• Kevin D. Haggerty
  • Richard V. Ericson


George Orwell’s ‘Big Brother’ and Michel Foucault’s ‘panopticon’ have domi-nated discussion of contemporar y developments in surveillance. While such metaphors draw our attention to important attributes of surveillance, they also miss some recent dynamics in its operation. The work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari is used to analyse the convergence of once discrete surveillance systems. The resultant ‘surveillant assemblage’ operates by abstracting human bodies from their territorial settings, and separating them into a series of discrete ows. These ows are then reassembled in different locations as discrete and virtual ‘data doubles’. The surveillant assemblage transforms the purposes of surveil-lance and the hierarchies of surveillance, as well as the institution of privacy.