The sixth blog

From the lecture and seminar of Week 8, we have been focused on the concept “the Fate of the State” and older institution and practices. As the development of digital technologies, it is enabled that the Internet, which generated by connected computing machines, can share thoughts and opinions without time-space limits. The online media as a new type of way of communication and information sharing platform has strong engagement, and also it challenges the older institutions as well as traditional media publicity. And the older institutions also have tried to utilize the new media technologies to transform their old fashioned expression of information or control them in order to adapt new media environment, as the flow of information online.

The use of new media technology transforms the way we understand privacy, which it allows our daily behaves more visually available, and the trace of our life and our individuality can be accessed by anyone else online through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instergram. However, because the Internet is hard to regulate, the issues of cyber bullying and cyber scammers are the drawbacks of online media technologies. Also, government authority can as well view and even monitor our daily through the content we post, which this can be referred as surveillance, and has arisen the concern of privacy. In 2013, Edward Snowden has revealed the PRISM, which involves a mass surveillance on metadata such as, phones, emails and social media. (Wikipedia, 2014)

Nevertheless, nowadays government authorities also become open that they share daily to public, and people are able to know the information of what the governors are actually doing. So not only Big Brothers has the technology to watch, but also individuals are powered up with advanced technologies to be able to monitor government authorities, which it is understood as sousveillance. In Boiler’s (2013) article, he addressed Mann’s idea of sousveillance to surveillance that sousveillance is an unavoidable trend in advanced societies. And it is also quoted “We now live in a society in which we have both “the few watching the many” (surveillance), and“the many watching the few” (sousveillance)”. (Boiler, 2013) For example, Russian people install video cameras on their cars, which it is able to efficiently discover corruption of civil servants through uploading and sharing videos to social networks. So the transparency of information seems to tend to be positive to public. However, Eillis’s (2010) article shows it might be a concern of killing democracy from over sousveillance.

The idea of Government 2.0 demonstrates a further open governance platform that improves the transparency and efficiency of governance, which people can receive data and participate in governance in an open-source platform. The visualization of government functions might be a good example of Government 2.0 in Styles’ (2009) article, however this actually requires people to learn many of specific details of government, and this might need appropriate level of education. So is the education standard is sophisticated enough for all people to participate the governance? Are the current technologies sophisticated enough for fully function government 2.0? Is this democratic that giving the right to individuals to access all the information from government? These topics still remain controversial, and again it is back to the role of technology.




Bollier, David (2013) ‘Sousveillance as a Responce to Surveillance’, David Bollier: news and perspectives on the commons, November 24, <>

Ellis, Bob (2010) ‘Sleepless in Canberra’ The ABC, Drum Unleashed <>

Styles, Catherine (2009) “A Government 2.0 idea – first, make all the functions visible’, <>

Wikipedia (n.d.) ‘Edward Snowden’, Wikipedia, <>


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