We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice according
to race, economic power, military force, or station of birth. . . . Your legal concepts
of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They
are based on matter, there is no matter here. Our identities have no bodies, so, un-
like you, we cannot obtain order by physical coercion.
—John Perry Barlow, “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”
As the essays in this excellent volume show, surveillance does more than
simply watch or observe bodies. It remakes the body as a social actor, clas-
sifying some bodies as normative and legal, and some as illegal and out
of bounds. There is no form of surveillance that is innocent. Technolo-
gies such as body scanners, ultrasounds, networked genomics, and other
increasingly compulsory forms of biometric monitoring serve two func-
tions: to regulate, define, and control populations; and to create new gen-
dered, racialized, and abled or disabled bodies through digital means. As
Laura Hyun Yi Kang, Kelli D. Moore, Lisa Jean Moore and Paisley Cur-
rah, and Andrea Smith’s works in this volume show, this has been true
since well before the Internet appeared, with lock hospitals and homeless
shelters functioning as surveillant state institutions that confined and
monitored poor women, women of color, and migrant women. This vol-
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