Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Lippert, Randy


Body-worn cameras, Counter-Law, Legislative amendments, Privacy, Surveillance, Surveillant assemblage



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This thesis examines the extent to which body-worn cameras programs in Canada and the U.S. befit the notion of counter-law. The research is theoretically based on Ericson’s (2007a) framework of counter-law and the surveillant assemblage. The results indicate that body-worn camera programs can be considered an extension of the existing surveillant assemblage. In the U.S., numerous legislative amendments exempted body-worn cameras from certain legal requirements and thus facilitated their integration into existing surveillance networks. In Canada, legal amendments were not enacted through counter-law; nevertheless, the broadness and inconsistency of existing legislation allowed body-worn camera programs to become part of the surveillant assemblage. This thesis also contributes to refinements of counter-law I and the surveillant assemblage by analyzing variations in how these concepts apply to localized contexts of uncertainty.