CRIM 4900: Surveillance, Access, and Privacy – Introduction and Welcome

Starting today, I am teaching a new course: CRIM 4900: Surveillance, Access, and Privacy

To learn about the course, visit the About page.

For the next fourteen weeks, this site will serve as a ‘living syllabus’ for the course. It will be updated weekly with lecture notes, links to relevant resources and news items, multimedia components, and commentary.

For my students: Bookmark this site and / or subscribe to the RSS feed to receive notifications about updates. Be sure to check the site each Wednesday, before attending class.

For my other readers: You are welcome to follow along!

Today’s Seminar:

Introduction: Our first seminar will begin with an introduction to the course and an overview of our policies, assignments, and schedule of topics and readings. This will be followed by an introductory lecture and discussion based on the key themes that will inform our work. Of particular importance will be the discussion of themes that connect the study of secrecy, transparency, access to information, surveillance, and privacy. We will explore the basic architecture of the Canadian Access Regime, the history and politics of the ‘right to know’, and the trends shaping the terrain of surveillance and visibility in Canada.

Next Week: 

Surveillance and Visibility: Our second seminar will focus on a more detailed and conceptual introduction to surveillance studies. We will explore the general expansion and diversification of forms of surveillance, the role of surveillance in everyday life, and the concept of surveillance creep. We will engage with the work of prominent surveillance theorists Lyon and Bauman, with an emphasis on their discussion of ‘liquid surveillance’. Among the concepts we explore will be the panoptic metaphor, social sorting, and the theme of ‘uneven transparency’. This seminar will also feature our first info-lab. Info-labs are hands-on, how-to mini-seminars designed to cover the fundamentals of ATI/FOI research. Our first info-lab will focus on the nature of the ‘live archive’ and the forms of records that can be obtained through ATI/FOI law.

One Response to CRIM 4900: Surveillance, Access, and Privacy – Introduction and Welcome

  1. judocarter says:

    Hello Mike Larsen. I’m Chris Carter from Chatham ON. I recently finished reading your Brokering Access book and wanted to thank you fro having written that. I’ve also followed up by reading other material your referenced in you book as well.

    It was serendipitous: here in Chatham, one of the most generous supporters of that public library here is a former ON MPP named Darcy McKeough. Coincidentally at precisely the Oct. 2014 tyme I became aware of your book, Mr. McKeough purchased it for the library.

    Anyways, I’ve been doing FOI work here in ON since 2009 but more seriously since 2012. I focus primarily on ON’s provincial “justice system participants” esp. the private Children’s Aid Society corporations. The most difficult aspect of that process for me is completing the “representations” which as you’ll know aren’t mandatory but are important. Reading your book has increased my knowledge of the systems, making completion of the “representations” more doable. Thank you.

    Here are links to some of the records we’ve (a few people assist in my work) obtained so far:

    1. (got the 66 pg. 1994 class action lawsuit settlement between the province of ON and the Grandview Survivors Support Group)

    Grandview Training School for Girls

    February 25, 2014

    The Grandview Training School for Girls opened in 1932, and was formally known as the Ontario Training School for Girls – Galt. It was located at what is now Cambridge, Ontario.

    2. as Professor Yeager wrote in the book: ON’s CASs are THE ONLY front line child protectors in CAN exempt from FOI scrutiny (i’m sure you appreciate that the implications of that are enormous). the gov’t of ON does has a very very weak and protective of the CASs policy which dates from 1985 and has never been updated:

    Undisclosed Disclosure Policy

    January 16, 2013

    Chris Carter found there was a document giving disclosure policy for children’s aid societies and requested a copy through freedom of information. The reply from Cate Parker reads in part:

    3. ON’s private CAS corporations have been sued more than any other such “not-for-profit” agency in CAN; almost 50 tymes circa 1997-summer of 2012 (with numerous additional lawsuits having been filed against them since I obtained this listing as well):

    CAS Sued

    August 15, 2012

    Chris Carter has obtained a list of pending lawsuits against Ontario’s children’s aid societies by freedom of information request to the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Here is the letter from Cate Parker (4 megabytes pdf).

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