Towards an Anthropology of Surveillance
With the rapid growth of metadata and political and corporate surveillance in America during the last two decades, anthropologists Roberto J. González and David H. Price—long-time contributors to CounterPunch—have been studying the impacts and implications of these developments. Both Price and González recently published books that critically examine surveillance in the United States (Price’s The American Surveillance State: How the U.S. Spies on Dissent and González’s War Virtually: The Quest to Automate Conflict, Militarize Data, and Predict the Future). Below are excerpts from an extended conversation between the two on the cultural, military, and political dimensions of surveillance, technology, culture, and power.
David H. Price: The last two decades you’ve produced a wide body of anthropological work examining cultural knowledge systems—ranging from your work studying Zapotec Science to this latest book War Virtually, which…