Towards Spatial Protocol: The Topologies of the Pervasive Surveillance Society
This chapter explores the interplay between the actual and the virtual, taking as a test bed one of the first and still active European community networks, namely the Milan Community Network, operating since 1994. It analyses Rete Civica di Milano (RCM) by adopting a series of metaphors to discuss how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) applications that support private as opposed to public dialog differently augment the chance for citizens to participate in public affairs. The chapter considers identity, relationship, and space and their interplay in the actual and virtual dimensions. It reveals how the interplay between the online/virtual dimension and the offline/actual dimension has extended, enriched, and augmented the city of Milan, as well as the private and professional lives of those who live or stay there. RCM members are in the vast majority of cases also citizens of the actual Milan.