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A Prehistory of the Cloud$
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Tung-Hui Hu

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029513

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029513.001.0001

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Seeing the Cloud of Data

Seeing the Cloud of Data

Chapter:
(p.111) 4 Seeing the Cloud of Data
Source:
A Prehistory of the Cloud
Author(s):

Tung-Hui Hu

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262029513.003.0004

This chapter examines the ways that companies, users, and states alike navigate the overload of data in the cloud by targeting information, and argues that targeted-marketing campaigns online come out of the same ideological apparatus as military targeting. Two oppositional groups serve as case studies for this argument: first, a group of radio-frequency hackers that data mined the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, and second, the artist/geographer Trevor Paglen, who photographs U.S. reconnaissance satellites and other covert military infrastructures. As this chapter argues, these oppositional tactics may be effective, but sometimes re-animate the very structures of power that they purport to expose or overturn. The reason is due to something this chapter terms the sovereignty of data, which both co-opts user participation and also gives practices such as torture and extraordinary rendition new life within the cloud.

Keywords:   sovereignty, power, data mining, geospatial, hacktivism, surveillance, necropolitics, extraordinary rendition

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