Surveillance Program Initiator (SPI)

What is the language of the society of control? What hides behind the military codenames used by the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) or the US National Security Agency (NSA)? These powerful signal intelligence agencies have a vast secret control apparatus, constituted by a myriad of programs whose outlines are blurry and the very existence insecure.

The codenames designating such programs are deliberately meaningless: they are formed by derisory words without apparent connection to their assigned scope. In an attempt to decipher the sarcastic military terminology, the Surveillance Program Initiator uses leaked ‘watchwords’ to compute the possible scope of classified programs.


Can the unfair power relationship between the watchers and the watched be balanced by imagining what or for whom a surveillance program has been designed for?


Francesco Tacchini