Digital Citizenship amd Surveillance| Enabling Digital Citizenship? The Reshaping of Surveillance Policy After Snowden

Arne Hintz, Ian Brown


The revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have led to policy reform debates in several countries and to policy change in some, including a new legislative framework in the UK—the Investigatory Powers Act. In this article, we trace the forces and dynamics that have shaped this particular policy response. We investigate key controversies over the types and extent of surveillance; the capacity of different stakeholders to intervene into the debate and shape its outcomes; the attempts to achieve democratic legitimacy for data collection; and the consequences for digital citizenship. Drawing from a systematic analysis of relevant policy documents and interviews with key policy experts and stakeholders, we analyze conflicts over both the direction and details of surveillance policy, and uncover unequal degrees of influence over policy reform for different stakeholders. As a result, policy reform has led to a confirmation, rather than restriction, of data collection. Digital citizenship may be supported by the (limited) policy review in the UK and the development of a more transparent legislative framework, but is impeded by a growing range of surveillance capabilities.


Snowden, surveillance, policy, law, regulation, digital citizenship, Investigatory Powers Bill, Investigatory Powers Act

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