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category: Social Science
published: Dec 2020
publisher: UBC Press

Big Data Surveillance and Security Intelligence

The Canadian Case

edited by David Lyon & David Murakami Wood

tagged: privacy & surveillance), security (national & international)

Intelligence gathering is in a state of flux. Enabled by massive computing power, new modes of communications analysis now touch the lives of citizens around the globe – not just those considered suspicious or threatening. Big Data Surveillance and Security Intelligence reveals the profound shift to “big data” practices that security agencies have made in recent years, as the increasing volume of information challenges traditional ways of gathering intelligence. In this astute collection, leading academics, civil society experts, and regulators debate the pressing questions this trend raises about civil liberties, human rights, and privacy protection in Canada.

About the Authors

David Lyon

David Murakami Wood

Contributor Notes

David Lyon is the director of the Surveillance Studies Centre and Queen’s Research Chair in Surveillance Studies at Queen’s University, Kingston, where he is also a professor of sociology and of law. He is the author of Surveillance after Snowden and The Culture of Surveillance: Watching as a Way of Life and co-author, with Zygmunt Bauman, of Liquid Surveillance: A Conversation, among other works, and has co-edited numerous other publications. He is the winner of a 2018 Outstanding Contribution Award from the Surveillance Studies Network and many other awards.


David Murakami Wood is an associate professor of sociology and former Canada Research Chair in Surveillance Studies at Queen’s University, Kingston. He has worked mainly on global surveillance, urban surveillance, and smart cities in the UK, Canada, Brazil, and Japan, where he has held two major research fellowships. He is co-editor-in-chief of the journal Surveillance & Society, as well as a media commentator on surveillance issues.


Contributors: Anthony Amicelle, Janet Chan, Andrew Clement, Anne Dagenais Guertin, Craig Forcese, David Grondin, Jillian Harkness, Stéphane Leman-Langlois, Tim McSorley, Adam Molnar, Jeffrey Monaghan, Midori Ogasawara, Christopher Parsons, Holly Porteous, Christopher Prince, George Raine, Bill Robinson, Carrie B. Sanders, Valerie Steeves, Scott Thompson, and Micheal Vonn

Editorial Reviews

This wide-ranging collection interrogates the intelligence-gathering practices of Canadian security agencies in the shift to "big data" surveillance methods. [This book] fills a need for literature on a topic where information about the Canadian context is relatively scarce.

— Canadian Law Library Review

Big Data Surveillance and Security Intelligence: The Canadian Case tackles some of the most pressing issues of our time — issues that can only be expected to grow in size and complexity…[it] is an essential and revealing examination of the tug-of-war between civil liberties and national security in our fast-moving digital age.

— The Sidebar

This is a dark book, but one which should be read.


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