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Title: Crowd-Sourced Intelligence Agency: Prototyping Counterveillance
Authors: Curry, Derek
Gradecki, Jennifer
Keywords: Dataveillance
Information Access
Social Media
Issue Date: 17-Oct-2017
Abstract: This paper discusses how an interactive artwork, the Crowd-Sourced Intelligence Agency (CSIA), can contribute to discussions of Big Data intelligence analytics. The CSIA is a publicly accessible Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) system that was constructed using information gathered from technical manuals, research reports, academic papers, leaked documents, and Freedom of Information Act files. Using a visceral heuristic, the CSIA demonstrates how the statistical correlations made by automated classification systems are different from human judgment and can produce false-positives, as well as how the display of information through an interface can affect the judgment of an intelligence agent. The public has the right to ask questions about how a computer program determines if they are a threat to national security and to question the practicality of using statistical pattern recognition algorithms in place of human judgment. Currently, the public’s lack of access to both Big Data and the actual datasets intelligence agencies use to train their classification algorithms keeps the possibility of performing effective sous-dataveillance out of reach. Without this data, the results returned by the CSIA will not be identical to those of intelligence agencies. Because we have replicated how OSINT is processed, however, our results will resemble the type of results and mistakes made by OSINT systems. The CSIA takes some initial steps toward contributing to an informed public debate about large-scale monitoring of open source, social media data and provides a prototype for counterveillance and sousveillance tools for citizens.
Description: Biography: Derek Curry is an artist, researcher, and educator currently completing his PhD in Media Study at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His dissertation, The Locus of Human Agency in High-Impact Automated Systems, is concerned with human agency within automated decision-making systems used in the process of data aggregation and classification in algorithmic trading systems and Open Source Intelligence gathering (OSINT). Derek received his MFA in New Genres from UCLA in 2010. His work often addresses political, social, and technological assumptions from a critical perspective. Jennifer Gradecki is artist-theorist investigating information as a source of power and resistance: using methods of institutional critique, tactical media and information activism, she aims to facilitate a critical or practice-based understanding of socio-technical systems that typically evade public scrutiny. Her investigations have focused on Institutional Review Boards, financial instruments and, most recently, technologies of mass surveillance. She is currently completing her PhD at SUNY Buffalo while working as an Assistant Professor of Electronic Art and Intermedia at Michigan State. Her dissertation, Operation Mosaic: Informational Mosaics in Art and Intelligence Practices, is concerned with the metaphor of the informational mosaic as it is used by intelligence agencies and in practice-based artistic research projects that deal with the surveillance state. She earned her MFA in New Genres from UCLA's Department of Art in 2010. Curry and Gradecki have participated in numerous international exhibitions and conferences, including New Media Gallery (Zadar), AC Institute (New York), Science Gallery Dublin, The New Gallery (Calgary), Critical Finance Studies (Amsterdam), ISEA (Vancouver), ADAF (Athens), and Radical/Networks at NYU Polytechnic | Eyebeam.
Appears in Collections:1. Re:Trace Conference - Keynotes, Papers & Posters

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