The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian Beanie Illustration
SEARCH:
Events
<empty>

The Lemelson Center's
2013 New Perspectives on Invention and Innovation Symposium
October 25, 2013
Warner Bros. Theater, National Museum of American History

Missed the symposium? View the archived webcast »

Download the symposium program (PDF) »

<empty>
Inventing the Surevillance Society

We are being watched. When we enter a building, place a phone call, swipe a credit card, or visit a website, our actions are observed, recorded, and often analyzed by commercial and government entities. Surveillance technologies are omnipresent—a fact underscored by the Boston Marathon bombing dragnet and the revelations of widespread domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency. We live in a “surveillance society” driven by a range of innovations, from closed-circuit TV cameras to sophisticated data mining algorithms. How did our surveillance society emerge, and what is the effect of ubiquitous surveillance on our everyday lives?

Inventing the Surveillance Society brings together scholars, inventors, policymakers, members of the media, and the public to explore the role of invention in a world where our actions (and transactions) are constantly monitored. Will we find a balance between privacy and security?

Camera image above by Silver Spoon (own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

<empty>
<empty>

Eavesdropping manual 198510:15 a.m. - noon
Warner Brothers Theater, First Floor, National Museum of American History

Surveillance in Museums and Cultural Attractions

At museums and other cultural attractions, surveillance technologies help ensure the safety of thousands of visitors and keep priceless artifacts and works of art secure while also counting visitors and analyzing demographics. Visitors’ smartphones deliver rich content to complement in-gallery experiences, but also provide a trove of data about visitor behaviors from walking paths to dwell times. In this session, we examine the emergence of surveillance technologies in museums and cultural institutions, and its potential to transform visitors’ studies.

WELCOME:
John L. Gray, Elizabeth MacMillan Director, National Museum of American History

SPEAKERS:
Steve Keller, president, Architect's Security Group, Inc., "Protecting Our Nation's Cultural Treasures in an Age of Thieves, Computer Hackers, and Evil Bot Masters"
Steve Keller, a leading security consultant, describes the various surveillance technologies in place at museums around the world, while explaining a paradox: additional surveillance technologies can actually introduce more potential vulnerabilities from hackers and cyber-thieves.

Sam Quigley, vice president for collections management and museum chief information officer, Art Institute of Chicago, "Extending the Visitor Experience with Wi-Fi at the Art Institute of Chicago"
Sam Quigley describes how the Art Institute of Chicago implemented comprehensive WiFi coverage throughout the museum to power content-rich mobile applications.  He also addresses the touchy questions that arise from the wholesale acquisition and analysis of data revealing visitors’ movements and usage.

Elizabeth Merritt, founding director, Center for the Future of Museums, American Alliance of Museums, "The Watchful Museum: How Far Will Public Trust Go?"
Futurist Elizabeth Merritt speculates on the future of museum surveillance and asks some tough questions:  Will visitors embrace or reject the increasing use of surveillance technologies in museums?  Can museums enforce security and serve their patrons while respecting the privacy of their staff and visitors?

MODERATOR:
Nancy Proctor, head of mobile strategy and initiatives, Smithsonian Institution

Trade catalog, Edmund Scientific Company, 1985 Smithsonian Institution Libraries

<empty>
Ad for parabolic microphone1:15 - 2 p.m.
Warner Brothers Theater, First Floor, National Museum of American History

Keynote Address

WELCOME
Arthur Molella, Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Director, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:
David Lyon, director, Surveillance Studies Centre, Queens University, "Google’s Goldfish: Living with Surveillance"
Leading surveillance scholar David Lyon explores the long evolution of the surveillance society. Once, surveillance was for suspects; now, mass surveillance is commonplace. Once it was clear who was watching and who was watched; now, government, corporation and public are each involved in new ways. How did this come about? The story of surveillance includes both technical and cultural invention. The plot continues to unfold.

Trade catalog, Edmund Scientific Company, 1985, Smithsonian Institution Libraries

<empty>

Detectiphone 19172 - 3 p.m.
Warner Brothers Theater, First Floor, National Museum of American History


Inventing the Surveillance Society—Part 1

What inventions underpin our surveillance society? And how long have they been around? What are the social, cultural, political, and economic implications of these technologies? In a series of six short talks, distinguished speakers from the academy, government, and the business world discuss the historical evolution and contemporary prevalence of surveillance technologies in various aspects of everyday life.

SPEAKERS:
Josh Lauer, assistant professor of communication, University of New Hampshire, "Nineteenth-Century 'New' Media and the History of Modern Surveillance"
Media historian Josh Lauer puts our contemporary surveillance debates in historical context by describing how "new media" technologies introduced in the 1880s and 1890--the portable camera, phonograph, and telephone--raised now-familiar privacy concerns.

