2014: The Year of Counterveillance

08:00 ET, 24 January 2014

It should come as no surprise to many that Dictionary.com chose “Privacy” as its 2013 “Word of the Year.”

Consider these six news stories, which broke in 2013:


Given these, and all that’s happened before (as painfully documented in the definitive PrivacyRights.org Chronology of Data Breaches– since 2005), 2013 wasn’t really the year of privacy, more accurately: the year of the lack of privacy.

Optimistically, if 2013 was the high water mark of privacy violations and surveillance— can we hope and work toward making 2014: “The Year of Counterveillance?”

The Dictionary.com definition of “Privacy” is “The state of being free from intrusion or disturbance in one’s private life and affairs.”

If you’re not familiar with the term, here’s the Wikipedia definition of “Counterveillance” or “Countersurveillance”:

“Countersurveillance refers to measures undertaken to prevent surveillance, including covert surveillance. Countersurveillance may include electronic methods such as bug sweeping, the process of detecting surveillance devices, including covert listening devices, visual surveillance devices as well as Counterveillance software to thwart unwanted attempts by cyber crooks to access computing and mobile devices for various nefarious reasons (e.g. theft of financial, personal or corporate data).”

From my perspective, countersurveillance appears to be a combination of smart and conscious practices (online and off) and the use of new technologies to preserve our privacy and security.

SnoopWall has posted two helpful and non-partisan infographics worth downloading:

“10 Tips to Keep out Cyber Snoops”


Cybercrime Infographic: https://www.snoopwall.com/cybercrime-infographic/

What do you plan to do?

Together, let’s make 2014 the year of counterveillance.

Written by Robert Siciliano with Patrick Rafter

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