From Borking to Streaming: The Normalization of Media Surveillance

Blake Hallinan


This paper builds on existing research on the role of surveillance in quotidian institutional contexts (Gilliom & Monahan 2012; Turow 2006; Turow 2011) and follows Jeremy Packer’s provocation to communication scholars to understand “media not merely as transmitters—the old ‘mass media’ function—but rather as data collectors, storage houses, and processessing centers” (2013, 296). Through an analysis of congressional documents, news reports, and scholarly literature, the case study of the Video Privacy Protection Act shows how social, technological, and legal changes associated with media distribution trouble the distinctions between audience and user, how the social, technological and legal changes associated with video challenge new media and old media.

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