Surveillance from the Margins: Different Experiences of Surveillance

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Surveillance from the Margins: Different Experiences of Surveillance
Presenter(s) Nighat Dad, Natasha Msonza, Moritz Tenthoff
Organization(s) Digital Rights Foundation, Digital Society Zimbabwe, EFF, Access Now
Country(ies) Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Colombia
Social media
2017 theme Community

Surveillance is not a uniform experience, be it by the state, companies or social actors. The gendered nature of surveillance and the different forms it takes given the positionality of the person experiencing it is particularly glaring when experienced by members of a particular gender or a marginalised community. Sometimes surveillance is discriminatory per se, in that it is directed specifically to people because of their gender, race, class, disability, sexual orientation, etc. In other instances, facially non-discriminatory surveillance is experienced differently by certain individuals because of their marginality and positionality.

These different experiences of surveillance are important to recognize in mainstream discourse around surveillance. Digital Rights Foundation has conducted a research on the gendered surveillance experienced by female journalists in Pakistan. Most journalists reported that the nature of the threats and surveillance that they receive takes on a gendered form. During the research, we discovered that there is also an intersectionality of class and minority status in the experience of journalists.

This panel seeks to take these findings, and debates mounted by marginalised communities and scholars regarding the diffused nature of surveillance. This panel will include activists from different parts of the world, working with marginalised communities and the inequalities that inhere in the digital realm.

Format Conversation
Target Groups Software Developers, Security Trainers, Designers, Usability, Front Line Activists, Localization Managers, Internet Freedom Translators
Length 1 Hour
Skill Level Novice
Language English

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