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Political Science Security (national & International)

Look Who's Watching

Surveillance, Treachery and Trust Online

by (author) Fen Osler Hampson & Eric Jardine

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2016
Security (National & International), Privacy & Surveillance), Media & Internet, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2016
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The Internet ecosystem is held together by a surprisingly intangible glue — trust. To meet its full potential, users need to trust that the Internet works reliably and efficiently when providing them with the information they are seeking, while also being secure, private and safe. When trust in the Internet wanes, the network’s stock of “digital social capital” falls and users begin to alter their online behaviour. These often subtle changes in behaviour tend to be collectively highly maladaptive, hindering the economic, developmental and innovative potential of the globe-spanning network of networks. Look Who’s Watching: Surveillance, Treachery and Trust Online confirms in vivid detail that the trust placed by users in the Internet is increasingly misplaced. Edward Snowden’s revelations that the United States National Security Agency and other government agencies are spying on Internet users, the proliferation of cybercrime and the growing commodification of user data and regulatory changes — which threaten to fragment the system — are all rapidly eroding the confidence users have in the Internet ecosystem. Based on a combination of illustrative anecdotal evidence and analysis of new survey data, Look Who’s Watching clearly demonstrates why trust matters, how it is being eroded and how, with care and deliberate policy action, the essential glue of the Internet can be restored.

About the authors

Fen Osler Hampson is the director of CIGI’s Global Security & Politics Program and professor at Carleton University. He is the co-author of Brave New Canada: Meeting the Challenge of a Changing World (2014) with Derek H. Burney.

Fen Osler Hampson's profile page

Eric Jardine is assistant professor of political science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and is a research fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

Eric Jardine's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Anyone who is interested in studying or understanding the evolution of the Web and the Internet should read this book. It contains a wealth of invaluable information and analysis about the changing views of Internet users, as well as a strong thesis abou

“Hampson and Jardine provide an important guide to the way we are now dependent upon public trust in the Internet for our future economic and social life. Based on new polling data they issue an important wake-up call on the risks to public confidence ari

“The authors have produced a clear, timely and essential book about the importance of trust as an engine for the Internet. We must foster that trust if the global Internet is to continue to flourish.” Michael Chertoff, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Chertoff Group, and former secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security

“Fen Osler Hampson and Eric Jardine capture the complex ways in which, until now, trust has functioned as the social capital and currency of the Internet ecosystem and driven rapid adoption of digital technology. They provide insight into what we can do t

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