POST 3: Mapping the participants (human and non-human) and constructing an image archive

Post 3, image 11.jpg

Above is a revised version of the participant map developed in class. Unlike previous versions of this exercise, this chart focuses on mapping broad categories of stakeholders rather than focusing on individual organizations. I found this beneficial as it created a more focused picture of the online privacy debate. Developing this map further, more research should be devoted to understanding the users of the internet and their motivations: which are often less well defined that than of business and institutions.

Post 3, image 1
(Davidson 2016)

Like the photograph of the GHCQ headquarters featured later in this post, the eye of providence is again referenced in this illustration. Seen commonly on US currency, the eye of providence represents the eye of God watching over all of mankind. This imagery has been used by the illustrator to make a comment the growing power of Australian Bureau of statistics following their decision to record names in the census.

Post 3, image 2
(Fairey 2007)

This artwork by American street artist Shepard Fairey looks at the dichotomy between government surveillance programs designed to protect us and the impact they have on our freedom. Using his trademark soviet propaganda style, Fairey paints a menacing picture of these tactics through the use of vibrant reds, and dark silhouettes. The text on the large billboard provides further insight into the artist’s view of state sponsored surveillance.

Post 3, image 3
(GCHQ 2013)

An interesting image from a presentation given to GCHQ officials about the NSA’s intercept abilities. This document was given to journalists at the Guardian by Edward Snowden to support his claim that US and UK spy agencies were engaged in a widespread program of internet surveillance. Similarly to the accompanying article, this image largely ignores GCHQ’s involvement, possibly due to pressure applied by the British government.

Post 3, image 4
(Hitz 2016)

This image explores the money that can be made selling malware on the black market. The image and the feature article it was embedded within tell a fascinating story about the amount of money software companies and governments pay hackers to find exploits in their own software, and that of their adversaries. This seemingly common practice within the technology market is not something that is often publicized.

Post 3, image 5
(Hitz 2016)

A colourful and clever image from editorial illustrator Christopher Hitz. In this image, Hitz touches on the idea that our online activities are being monitored by an external force. Like many of the images featured in this archive, the use of a large eye is again used to represent the omnipresent reach of US and UK spy agencies in relation to intercepting electronic communications.

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(Ministry of Defence 2004)

Ironically the headquarters of the GCHQ, Britain’s answer to the NSA, looks like an all seeing eye. The organisation’s omnipresent surveillance has been well documented in the press, but it’s interesting to see this idea reflected so literally through the design of the agency’s headquarters. This bold architectural statement would indicate the organisation is not at all concerned with public’s perception of its invasive activities.

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(Phillips 2016)

An image likely seen by many in the wake of census fail.  Echoing popular opinion that the census was doomed from the moment it went online, this image encapsulates the frustration felt by many as the website buckled under heavy load. Press mentions in the wake of this event were not positive and universally criticized the Australian Bureau of Statistics for this completely avoidable mistake.

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(Porritt 2016)

A lovely stock photo of the Australian Bureau of Statistics before the shit hit the fan in the wake of the 2016 census. This image doesn’t reveal a huge amount about the organization, aside from the modern façade it puts up. Instead this image is designed to provide context to the accompanying article which discusses in detail the changes made to the 2016 census.

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(Roberts 2012)

This is a generic stock photo designed to accompany an article about online privacy or hacker culture. The image itself is a clichéd interpretation of these topics, and highlights the misunderstanding perpetrated about online privacy in the popular media. This image would likely be found alongside shorter, minimally researched articles, where it is not commercially viable to commission a bespoke artwork to accompany the article.

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(Snowden & Huang 2016)

This is a computer rendering of a prototype iPhone case designed by former defense contractor turned internet privacy advocate Edward Snowden. The case is designed to monitor the device’s outgoing radio signals and alert the user if their device is compromised. The image and accompanying article are thought-provoking, as counter surveillance activities like this are not often covered in the popular press.

Reference list

Davidson, M. 2016, A.B.S MMXVI, The Sydney Morning Herald, viewed 9 August 2016, <>.

Fairey, S. 2007 Big Brother City, viewed 9 August 2016, <>.

GCHQ 2013, Revealed: how US and UK spy agencies defeat internet privacy and security, The Guardian, viewed 9 August 2016, <>.

Hitz, C. 2016, Software as weaponry in a computer-connected world, The New York Times, viewed 9 August 2016, <>.

Hitz, C. n.d., Big Brother, viewed 9 August 2016, <>.

Ministry of Defence 2004, The Doughnut, the headquarters of the GCHQ, Wikipedia, viewed 9 August 2016, <>.

Phillips, L. 2016, Census website attacked by hackers, ABS claims, The Sydney Morning Herald, viewed 9 August 2016, <>.

Porritt, A. 2016, Census 2016: Australians who don’t complete form over privacy concerns face fines, The Guardian, viewed 9 August 2016, <>.

Roberts, G. 2012, Man sitting in a darkened room with a laptop and other computer equipment, Fortune, viewed 9 August 2016, <>.

Snowden, E. & Huang A. 2016, Introspection engine, WIRED, viewed 9 August 2016, <>.




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