Technological Futures, National Security, and Civil Liberties

The internet has opened new possibilities around the world, but to keep secure, must we give up our ideals of liberty, justice and rights? In order to bring a wide range of views on these questions to MU, Peace Studies co-sponsored Glenn Greenwald, a civil rights attorney and activist, to speak at the MU Law School in September 2012.

Scholars are at work at MU researching how the United States has handled the balance between national security and civil liberties in times of war and external danger.  Doctoral candidate Andrew Bisto is researching the surveillance of the German-American population in the town of Hermann, Missouri during World War I.  Bisto describes his archival research, revealing how American-born women of German ancestry had to obtain a permit to change their residence. Government agencies sought to abolish the speaking of German in schools and in churches. More >>

In our own day, Twitter and other social media platforms are among the new technologies that can be avenues for surveillance of populations, but also can be help democratize society through the efforts of journalists and activists.  Stephen Barnard, a MU sociology PhD sponsored by the Peace Studies Program and the Journalism School, won the highly competitive 2012–13 Mizzou Advantage Postdoctoral Fellowship in the area of Media of the Future.
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Stephen Barnard with his MU students.