Sousveillance as a Peoples’ Surveillance for Grassroots Intelligence Activism

The video I have created, ‘Sousveillance as a Peoples’ Surveillance for Grassroots Intelligence Activism’ represents a mere brief overview of a vast topic which holds the potential to play a key role in the liberation of Humanity. I invite you to view it, and to give further thought to the themes expressed within it.

The video is designed not so much to argue a case per se, but more to argue for an overall theme – namely, in part, that surveillance by ‘them’ is simply a reality which is unlikely to change at any time soon (if ever), and that solutions to the problems which this entails lie not in paranoia but in a citizenry empowering itself by utilising New Media technologies in an intelligent and responsible manner for the purposes of supervising those who have assumed the role of supervisors of the rest of us.

This is achieved textually by presenting notions provided by various scholars – which should transmit to the audience the message that ‘You are not alone. There are academics who give thought to your concerns’ – with those notions tied loosely together for the purposes of providing food for thought. In other words, the argument is made implicitly with the intention of keeping this field of thought wide open, rather than providing explicit dogmatic positions.

The video was made using Windows Movie Maker. I had originally intended using Wondershare Filmora – as it has a far more user-friendly interface – however, unfortunately, the watermark which the unregistered Filmora placed in the final video was unacceptably brazen. The slides within the video were produced using OpenOffice Impress (an analogue of Microsoft Powerpoint). Screenshots were then taken of these slides and imported into Movie Maker. Creative Commons images were sourced from Flickr. For the recording of my narration, I had to utilise my USB audio recorder, as the sound volume obtainable using my computer’s inbuilt microphone is grossly inadequate.

Gates and Magnet (2007) was useful to draw upon for the purposes of establishing surveillance as a matter for communications research; positing the notion of communication (and thus, surveillance/sousveillance) as a process for the production, maintenance, repairing and transformation of reality; and raising the possibility of surveillance as ‘us watching them’. Dr. Francisco Gil-White (2006) is drawn upon to raise the concept of the ‘free press’ being theoretically an agent for the public supervision of ‘the supervisors’, while demonstrating that it has been completely corrupted by the same totalitarian-esque forces which dominate the surveillance superstructure. Ganascia (2010) provides a salient warning about the dystopian dangers of surveillance technology, while providing examples of the use of sousveillance to counter those dangers. I was very impressed with Steve Mann’s (1998) analogous reference to the Situationist movement. Indeed, this has re-fired an interest in Situationism for me.

Certain material from two political movements which I’ve long taken an interest in – the Zionist movement with its grassroots investigations of the ‘Pallywood’ phenomena, and the so-called ‘Truth movement’ with its grassroots investigations of matters which are generally concealed by an unfortunate association with a perjorative connotation of the term ‘conspiracy theory’ – and which are both at or near the cutting edge of grassroots sousveillant intelligence analysis, are given passing reference to in the video. As well as hopefully attracting the attention of my more curious viewers, this reference enabled a segue to Dennis’ (2008) warnings about the abuse of sousveillance, Kowalski’s (2013) advocacy of grassroots intelligence analysis, and Mann and Ferenbok’s (2013) advocacy of utilising New Media technologies for the purposes of intelligent activism, and their indication that much more work needs to be done in this area.

Beyond the technical difficulties which are referred to above, the most challenging aspect of this assignment was drawing in a broad range of concepts which interest me, and presenting them in a reasonably coherent manner in the time available.

I feel that sousveillance likely holds a key to helping prevent Humanity from plunging into a dystopian nightmare of the kind we’ve never seen, and would likely never recover from.

WORD COUNT: 675 (Not including references)


Dennis, K. ‘Keeping a close watch – the rise of self-surveillance and the threat of digital exposure’

The Sociological Review Vol.56 No.3 (2008) pp.347-357

Ganascia, J.-G. ‘The generalized sousveillance society’

Social Science Information, 0539-0184; Vol.49 No.3 (2010) pp.489-507

Gates, K., and Magnet, S. ‘Communication Research and the Study of Surveillance’

The Communication Review Vol.10 (2007) 277-293

Gil-White, F. 3 January 2006 ‘Did the National Security Act of 1947 destroy freedom of the press?’

Historical and Investigative Research

Kowalski, M. ‘Between ‘sousveillance’ and applied ethics: practical approaches to oversight’

Security and Human Rights Vol.24 (2013) pp.280-285

Mann, S. ‘ “Reflectionism” and “Diffusionism”: New Tactics for Deconstructing the Video Surveillance Superhighway’

LEONARDO Vol.31 No.2 (1998) pp.93-102

Mann, S., and Ferenbok, J. ‘New Media and the Power Politics of Sousveillance in a Surveillance-Dominated World’

Surveillance and Society 11 (1/2) (2013) 18-34


Journalism is the First Draft of History

The Red Cross Ambulance Incident

How the Media Legitimized an Anti-Israel Hoax and Changed the Course of a War

Further websites which analyse “Pallywood”

Special Report on the Boston Marathon: The Curious Case of the Man Who Could Only Sit Down (Part 1)

Youtube Channel of Betsy Lee McGee

9/11 Video & Radar Analysis by Richard D. Hall

Support website for the book ‘Where Did the Towers Go? Evidence of Directed Free-Energy Technology on 9/11’ by Judy Wood, B.S., M.S., Ph.D

See also



bamco and karen eliot

bamco and karen eliot

bamco and karen eliot

Sousveillance - The Art of Inverse Surveillance - Conference at Aarhus University, February 6-8 2009

Stephanie's Drawing of Sousveillance and Surveillance

World Trade Center 9/11/01 attack memorial photo

World Trade Center 9/11/01 attack memorial photo

World Trade Center 9/11/01 attack memorial photo

Memorial 9/11 World trade center

Memorial 9/11 World trade center


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