LSE, 17.3.2015, London
LSE IDEAS is organising the final public
in the Philippe Roman Lecture Series 2014-15, entitled ‘Crowd-Sourcing,Surveillance, and the Era of the Synopticon’ on Tuesday, 17th March
“Big data” poses a massive challenge to the
democratic accountability. Over the last four years the U.S. has quadrupled the
amount of information that it classifies annually. This growth has become
unmanageable, causing massive leaks, an unprecedented number of prosecutions,
and a dysfunctional declassification system that is breaking under the strain.
Luckily, the information revolution has also provided citizens with the means
to address these challenges, such as crowd-sourcing the otherwise impossible
task of creating a virtual archive of declassified government documents. By
mining this data, we can detect patterns in classification and
declassification, and automated tools to identify records that really do have
to be kept secret. No longer just a tool of surveillance, data-mining can also
help preserve the principle of open government.