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Encrypting Human Rights: The intertwining of resistant voices in the UK state surveillance debate

Stevens, Amy and Allen-Robertson, James (2021) 'Encrypting Human Rights: The intertwining of resistant voices in the UK state surveillance debate.' Big Data and Society, 8 (1). ISSN 2053-9517

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Abstract

As a contribution to ongoing surveillance debates, this paper reveals the intertwining of diverse interests and voices which speak in resistance to UK state surveillance. Through a computational topic modelling based mixed methods analysis of the submissions made to the draft Investigatory Powers Bill consultation, the paper demonstrates the diversity and intersection of discourses within different actor groups, including civil society and the technology industry. We demonstrate that encryption is a key issue for these groups, and conflated with a human rights discourse. This serves to unite seemingly disparate interests by imbuing encryption with a responsibility for the protection of human rights, but also threatens to legitimate corporate interests and distract from their own data-driven activities of surveillance capitalism.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Surveillance, human rights, encryption, topic modelling, computational methods, resistance
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2021 18:39
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2021 19:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26857

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