Permeable Boundaries in
the Software-sorted Society:
Surveillance and the
Differentiation of Mobility

David Wood
&
Stephe...
>> Introduction
•  What are the intersections of digitised
surveillance, mobilities and boundaries ?
•  Shift from electro...
>> New Social Control in
the Software-sorted City
•  Control may be unintentional
•  Determined by desire for smooth flow ...
>> Surveillance
and Permeability
•  Boundaries delineate areas based on prior
categorical work.
•  Surveillance = social m...
>> The Automatic
Sorting of Mobilities 1
•  ‘Kinetic elite’

Electronic
Road Pricing
>> The Automatic
Sorting of Mobilities 2

•  International Airports –
Biometric Check-in

–  c.f.: Curry: ‘trusted’ versus...
>> The Automatic
Sorting of Mobilities 3
•  Internet Routing &
Call centre queuing
systems.

- ‘Premium’ users
versus othe...
>> The Politics of the
Software-sorted Society
•  Technologically determinist?
•  But - Thrift and French:

–  Designed an...
>> Conclusions and
Future Directions
•  Automated surveillance works to:

–  enhance mobility of privileged
–  add frictio...
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David murakami-Wood and Stephen Graham Permeable Boundaries in the Software-sorted Society: Surveillance and the Differentiation of Mobility

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David murakami-Wood and Stephen Graham Permeable Boundaries in the Software-sorted Society: Surveillance and the Differentiation of Mobility

  1. 1. Permeable Boundaries in the Software-sorted Society: Surveillance and the Differentiation of Mobility David Wood & Stephen Graham
  2. 2. >> Introduction •  What are the intersections of digitised surveillance, mobilities and boundaries ? •  Shift from electromechanical-bureaucratic infrastructures and spaces to softwaresorted ones •  Real-time, continuous prioritisations and inhibitions of mobility based on code and judgements of fitness, risk or profitability •  Politics of code (Lessig) ; the automatic production of space (Thrift and French) •  Lianos on ‘new social control‘:‘Automated Socio-technical Environments’ (ASTEs):
  3. 3. >> New Social Control in the Software-sorted City •  Control may be unintentional •  Determined by desire for smooth flow of goods and services •  Decline of collective sociality •  Creation of a new form of institutional sociality –  Governed by inhuman rules of automated flow –  Mobility of things privileged ahead of mobility of persons •  c.f.: Norris: Result of digital enforcement = Exclusion
  4. 4. >> Surveillance and Permeability •  Boundaries delineate areas based on prior categorical work. •  Surveillance = social mode of ordering •  Surveillance not about control of the person –  About control of information and activity –  Limiting mobility through boundaries •  Surveillance depends on the purity of categories? •  But: successful boundaries impure: –  Allow different speeds of movement –  Allow different actants move in variable ways •  Differentially permeable
  5. 5. >> The Automatic Sorting of Mobilities 1 •  ‘Kinetic elite’ Electronic Road Pricing
  6. 6. >> The Automatic Sorting of Mobilities 2 •  International Airports – Biometric Check-in –  c.f.: Curry: ‘trusted’ versus ‘treacherous’ travellers –  Challenges concept of ‘national borders’ for some –  Makes borders more impenetrable for others ‘Privium’ Members check-in Schipol Airport, Netherlands
  7. 7. >> The Automatic Sorting of Mobilities 3 •  Internet Routing & Call centre queuing systems. - ‘Premium’ users versus others - Neither likely to know
  8. 8. >> The Politics of the Software-sorted Society •  Technologically determinist? •  But - Thrift and French: –  Designed and initiated by human beings –  ‘Human’ concerns in mind •  Human is hidden –  Technological lock-in of a punctualised collective. •  Serious sociopolitical problem •  Politics of surveillance in architecture and code •  Boundaries: physical, informational, sociocultural •  Collectives relatively opaque to outsiders
  9. 9. >> Conclusions and Future Directions •  Automated surveillance works to: –  enhance mobility of privileged –  add friction to mobility of less privileged •  Techniques often invisible •  Standardised mobility services replaced by individualised / market-based •  Mobility shaped by hidden politics of code •  How can software sorting cope with complexity? 1. Restructure society - e.g.: Smart ID 2. Improve surveillance systems - Move towards heuristic surveillance

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