What I am reading: Speculative Security

Given that money is either the outcome or the enabler or most human activity, studying the records of financial transactions can tell us many things about who we are, who we associate with and what we do. The potential of such information has not escaped the attention of governments. Nowadays, financial intelligence is a key element of national security programmes all over the world – financial records have been used to prove association between criminals, to identify the source of funding for criminal activity and, even, as a warning sign of future terrorist activity.


Certainly, ‘following the money’ improves security. Or… does it undermine security, instead? That is the question explored by Marieke de Goede in the book ‘Speculative Security – The Politics of Pursuing Terrorist Monies’.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I have no affiliated links.


I am very interested in reading this book because I conduct research in the use of profiling techniques and technology to identify undesirable customers. With a background in Economics, in Information Systems and, obviously, Marketing, my approach to research is fairly multidisciplinary. I use the various disciplines to help me understand the complex challenges around developing and using profiles.


While I understand that technology is never neutral, I tend not to focus on the broader impact of profiling in society. That was until I joined the Taking Liberties project. This project, which was sponsored by the Leverhulme foundation, looked at the consequences of profiling for staff, systems, the relationships between stakeholders, and so on.


This book tackles consequences at the level of political economy. I am looking forward to reading it.


What interesting books are you reading,  or have read recently?

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