College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date


Document Type


Department/Program Conferring Degree

International Studies


data mining, data censorship, foreign intelligence surveillance act, Edward Snowden, occupy wall street


This purpose of this thesis is to examine data mining and data censorship in the United States and China through the Occupy Wall Street social movement and labor protest activity at the Foxconn, Foshan, and Lock factories. The question posed relates to the level of investment the U.S. and Chinese governments have made in data mining and data censorship to create either a predictable situation with regard to social movement activity, or to impede communication between social movement organizers in the attempt to stop protest. For the U.S. example, I outline the legal history and interpretation of the 4th Amendment as pertaining to data mining policies enacted now to show the legality of governmental actions regarding data surveillance. The evidence of this is in the Occupy Wall Street example, as I use Freedom of Information Act requested documents to show governmental agencies infiltrating and surveilling activity of the OWS movement using data mining. For the Chinese example, I outline the legal history of data censorship as explained through Chinese legal code. Evidence of these practices is shown in communication issues found amongst protestors in Foshan, Lock, and Foxconn factories. I conclude my argument with an alternative to the U.S. and Chinese methods in German rasterfahndung, or data screening. I describe rasterfahndung as a less extreme example of data mining that has evolve over time to exhibit an open dialog for change in mining policies as opposed to blanket, legal mining in the U.S.