Journal article Open Access

Following Snowden: A Cross-cultural Study on the Social Impact of Snowden's Revelations

Murata, K.; Adams, A. A.; Lara Palma, A. M.

Purpose – This paper introduces a cross-cultural study of the views and implications of Snowden's revelations about NSA/GCHQ surveillance practices, undertaken through surveys administered in eight countries. The aims and the academic and social significance are explained and justification offered for the methods used. Design/methodology/approach – Pilot surveys were deployed in two countries, following which revised versions were deployed in eight countries (including new collection in the original pilot countries). Quantitative analysis of suitable answer sets (Yes/No; Likert scales) and quantitative analysis (interpretation of free text answers) were performed. Findings – Through the pilot survey studies conducted in Japan and Spain, the academic significance and validity as well as social significance of the project were confirmed. Social implications – The results of the cross-cultural study are expected to contribute not only to the advance of surveillance studies but also to the enhancement of ordinary, non-technical people's awareness of state surveillance and their proactive approach to protecting their own rights and dignity from covert intrusion by government agencies. Originality/value – This paper clarifies the importance and methodologies of investigating the social impact of Snowden's revelations on youngsters' attitudes toward privacy and state surveillance in a cross-cultural analysis framework. Although a few other studies have looked at the impact of Snowden's revelations, these have mostly focussed on the US, so this is the only study to date considering that impact on a broad international scale, using highly similar surveys to ensure comparability. This record was migrated from the OpenDepot repository service in June, 2017 before shutting down.

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