Mainstreaming biometrics and iPhone 5S: Or why our fingerprints make bad passwords but good usernames.

Biometrics, or the application of statistical analysis to biological data, has been the “next big thing” for quite some time now. Using biometric pictures on identification documents, fingerprints to identify criminals, or to identify “foreigners/non-nationals” at international borders has been quiet common for the past decade or so. If you are interested in the (ab)uses




The August 29th UK Government Legal Note on Syria: Who is the sovereign?

This may seem like a trivial and overly academic point to make given the immense human suffering so many Syrian families have endured, but there is a lot of deep political theory at work in the American, British, and French plans to ‘punish’ the Syria government. Granted, judging from the headlines that followed the British




Security Research and the Dispositif: If everything matters, nothing does

Recently I have been pondering about how I come to research what I research. Research involves choice – researchers pick and choose evidence that they find the most compelling, and necessarily omit other factors. What does the act of making these choices mean for the politics of our research when it comes to security? This



Playing War Militainment at its Best?

In just a little over two months, Halloween will be over, and it will be the start of the Holiday shopping season in the US (because of the upcoming Thanksgiving). But as all gamers know, it will be Christmas Day! Indeed, on November 5, 2013 the latest Call of Duty: Ghosts video game will be released. Im sure the gamers




Some Questions about Data Collection and Disaster Policymaking

In my previous two posts, I first outlined the changing state responsibilities in the area of disaster response, and then highlighted the general problems that can arise in a decentralised disaster response system. Today’s post, after a little bit of a vacation-hiatus, is going to build from here. Here I want to raise two sets




Halifaxs Floating Security Barrier

For my first post I thought a Halifax link, a Maritime theme, and a French connection would be in order. My daily commute to work from my home in Dartmouth to Saint Mary’s University, which is located in South End Halifax, takes me across the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge. The 1.3 kilometre bridge was built




Traffic control and the politics of security provision in Mauritania

In October 2011, a new agency was formed in Mauritania to regulate road traffic in place of the national police. Officers from the new Groupement Général de la Sécurité des Routes (GGSR, ‘general grouping for road safety’) check drivers’ licences and insurance papers and ensure the smooth flow of traffic, particularly in urban areas. At




Digital technologies and border control in West Africa

In West Africa, borders are very much in the making. There are dozens of local and international projects aiming at reinforcing border controls and procedures, or in some cases, creating them from scratch. In many of these cases, improving border control means moving towards digital—as opposed to analogue—solutions. Paper logbooks and visual document verification make