Do we need yet more analysis of the responses to the September 11, 2001 (hereafter 9/11), terrorist attacks? Those tragic events occurred more than a decade ago, and their 10-year memorial focused on bringing “closure” to the event. For many, those attacks have become an increasingly distant, if still poignant, memory. For still others—such as the new cohort of undergraduate students who were only nine years old on the day of the attacks—9/11 is social history.
Our contention in putting together this volume is that there continues to be significant reason to scrutinize 9/11 in terms of its consequences for the dynamics of surveillance. The aftermath of that tragic event played a major role in policy changes and in international relations. Wars were fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, sparked by 9/11, and many thousands more people died as a result. “National security” was elevated to a top priority in the United States and elsewhere, and this approach has had wave and ripple effects throughout the world. This is the “War on Terror,” and, unlike other wars, this one has no visible end point. These developments certainly affected surveillance practices internationally and have been the cue for the United States to demand that other countries fall in line with its approach. On the other hand, for many countries, especially in the global south, 9/11 is not a top-of-mind matter, nor is “national security” a vital concern.