Caught inside the black box: Criminalization, opaque technology, and the New York subway MetroCard

  title={Caught inside the black box: Criminalization, opaque technology, and the New York subway MetroCard},
  author={Noah McClain},
  journal={The Information Society},
  pages={251 - 271}
  • Noah McClain
  • Published 25 July 2019
  • Sociology
  • The Information Society
Abstract This article investigates how an account of hidden, internal properties of an everyday technology became a framework to interpret human action as a serious crime. Using a case study situated in the New York subway system, I examine the criminalization of a practice of New York’s poor known as “selling swipes” performed by so-called “swipers”. A high court came to classify the practice as felony forgery, interpreting it though an expert-witness account of how objects physically… 

Digital inequalities 3.0: Emergent inequalities in the information age

This work maps out the rapidly evolving nature of digital inequality using a broad lens and document emergent forms of inequality that radically diminish individuals’ agency and augment the power of technology creators, big tech, and other already powerful social actors whose dominance is increasing.

Safest Route Detection via Danger Index Calculation and K-Means Clustering

A user-friendly application to provide safe route between any two inputted Geographical locations is developed and the fact that the K-Means algorithm best suits for the authors' needs and delivered the best results is unveiled.

Discrimination in Predictive Policing: The (Dangerous) Myth of Impartiality and the Need for STS Analysis

  • S. EgbertMonique Mann
  • Political Science
    Automating Crime Prevention, Surveillance, and Military Operations
  • 2021



Misdemeanorland: Criminal Courts and Social Control in an Age of Broken Windows Policing

The low-level misdemeanor process is a powerful socio-legal institution that both regulates and generates inequality. At the same time, misdemeanor legal processing often ignores many foundational

Life, Liberty, and Trade Secrets: Intellectual Property in the Criminal Justice System

The criminal justice system is becoming automated. At every stage, from policing to evidence to parole, machine learning and other computer systems guide outcomes. Widespread debates over the pros

The New Forensics: Criminal Justice, False Certainty, and the Second Generation of Scientific Evidence

Accounts of powerful new forensic technologies such as DNA typing, biometric scanning, and cell site or RFID tracking fill the daily news. Such techniques have already gained renown for helping to

The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information

Every day, corporations are connecting the dots about our personal behaviorsilently scrutinizing clues left behind by our work habits and Internet use. The data compiled and portraits created are

The Eye of Everyman

Science was supposed to clinch OJ Simpson's guilt in the criminal trial that entranced both press and public in the United States for ten months in 1995. Prosecutors mistakenly expected the powerful

Misdemeanor Justice: Control without Conviction1

Current scholarship has explored how the carceral state governs and regulates populations. This literature has focused on prison and on the wide-reaching collateral consequences of a felony

Becoming “Copwise”: Policing, Culture, and the Collateral Consequences of Street-Level Criminalization

Over the last four decades, the American criminal justice system has undergone a dramatic expansion, which has drawn increasing attention from sociolegal scholars (i.e., Kohler-Hausmann 2013;

The Undue Influence of Surveillance Technology Companies on Policing

Conventional wisdom assumes that the police are in control of their investigative tools. But with surveillance technologies, this is not always the case. Increasingly, police departments are

Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor

Naomi Klein: "This book is downright scary."Ethan Zuckerman, MIT: "Should be required reading."Dorothy Roberts, author of Killing the Black Body: "A must-read."Astra Taylor, author of The People's

Forensic Science: Daubert's Failure

In 2015, a federal judge noted that “[m]any defendants have been convicted and spent countless years in prison based on evidence by arson experts who were later shown to be little better than witch