City Media Network and Sociology Department PhD students seminar series invite you to:
Historicising the UK phone hacking scandal: the origins of wiretapping and early cases in the United States and Britain with Colin Agur (Columbia University, Graduate School of Journalism)
- Tuesday 3 July, 2012, 16:00PM
- Room D318, Social Sciences Building, City University London, Northampton Square, London, EC1 OHB
The ongoing revelations of widespread phone hacking by NewsCorp raise questions about journalistic ethics and how effectively governments can protect privacy in a world of mass mobile phone usage. To understand the significance of the current scandal, we can look to the origins of wiretapping: the relationship between the telephone and recording technology dates back to their nearly simultaneous releases in the 1870s. Since then, as technologies have improved, wiretapping has became a favored tool in police investigations on both sides of the Atlantic, and the subject for several scandals. This talk explores the roles different parties (bootleggers, bookies, police, journalists) have played in the growth and sophistication of telephone surveillance. It contextualises the current UK scandal, showing how a tactic developed by and for police has been put to use by powerful corporate actors.
Colin Agur is interested in how telecommunications policy can shape economic development in low- and middle-income countries. Regionally, he is interested in the Indian subcontinent and Africa. His focus is on the shift from landline to mobile telephony and the growth of sophisticated mobile networks. Before coming to Columbia he was executive director of Salon Voltaire, a live forum in Toronto hosting academics, activists, filmmakers, journalists, diplomats, politicians, writers and broadcasters. From 2002 to 2004, he taught international affairs and economics at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), in Monterrey, Mexico. He holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Alberta and a M.A. in international political economy from the University of Warwick.
Please contact belairgagnon.v(at)gmail.com for general inquiries.