Überveillance makes it into a suspense thriller!

Überveillance makes it into a suspense thriller!

the banjo player.jpg

The word, “überveillance”, invented by UOW researchers has now made it into a novel -- Sam Yarney’s suspense thriller novel, The Banjo Player.

Pronounced oohbuhvayluhns, it was coined in 2006 by former UOW Honorary Senior Fellow with the School of Information Systems and Technology (SISAT), Dr M.G. Michael. The concept was further developed together with Associate Professor Katina Michael from SISAT.

The first time the term was used by Dr Michael was in a guest lecture he delivered on the “Consequences of Innovation”.

He and Professor Michael had been researching the trajectory of ‘beneath-the-skin’ surveillance technologies that could identify and locate individuals.

The duo said the word simply ‘came out’ in a moment of inspiration, when Michael was searching for words to describe the embedded technologies. They said the term “surveillance” didn’t describe the full extent of the technological capabilities available today.

“Michael could find no other term but to bring together the German prefix “über” with the French root word “veiller” to describe the exaggerated surveillance conducted by governments in the name of national security,” Professor Katina Michael said.

The Kindle edition of The Banjo Player and hardcover version has the following jacket cover verbatim. It reads:

“A Wall Street banker cashes-in on his considerable investments ahead of a global financial crisis, which few saw coming. Within a few months he has given away most of his fortune and moved to a sleepy seaside town in West Africa, leading a simple life. A few years later, he dies in what appears to be an innocuous boating accident. But is his death connected to things happening several thousand miles away?

The Banjo Player thrusts you into the volatile place where big oil, the environment, political ambition, big money, espionage and cyberspace collide. Will the tectonic plates of things as we know them shift forever? 

In a world where any sense of individualism is steadily being eroded in an inexorable drift towards Überveillance – is there a place for ‘the little guy,'? ”

We obtained a copy of the book in December and low and behold after reading it we see the importance of überveillance in the plot. The key page in the book is page 227 where überveillance is described (as we have formally defined it in our research) and where another term is used in the book by the author- “Super Überveillance” which is abbreviated as “Soober”. Amazingly, the novel is dedicated to “All you SÜbers out there.”
— MG Michael on Sam Yarney's "The Banjo Player"

In the last 12 months “überveillance” has gone from strength to strength, including papers in the June 2010 special issue on “surveillance and überveillance” in the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, and in September 2010 a paper was dedicated to the theme of the überveillance in a special issue on “RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Innovation published by the Proceedings of the IEEE”.


Citation: Bernie Goldie, January 4, 2011, "Überveillance makes it into a suspense thriller!", UOW Mediahttps://media.uow.edu.au/news/UOW093662.html