our paper develops a political theory of obfuscation, linking contemporary and historical cases to develop a descriptive account of obfuscation that is able to capture key commonalities in systems from radar chaff to BitTorrent.</jats:p>

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Publisher
CrossRef
ISSN
1396-0466
DOI
10.5210/fm.v16i5.3493
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p>Computer-enabled data collection, aggregation, and mining dramatically change the nature of contemporary surveillance. Refusal is not a practical option, as data collection is an inherent condition of many essential societal transactions. We present one vernacular response to this regime of everyday surveillance, a tactic we call obfuscation. With a variety of possible motivations, actors engage in obfuscation by producing misleading, false, or ambiguous data with the intention of confusing an adversary or simply adding to the time or cost of separating bad data from good. Our paper develops a political theory of obfuscation, linking contemporary and historical cases to develop a descriptive account of obfuscation that is able to capture key commonalities in systems from radar chaff to BitTorrent.</jats:p>

Journal

First MondayCrossRef

Published: Apr 26, 2011

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