About

Hidden Power: Innovative Methods for Researching Power in a Post-Snowden Era

The University of Sheffield, ICOSS Conference Room
Tuesday 31 May 2016
10am-5pm

Since Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations of the US and UK governments’ mass surveillance activities (and cooperation of technology industries), we arguably live in a different techno-cultural period, to which our research methodologies must respond. New methods are needed to examine issues of transparency, trust, accountability and privacy; particularly for those who research political elites, social movements and activism.

This workshop will to bring together experts who have achieved rare success in accessing ‘hidden data’ – from the deep web to terrorism suspects and elite ‘experts’. We will explore themes such as information security, surveillance and researcher safety; academic independence; ethical and methodological challenges of methods like interviewing and ethnography of elites.

Discussions will highlight the main ethical, methodological and security challenges raised when researching power in a post-Snowden society – especially the role of commercial and governmental elites in a contemporary environment of increased state secrecy; commercial and state mass surveillance; and societal forced transparency, and explore and develop methodological approaches to dealing with these problems including information security solutions for researchers and innovative methods of accessing and analysing data and sources for the digital era.

Speakers include:

  • Prof. Ruth Blakeley, University of Kent
  • Prof. Laleh Khalili, SOAS
  • Mr Jamie Woodruff, Ethical Hacker, Patch Penguin
  • Dr Andrew McStay, Bangor University
  • Dr Steve Wright, Leeds Beckett University

Register for attendance

Funding generously provided by:


Photo: See-ming Lee – Flickr: Is Snowden a Hero? / SnowdenHK: 香港聲援斯諾登遊行 Hong Kong Rally to Support Snowden / SML.20130615.7D.42298, CC BY 2.0