The working culture of covert policing

B. Goold

Faculty Of Law, University Of British Columbia

This paper presents some of the key findings from an ethnographic field study of covert policing in the UK, and aims to shed light on the occupational culture of those officers engaged in the targeted surveillance of the public. Although many of the attitudes and working practices of covert officers mirror those offices found in more ‘traditional’ areas of policing, they also differ from them in a number of important ways. In particular, aspects of the occupational commonsense inherent to covert surveillance work reveals a distinct working culture, which operates in isolation from the clichéd cultural expressions of uniformed police that have been the focus of much scholarship.

Biography

Benjamin Goold is a professor at the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. His major research interests include privacy rights, the use of surveillance technologies by the police and intelligence communities, and the rhetoric and language of human rights.

The working culture of covert policing

B. Goold

Faculty Of Law, University Of British Columbia

This paper presents some of the key findings from an ethnographic field study of covert policing in the UK, and aims to shed light on the occupational culture of those officers engaged in the targeted surveillance of the public. Although many of the attitudes and working practices of covert officers mirror those offices found in more ‘traditional’ areas of policing, they also differ from them in a number of important ways. In particular, aspects of the occupational commonsense inherent to covert surveillance work reveals a distinct working culture, which operates in isolation from the clichéd cultural expressions of uniformed police that have been the focus of much scholarship.

Biography

Benjamin Goold is a professor at the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. His major research interests include privacy rights, the use of surveillance technologies by the police and intelligence communities, and the rhetoric and language of human rights.

Making sense of big data for security

J. Chan1, L. Bennett Moses2

1 Law School, UNSW Australia
2 Law School, UNSW Australia

*corresponding author: j.chan@unsw.edu.au

Big Data technology is said to hold great promise for improved efficiency and effectiveness for law enforcement and security intelligence agencies. This article aims to develop a cultural analysis of the potential impact of Big Data on the production of national and international security. Building on a Bourdesian framework for analysing police and new technologies, the article draws on empirical data from an Australian study to examine how security agents made sense of the capability and value of Big Data and developed technological frames that envisaged how this new technology could enhance or change their practices. The analysis demonstrates the importance of understanding the habitus of security agents in negotiating technological change in the field of security production.

Biography

Janet Chan is Professor at UNSW Law. She is internationally recognised for her contributions to policing research, especially her work on police culture and the use of information technology in policing. Janet has been awarded a number of major grants for criminological and sociolegal research, ranging from policing, juvenile justice, restorative justice, work stress among lawyers, to projects on Big Data analytics for national security and law enforcement. Janet was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2002 for distinction in research achievements. In 2015 she was the joint recipient of the ANZSOC Distinguished Criminologist Award.

Self-produced media and fantasy crime

H. Al-Alosi

University of New South Wales

Unlike the previous generations, individuals today are not merely consuming media online, but creating their own material and sharing it among a wide and global audience. The use of the internet is characterised by increased participation and interaction among users who use it to express themselves. The availability and affordability, and apparent anonymity provided by the internet provides an ideal space to share one’s fantasies, some of which may be regarded as deviant. Of concern is that the criminal law law has not caught up with the way in which individuals are using the new digital communication technologies to share this content, as highlighted by the potential criminalisation of young people who create material containing sexually explicit themes under the child abuse materials legislation. Accordingly, the proposed presentation seeks to discuss the types of user-generated content that are problematic in law and how this affects the freedom of expression rights of creators and consumers. It is particularly concerned with self-produced media content in the form of fan fiction stories and deviant forms of art, both of which have become a popular mode of expression, especially for young people. As will be discussed, some of this material contains sexually themes that trigger the child abuse material legislation, thus highlighting the law’s unintended consequences and its chilling effects on expression.

Biography

Hadeel Al-Alosi is an academic lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales. She was one of the first graduates of UNSW’s Criminology and Criminal Justice/Law program and now a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. As well as lecturer, Hadeel is currently a Doctoral Candidate. Her research is concerned with user-generated media and Australia’s criminal laws.

Self-produced media and fantasy crime

H. Al-Alosi

University of New South Wales

Unlike the previous generations, individuals today are not merely consuming media online, but creating their own material and sharing it among a wide and global audience. The use of the internet is characterised by increased participation and interaction among users who use it to express themselves. The availability and affordability, and apparent anonymity provided by the internet provides an ideal space to share one’s fantasies, some of which may be regarded as deviant. Of concern is that the criminal law law has not caught up with the way in which individuals are using the new digital communication technologies to share this content, as highlighted by the potential criminalisation of young people who create material containing sexually explicit themes under the child abuse materials legislation. Accordingly, the proposed presentation seeks to discuss the types of user-generated content that are problematic in law and how this affects the freedom of expression rights of creators and consumers. It is particularly concerned with self-produced media content in the form of fan fiction stories and deviant forms of art, both of which have become a popular mode of expression, especially for young people. As will be discussed, some of this material contains sexually themes that trigger the child abuse material legislation, thus highlighting the law’s unintended consequences and its chilling effects on expression.

Biography

Hadeel Al-Alosi is an academic lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales. She was one of the first graduates of UNSW’s Criminology and Criminal Justice/Law program and now a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. As well as lecturer, Hadeel is currently a Doctoral Candidate. Her research is concerned with user-generated media and Australia’s criminal laws.

Craftivism, yarn bombing and criminal crafts

A. McGovern

UNSW Australia,a.mcgovern@unsw.edu.au

Craftivism, the practice of utilising various forms of handmade crafts as a vehicle for individual/collective agency and to advocate political or social viewpoints (Greer 2007), has emerged in recent years as an issue of interest to scholars from a range of disciplinary fields. Acts of craftivism raise some important questions for criminologists about the use of public space, power, resistance and surveillance. As one example of a growing ‘craftivist’ movement that has been steadily gaining momentum within craft and activist circles since the early to mid-2000s, yarn bombing has been a particularly popular form of craftivism. As an urban craft movement that melds the skill of knitting and crochet with the act of graffiti, yarn bombing has the potential to contribute to criminological understandings of graffiti and street art, particularly on issues of gender, perceptions of and motivations for graffiti, and the commodification of crime, amongst other things. Drawing on interviews with yarn bombers and craftivists, this paper will explore how acts of craftivism can be understood and explored through the criminological lens.

Biography

Dr Alyce McGovern is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at UNSW Australia

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