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What is LiSS?

LiSS is the first international, multidisciplinary, social sciences orientated academic programme to consider issues relating to everyday life in surveillance societies. At its heart is a network of academic surveillance experts generating important knowledge for academia, citizens, government, public agencies and the private sector. Thematic collaborative research is facilitated through a series of active working groups, workshops, annual conferences, publications and short-term scientific missions.

The LiSS research programme started in April 2009, as a European Framework 7 supported COST Action (ISO807). The primary objective of the Action is: ‘to increase and deepen knowledge about living and working in the surveillance age, in order to better understand the consequences and impacts of enhanced surveillance, and subsequently to make recommendations about its future governance and practice’. The Action will end in April 2013.


The underlying theme of the programme is that technologically mediated surveillance - the systematic and purposeful attention to the lives of individuals or groups utilising new ICT’s - is a ubiquitous feature of modern society, with citizens routinely monitored by a range of sophisticated technologies. Despite these developments relatively little is known about the depth of personal surveillance or how personal information is used.