Chambers, P 2016, 'Smartphone' in Mark B Salter (ed.) Making Things International 2, University of Minnesota Press, United States, pp. 195-215.

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Book Chapters

Title Smartphone
Author(s) Chambers, P
Year 2016
Title of book Making Things International 2
Publisher University of Minnesota Press
Place of publication United States
Editor(s) Mark B Salter
Start page 195
End page 215
Subjects International Relations
Social Theory
Sociology not elsewhere classified
Summary The smartphone is an extremely subtle and complex device whose uses, agency and affects depend greatly on the assemblages in which it is an actant. The effectiveness of the smartphone in RIOT's marketable surveillance assemblage, for example, depends on the interoperation of a large number of programmed systems, with interested group agents such as the Raytheon corporation and the US government at various ends. It also depends on the broader, shifting social interaction between smartphones and their human and nonhuman users in their average, everyday dealings with one another via their smartphones - for this is, after all, why the precise pattern of data is there in the first place and for the foreseeable future. Careful consideration of the surveillant assemblage visible through RIOT prompts us to rethink agency and causality: is any 'one' in control here? To what ends are these tools being put, and what are their probable and possible futures? To what do individual smartphone users and system-agents of their surveillance tend to pay attention? What kind of control might they seek, and what might they have? Considering the smartphone's enmeshment here also encourages us to think very carefully about the possible political dangers this engenders, encourages and normalizes. These are political dangers which, the 2013 mass surveillance disclosures amply demonstrate, are no longer science fiction, the cool-but-creepy imaginings of DARPA's Strategic Technology Office, or even marginal practices that are only the obsessive worry of paranoid cranks and conspiracy theorists. Rather, they are the by-now-normal political technologies of the National Security Agency (NSA) and its project of total planetary surveillance through PRISM, Boundless Informant, and the many other projects, programs and applications of which large numbers of people are not yet aware, may never be, and may not even care to know about.
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Keyword(s) smartphone
ISBN 9780816696291
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