Al Shipp, chief executive officer, 3VR, Inc., "Evolution of Video Surveillance: 3VR's Video Intelligence Platform"
As technology evolves, how video is being used in our society also changes. Al Shipp, 3VR's CEO, explains how 3VR's Video Intelligence Platform enables organizations to extract information from their video assets in real time. This information can be used to bolster security, identify and mitigate fraud, and better serve customers.

Jonathan Cantor, deputy chief privacy officer, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, "Designing Solutions to Protect both Privacy and Security"
Jonathan Cantor describes how he responds to emerging technologies in his role as the deputy chief privacy officer at the Department of Homeland Security, balancing policy, compliance, and oversight responsibilities to ensure national security while protecting individual liberty. 

MODERATOR:
Jeffrey Brodie, deputy director, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History

Trade catalog, Carl Anderson Electric Corporation, 1917, Smithsonian Institution Libraries

<empty>

Ad for CCTV system 19893:15 - 4:15 p.m. 
Warner Brothers Theater, First Floor, National Museum of American History

Inventing the Surveillance Society—Part 2

SPEAKERS:
Ken Lipartito, professor of history, Florida International University, "Exposed to the Market: Surveillance in the Private Sector"
Historian Ken Lipartito describes how commercial interests have long been involved in developing surveillance methods, from consumer research to credit reporting. His talk places current debates about big data, targeted advertisements, and internet search patterns in a long historical perspective.

James G. Kobielus, Big Data Evangelist, IBM, "Big Media: Inventing the Streaming Society"
IBM’s James Kobielus describes the evolution of "big data" and the coming “big media” revolution in which government and commercial entities collect, aggregate, and analyze information from our credit card purchases, phone calls, web clicks, and streaming media to make smarter planning decisions, fine-tune their marketing, and prevent fraud and terrorism.

Daniel Solove, professor, George Washington University Law School, "Why Surveillance Matters Even if You Have Nothing to Hide"
Legal scholar Daniel Solove explores the harm caused by surveillance, how the law currently fails to adequately regulate surveillance, and what should be done to address the recent revelations about NSA surveillance.

MODERATOR:
Eric Hintz, historian, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History

Trade catalog, Crest Electronics, Inc., 1989, Smithsonian Institution Libraries

<empty>

The afternoon’s speakers join the audience in a wide-ranging panel discussion on the role of invention in negotiating the boundaries between privacy and security.

SPEAKERS:
Jonathan Cantor, James Kobielus, Josh Lauer, Ken Lipartito, David Lyon, Al Shipp, Daniel Solove, and the audience

MODERATOR:
Martin Collins, curator, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

<empty>

Closing remarks

Eric Hintz

<empty>

7:30 p.m.
Warner Brothers Theater, First Floor, National Museum of American History

Doors open for the evening event. Seating is limited; first come, first seated.

<empty>

In the smash CBS series Person of Interest, inventor Harold Finch teams up with ex-CIA agent John Reese to prevent violent crimes. Bearing a striking resemblance to existing surveillance systems, Finch’s masterpiece—“the machine”—uses pattern recognition and closed-circuit television feeds from across New York City to give Finch and Reese the information they need.

The real-life predecessors of “the machine” are the subject of Shane Harris’ award-winning book The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State. In his well-researched and balanced account, Harris chronicles the rise of America’s surveillance state over the past 25 years and highlights a dangerous paradox: Our government’s strategy has The Watchers book covermade it harder to catch terrorists and easier to spy on the rest of us.

Join Person of Interest creator and executive producer Jonathan Nolan, executive producer Greg Plageman, and author Shane Harris in a conversation about privacy, security, and art informed by true events.

Shane Harris will autograph copies of The Watchers after the program.

MODERATOR:
Joyce Bedi, senior historian, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History

Read Smithsonian Magazine's 24 October 2013 interview with Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman »

<empty>

Poster: Carry Your ID Card AlwaysArtifacts and Autographs

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
First floor east

Objects Out of Storage featuring historical surveillance materials from the Museum’s archives

Noon - 12:30 p.m. and 1:45 - 2:15 p.m.
Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Lobby, outside the Warner Brothers Theater, First Floor

Book signings
Noon - 12:30 p.m.
David Lyon, director, Surveillance Studies Centre, Queens University

1:45 - 2:15 p.m.
Daniel Solove, professor, George Washington University Law School

9:30 - 10 p.m.
Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Lobby, outside the Warner Brothers Theater, First Floor

Person of Interest poster signing
Jonathan Nolan, creator and executive producer, Person of Interest
Greg Plageman, executive producer, Person of Interest

Book signing
Shane Harris, journalist and author

Princeton Poster Collection, Archives Center, [1940s], National Museum of American History

Directions to the National Museum of American History »

 

<empty>

Last Update: 28 Oct 2013

:: Home :: About Us :: Centerpieces :: Events :: Resources :: Video & Audio ::
:: Press Room :: Blog :: Newsletter :: Site Map :: Facebook :: Flickr :: Twitter ::
Smithsonian