Rocco Bellanova

Give Us Your Phone and We May Grant You Asylum

Images of refugees using smartphones have now become common in the Western media landscape, and everybody seems to have learned that refugees and migrants, too, use smartphones. Indicative of this awareness, European governments are now looking into how to make use of these assets in their identity checks and in the processing of asylum seekers’… Read more »

From the House of Cards to House of Data?

The fourth season of the Netflix series House of Cards was released worldwide on the 4th March. Which is to say, the week-end when many International Relations (IR) researchers are still rushing to finalize their conference paper for the annual convention of the International Studies Association (ISA). And, if you are reading this post, you… Read more »

The Discreet Charm of Passenger Data: Big Data Surveillance Coming Home

Several governments see in the mass-surveillance of passenger data the key tool of counter-terrorism. These data are generally known as PNR – Passenger Name Records, and their potential for law enforcement has been discussed at least since the 1990s. Now European Union (EU) debates about the creation of a European PNR scheme seem settled once… Read more »

Edward Snowden: the last Big Brother?

Following last year’s revelations, Edward Snowden seems to be trapped in a role ironically reminiscent of another famous character – George Orwell’s Big Brother. You are being watched. This classical surveillance slogan hides a subtler, and more insidious message: you must believe you are always being watched, and you probably are, but you will never… Read more »