Campus Speaker: Dr. Evan Light, and the Portable Edward Snowden Digital Archive

In Announcements, by , on March 21st, 2019

Monday, March 25th


Dunleavy 127


The Department of Communication and Media Studies is proud to bring Dr. Evan Light and the Portable Snowden Archive to Niagara University.


In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked a trove of files detailing international webs of mass surveillance perpetrated by national intelligence agencies. The Snowden Archive-in-a-Box (SAIB) is an autonomous offline archive of the Snowden Digital Surveillance Archive. It is, at once, a stand-alone, battery-powered WiFi network and web server in a briefcase.


When one is nearby, the Snowden Archive WiFi hotspot becomes visible. When it is used, all web pages requested by a user are connected to the web server in the suitcase. Thus, it is possible to securely conduct research on the Snowden files without fear of online mass surveillance.


The touring version of the SAIB also includes a device that intercepts and projects all the digital conversations taking place between users and the web server. The content of this playback is graphically simple and fairly incomprehensible, yet triggers compelling reactions on the part of audiences. This talk will examine, in part, what kind of graphical or artistic presentation best communicates the realities and potentials of mass surveillance.


Dr. Evan Light is an assistant professor in the Communications Program of York University’s bilingual Glendon campus in Toronto, Ontario. He does research on the US-Canadian border, communications policy, privacy and surveillance.