Reading & Resources

Here we provide some reading recommendations and other resources which we think are suitable for lay and academic audiences.

There is a non conclusive compilation of Blogs and Twitter resources on surveillance and a list of surveillance films, compiled by Dietmar Kammerer.

You can also start by reading the SSN introduction to the Surveillance Society or take a look at Transparent Lives, Surveillance in Canada for a wonderful and informative resource.

Canadian surveillance scholars have released a statement on mass surveillance – read more under  Transparent Lives or watch it as a film.


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The Surprise Project (EU fp7) has produced a couple of films on subjects covering smart cameras, deep packet inspection or smart phone tracking.

A film essay based on genre classics.


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Also you can find the UK Information Commissioner reports to Parliament on the state of surveillance, based on an update report on developments since 2006 authored by SSN members. His report includes the SSN-authored ‘An Update to a report on the surveillance society’, on which it is based. read more

Kevin Haggerty and Daniel Trottier have edited an annotated bibliography on surveillance books – read more.

The more academic books are divided into edited collections, general texts and more specialist references concerning different domains of surveillance.

We also list some influential reports and our favourite surveillance novels.

You can also download the whole list.

Popular Books

More popular books on surveillance written in an accessible style or designed for a mass audience:

  • Cavoukian, A. and Tapscott, D. (1995) Who Knows? Safeguarding Your Privacy in a Networked World, Toronto: Random House.
  • Davies, S. (1996) Big Brother: Britain’s Web of Surveillance and the New Technological Order, London: Pan Books.
  • Garfinkel, S. (2001) Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century. Cambridge, MA: O’Reilly.
  • O’Harrow, R. J. (2005) No Place to Hide: Behind the Scenes of Our Emerging Surveillance Society. New York: Free Press.
  • Parenti, C. (2003) The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slave Passes to the War on Terror. New York: Basic Books.
  • Parker, J. (2000) Total Surveillance Investigating the Big Brother world of e-spies, eavesdroppers and CCTV, Piatkus.
  • Rosen, J. (2004) The Naked Crowd: Reclaiming Security and Freedom in an Anxious Age. New York: Random House.
  • Whitaker, R. (1999) The End of Privacy: How Total Surveillance is Becoming a Reality. New York: The New Press.

Edited Collections

Key edited books with chapters covering a wide range of surveillance subjects covered in this reports:

  • Ball, K. and Webster, F. (eds.) (2003) The Intensification of Surveillance: Crime, Terrorism and Warfare in the Information Era. London: Pluto Press.
  • Gould, B and Neyland, D (eds) (2009) ‘New Directions in Surveillance and Privacy’ Collumpton: Willan
  • Haggerty, K. and Ericson, R. (2006) The New Politics of Surveillance and Visibility, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Levin, T. Y., Frohe, U. and Weibel, P. (eds.) (2002) CTRL [Space]: Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother. Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press.
  • Lyon, D. (ed.) (2003) Surveillance as Social Sorting: Privacy, Risk, and Digital Discrimination, London and New York: Routledge.
  • Lyon, D. and E. Zureik (eds.) (1998) Computers, Surveillance and Privacy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Monahan, Torin, ed. 2006. Surveillance and Security: Technological Politics and Power in Everyday Life. New York: Routledge.

General academic texts on surveillance

General books on surveillance written for a mainly academic audience or using more theoretical approaches

  • Bogard, W. (1996) The Simulation of Surveillance: Hypercontrol in Telematic Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Coleman, R. (2004) Reclaiming the Streets: Surveillance, Social Control and the City. Cullompton, UK: Willan.
  • Dandeker, C. (1990) Surveillance, Power and Modernity: Bureaucracy and Discipline from 1700 to the Present Day. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.
  • Ericson, R. V. and Haggerty, K.D. (1997) Policing the Risk Society. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Foucault, M. (1977) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Pantheon
  • Garland, D. (2001) The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Gilliom, J. (2001) Overseers of the Poor: Surveillance, Resistance and the Limits of Privacy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Lyon, D. (ed.) (2006) Theorizing Surveillance: The Panopticon and Beyond. Cullompton, UK: Willan
  • Lyon, D. (2003) Surveillance after September 11. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Lyon, D. (2001) Surveillance Society: Monitoring Everyday Life. Buckingham: Open University Press
  • Lyon, D. (1994) The Electronic Eye: The Rise of Surveillance Society. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.
  • McCahill, M. (2002) The Surveillance Web: The rise of visual surveillance in an English city, Cullompton: Willan.
  • McGrath, J. (2004) Loving Big Brother: Performance, Privacy and Surveillance Space. London: Routledge.
  • Marx, G.T. (1988) Undercover: Police Surveillance in America. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  • Monahan, Torin. 2010. Surveillance in the Time of Insecurity. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
  • Monmonier, M. (2004) Spying with Maps: Surveillance Technologies and the Future of Privacy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Norris, C. and Armstrong, G. (1999) The Maximum Surveillance Society: The Rise of CCTV, Oxford: Berg.
  • Rigakos, G. (2002) The New Parapolice: Risk Markets and Commodified Social Control. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Rule, J.B. (1974) Private Lives and Public Surveillance: Social Control in the Computer Age, New York, NY: Schocken Books.
  • Staples, W.G. (2000) Everyday Surveillance: Vigilance and Visibility in Postmodern Life. New York: Rowman and Littlefield.
  • Staples, W.G. (1997) The Culture of Surveillance: Discipline and Social Control in the United States. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

More Reading….