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NCJ Number: 220666 Find in a Library
Title: Australian Biometrics and Global Surveillance
Journal: International Criminal Justice Review  Volume:17  Issue:3  Dated:September 2007  Pages:207-219
Author(s): Dean Wilson
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the extent to which the social and political environment of individual nations mediates the experience of global surveillance trends.
Abstract: The article suggests that although Australian security and surveillance experiences reflect its own unique local nuances, it still parallels global surveillance trends in the intensification of searchable databases engaged in processes of inclusion and exclusion. Biometric systems serve to accentuate and reproduce codes of inclusion and exclusion already embedded within social structuring; how such codes are configured within specific national contexts will therefore affect how biometric surveillance is mobilized and experienced. The deployment of biometric technology in the Australian context closely corresponds to global surveillance trends in the post-9/11 environment; biometric databases have been instrumental in a recentralization of state power. Biometric technologies have enhanced the possibilities to discriminate between people and in the context of national security politics, have met with limited public opposition. Biometric policy is increasingly being developed beyond the nation as the call for equivalence of process and common procedures in the biometric border control. Demands for coordination of transnational policing efforts and the exchange of data among agencies are facilitated by a wider discourse of transnational security threats including illegal migration, transnational organized crime, and terrorism. Biometric identification systems are being deployed within a specific global political context as an extension of the United States’ policies on law and order. Local and political cultures still play a role in determining the experience of surveillance, both within individual nations and at their borders. In Australia, the peculiar resonance of the border as a site of political inscription, historic categories of exclusion based on the colonial past, and political histories of identification have affected deployment. Nevertheless, they have not been sufficient to see Australia diverge from general surveillance trends. References
Main Term(s): Australia; Border control; Transnational Crime
Index Term(s): National security; Security; Security management; Security surveillance systems
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