Emery Caleb Martin

The Neighorhood Network Watch

A fictitious domestic surveillance organization that targets public networks in order to investigate domestic eavesdropping, surveillance, and terrorism policy, public networks, network security, the manufacture and manipulation of data, the panopticon effect, fear, and terror.


Media Change,Project Development Studio (Danny),Widespread Content: Mapping Narratives

The Neighborhood Network Watch looks to critique the oblique practices of handling and processing of data and information that is used to disseminate fear and perpetuate hegemonic rule, by entities such as the Department of Homeland Security, and to reveal the malleable nature of data and information. The Neighborhood Network Watch actively engages in the manipulation and reformation of data in order to bring these issues to the forefront as well as the existing security implications of public networks. The group operates under the pretense of being a community organization that carries out domestic eavesdropping operations on public networks with the backing of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Packet sniffing is employed to capture data that may include emails, instant messages, and websites visited. This data that is collected is then analyzed, using keyword matching, to determine if the data contains words known to pose potential threats to national and communal security. Statistics are then produced to determine the amount of potentially dangerous network traffic that may be hidden within the normal network traffic. Color coded advisories are then issued based off of these statistics, liken to the National Threat Advisory System, to the networks that are then mapped geographically and segmented into regions to establish trends. These findings are then disseminated via video public service announcements, the Neighborhood Network Watch website, and in public performance presentations.

"Simulations and Simulacrum"&"The Spirit of Terrorism" - Jean Baudrillard
"Discipline and Punishment" - Michael Foucault
"Financial Reporting in a Post Enron World" - George Parker, Stanford Graduate School of Business
"On Guerrilla Warfare" Mao Tse-Tung
"Police State" - Jonah Brucker-Cohen
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S.A.F. 67th Network Warfare Wing
U.S.A.F. podcasts
Citizen Corp
The Yes Men

Ultimately it should be able to engage anyone within the public, despite the fact it deals specifically with networks, the underlying themes are applicable to many other areas that have effects upon the public. More precisely it will be directly targeted for users of public networks, people concerned about domestic surveillance, curtailing of civil liberties, invasion of privacy, and transparency of government, and lastly those concerned with questions about the usages of data in relation to hegemonic powers.

User Scenario
I would have the website and public service announcements readily accessible on a computer that can be accessed and watched by interested parties. I would like to display some maps with current findings and pertinent information about the group such as logo, mission statement, and motto. I will be dressed to carry out my performance as a leader within the Neighborhood Network Watch that works in close relation to the Department of Homeland Security attempting to disseminate the message of the Neighborhood Network Watch as well as attempting to recruit for the group. Consumables would be available in the form of business cards, leaflets, pamphlets, literature, buttons, and the like. Potentially I may give an overview small-scale presentation to small groups every so often or at specific times of the day. The last thing that would ideal to show is potentially a computer sniffing network traffic live that could be then processed by the analysis application.

The project has multiple components that range in medium in order to create the whole. First is the collection of data from public networks that is done using a laptop or iPhone/iPod Touch, with TCPDUMP. The second component is the creation of the network traffic keyword analysis application and the wordlist it uses. Third, the interpretation and visualization of the results from the analysis application with spreadsheets, graphs, and maps. Fourth, is the release of information through three different mediums, public service announcements, the Neighborhood Network Watch website (launching on Dec. 6th), and my performance presentations on behalf of the group. The public service announcements, serve as a place to talk about the group, its history, and its current work that includes findings, advisories, trends and recruitment. The website is its sanctioned web presence that is visually making use of the same aesthetics and design as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security site. Within the website contain the findings, recent news and advisories, contact information, history, information about the group and its leadership, the technology that is used, and eventually instructions on how to carry out operations on behalf of the Neighborhood Network Watch. There are also loosely organized social networking presences to function as a meeting place for members and to spread information about the operations and direction of the group. Lastly is the performative aspect of the project, where I take on the role of being a leader within the Neighborhood Network Watch who works in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security with a personality edging towards neo-conservative. These performances generally involve me giving a presentation on behalf of the group yet will also extend and be included in the presence of the project within the context of the show at ITP.

Networks are extremely susceptible to eavesdropping and this can be carried out without the usage of specialized equipment. In fact a full-fledged computer is no longer even a necessity, in carrying out network sniffing operations, with the advent of devices like smart phones and the iPhone/iPod Touch. Data and information is infinitely reconfigurable to any purpose. Conversely this data will be consumed readily without question if it is placed within a possibly legitimate framework despite obviously outlandish claims and clear illegalities.