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NCJ Number: 220664 Find in a Library
Title: Observing Potentiality in the Global City: Surveillance and Counterterrorism in London
Journal: International Criminal Justice Review  Volume:17  Issue:3  Dated:September 2007  Pages:171-192
Author(s): Pete Fussey
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 22
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines both the practical and the theoretical implications of the relationship between surveillance and terrorism.
Abstract: The examination of closed-circuit television (CCTV) during terrorist campaigns in London since 1992 reveals that the potential efficacy of electronic surveillance is partly contingent on configurations of differing dissident groups; specifically surveillance technologies originally conceived and legitimized to tackle terrorism have entered the civilian sphere, and as a consequence, some groups might find themselves catalogued within samples of suspicion which subsequently become “overpoliced.” Prospects of community cooperation may be diminished thus replicating errors made in the war on drugs, whereby entire communities became suspected and marginalized resulting in the potential loss of vital intelligence. Additionally, these practices may contribute toward levels of exclusion that stimulate and legitimize the conditions of grievance, thus shifting the focus away from the mission of disrupting terrorist activities. The most crucial issue relating to the use of surveillance technologies in counter terrorism is the grafting of strategies originally deployed to tackle more prosaic forms of criminality onto counterterrorism applications; traditional crime-control methods are increasingly employed to tackle terrorism, whereas, conversely, measures designed to prevent terrorism are becoming utilized for the prevention of crime. Because of the disparate nature of these respective issues, important questions are raised over the potential efficacy of surveillance technologies in this capacity. The article analyzes and discusses issues pertaining to the growth in surveillance capacities; four distinct periods of terrorist activity carried out in London during the past 15 years and their relationship with the practice and application of surveillance technologies; and the role of surveillance strategies in relation to their expansion, application, efficacy, and consequences alongside key conceptual and theoretical implications. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Counter-terrorism intelligence; International terrorism
Index Term(s): Bombings; Closed circuit television (CCTV); Crime control theory; Security surveillance systems; United Kingdom (UK)
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