Hélder Prior é investigador de Doutoramento em Ciências da Comunicação pela Universidade da Beira Interior, onde se licenciou em 2007. É investigador integrado do Laboratório de Conteúdos on-line da Universidade da Beira Interior e colaborador do Instituto de Filosofia Prática da mesma Universidade. Actualmente, desenvolve o seu trabalho de investigação sobre «escândalo e esfera pública» no Laboratori de Prospectiva i Recerca en Comunicació da Universidade Autónoma de Barcelona. É bolseiro de doutoramento da FCT desde 2008.
Digital democracy and electronic surveillance: the krathos of the power and the cyber panopticon
Nowadays, is not possible to discuss questions about citizenship and communication policy without mention the technological structures that enhance the public debate. Through this way of thinking, it is important to include the Internet in the set of stages which contribute to give to the public sphere a higher coverage. In the current model of network communication, the citizens are no longer only spectators in the arenas of public discussion, but active participants in a process that breaks with the traditional paradigm broadcast (media) - receiver (hearing). In the period of communication for the masses, the public sphere was controlled by agents of media system who conditionated the subjects of public discussion, proceeding to a rigorous selection about what should reach the public and what the public should retain. However, something profound has changed the relationships between politics, citizenship and communication. In the recent model of «mass-self-communication», the citizens no longer «have to ask permission» at the «gatekeepers» to have direct access to the debate and to the decisions around common causes. Indeed, in cyberspace hierarchies vanish in favor of a decentralized and opened communication. But, there's always a price to pay. Ironically, the technologies that increase the citizenship are the same which intensify the electronic eye and the panopticon surveillance society.
Key concepts - «mass self communication»; citizenship; electronic surveillance;