Death by Metadata: The Bioinformationalisation of Life and the Transliteration of Algorithms to Flesh
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In this chapter I examine the relations of knowledge/power that undergird military technologies that transmute life into anonymous data and thereby render it killable through lethal drone targeting. I specifically focus on tracking technologies developed by the National Surveillance Agency (NSA) that have been incorporated into the United States Department of Defense’s (DoD) drone program. I examine the interlocking of the NSA’s metadata with the DoD’s algorithmic formulae used to conduct drone kills in which the identities of those killed are often not known. I situate what I term the bioinformationalisation of life in the context of Pakistan and Yemen in order to disclose the violent transliteration of abstract metadata to flesh.
KeywordsCell Phone Imminent Threat National Security Agency Killing Field Temporal Pulp
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