surveillance

Resisting Aadhaar, Resisting Islamophobia: A critical look at debates and litigation around Aadhaar

Mythri Prasad-Aleyamma on 19 Jul 2017
As the Supreme Court of India determines the contours of the right to privacy and who in Indian territory has it, Mythri Prasad-Aleyamma critiques many of the assumptions around the opposition to Aadhar. This critique is grounded in the differences of how surveillance and privacy are known and experienced by those who are vulnerable for varied reasons, but especially those who are migrants or Muslim.

Gendering Surveillance

GenderIT.org on 23 May 2017
Surveillance powers of the state and corporations are escalating and are hugely assisted by information technology. Under regimes of colonialism and patriarchy, women, minorities and all other subjects have experienced being surveilled, enumerated and categorised. There is a need to now relook at how gender is implicated in surveillance practices in the contemporary. In this resource, Internet Democracy Project introduces a conceptual understanding of gender and surveillance, and 3 cases studies on mobile phones and access, safety apps for women and CCTV camera on women garment workers.

What is sexual surveillance and why does it matter

Dr. Nicole Shephard on 6 Mar 2017
We can no longer ignore the pervasive datafication of our lives - the ways in which our habits, illness, abilities, relations are abstracted, and our bodies made into data by an intersecting range of institutions and processes. In this article, the gendered, sexualised and racialised nature of surveillance is unpacked, so we maintain a focus on the power relations involved. Surveillance affects racialised groups, the gender non-conforming, people with disabilities, and other marginalised populations disproportionately.

Big Data and Sexual Surveillance

on 23 Jan 2017
Surveillance has historically functioned as an oppressive tool to control women’s bodies and is closely related to colonial modes of managing populations. Big data, metadata and the technologies used to collect, store and analyse them are by no means neutral, but come with their own exclusions and biases. This paper highlights the gendered and racialised effects of data practices; outlines the overlapping nature of state, commercial and peer surveillance; and maps the challenges and opportunities women and queers encounter on the nexus between data, surveillance, gender and sexuality.

Its 2016 and Facebook is still terrified of women's nipples

Japleen on 10 Nov 2016
Facebook's arbitrary policy on women's nipples has angered many, who find their content removed or accounts suspended or banned. Japleen Pasricha writes about being repeatedly 'punished' by Facebook for posting content on the social media platform that is feminist and bold, about young women growing up and even images of protest by women in Manipur against the oppression of the Indian army and the rape of women.

5 reasons why surveillance is a feminist issue

Dr. Nicole Shephard on 15 Aug 2016
Contemporary surveillance practices are to a large extent big data driven, underpinned by a collect-it-all logic, and ever expanding due to fear-mongering, yet pervasive national security discourse. Surveillance technologies and practices have not only multiplied in scale and quantity. Too often, feminist issues on the one hand, and discussions around privacy and surveillance on the other still feel like separate domains. What follows is an attempt at emphasising that thinking them together makes a lot of sense.

Facebook's Real Name Policy: Does it actually help to keep the online community safe?

Tarryn Booysen on 19 Jul 2016
We conducted a small survey of LGBTQIA users of Facebook and asked them what do THEY think of the real-name policy. Does this policy ensure their safety which is what Facebook claims, or does it expose them online and leave them vulnerable to harassment.

Women's safety? There is an app for that

Rohini Lakshan​​é on 19 May 2016
There are myriad mobile phone apps meant to be deployed for personal safety, but technical wizardry perhaps makes it easy to lose sight of the fact that technology is not a saviour but a tool or an enabler. Technology alone cannot be the panacea of a problem that is deeply complex and, in reality, rooted in society and governance.

Censorship, privacy, surveillance: Protect your data

Tarryn Booysen on 31 Mar 2016
No one person rules the internet and internet governance is constantly changing. Therefore one can assume we need to dictate what we allow and what we do not. Just as greatly as we fight to protect our physical realities, why not do the same for our virtual worlds?

Gender dynamics need to be addressed in communications surveillance in Uganda

Flavia Fascendini on 4 Dec 2014
The incident involving the prime minister highlights why there is growing concern over the governance and regulation of communication surveillance, and how it is being used to infringe on one’s right to privacy in Uganda. Because this case affected a high-ranking Ugandan official, the question is, how safe is the ordinary Ugandan? And from a gender activist perspective, what are the gender concerns in the emerging policy and regulatory environment? Two recent studies on internet freedoms in Uganda were conducted by Unwanted Witness and Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA). While both studies review the communications surveillance environment in Uganda, there is no specific focus on issues of concern by gender. However, both studies did raise various concerns that are relevant to women’s use of the internet and social media.

Gender, sexuality and the internet

Flavia Fascendini on 20 Aug 2014
Have we taken over the internet or has it taken us over? Are we using or being used by the internet? How can we resist the globalised commodification of the internet and defend it as open, diffused, decentralised and subversive? Is the divide between our online and offline lives blurring? Is this empowering or threatening? Many fascinating questions that look not for a definite and absolute answer, but to be debated in a frame of respect of women’s and sexual rights, online and offline. In last April, Malaysia was the backdrop for academics, feminist and queer activists, and internet rights and policy specialists from diverse organisations and networks coming from many different countries to reflect on and analyse contentious issues of gender, sexuality and the internet. Most of the material featured in this edition draws on those debates and takes them further. We hope that the articles and resources offered in this GenderIT.org edition trigger your curiosity, and expand your exploration of gender, sexuality and online environments.

Thirty years after 1984: Who’s looking at you?

Melissa Hope Ditmore on 12 Aug 2014
Recording cameras everywhere, facial recognition software, gait-recognition technology, unauthorized collection of pictures: It is widely known now that private companies are working with states on surveillance, but does this affect women and girls in a particular way? “While online security is for everyone, women and girls are frequent targets of malicious attacks online, and they suffer greater consequences from online attacks than men,” affirms Melissa Hope Ditmore in this article written for GenderIT.org.

The not-so-strange feeling that someone’s always watching you

Richa Kaul Padte on 12 Aug 2014
“The neighbour resembling plastic-bag-recording Ricky in American Beauty, who takes surreptitious pictures of you while collecting the day’s post. That picture of me that I posted 7 years ago on MySpace that’s now doing the rounds on some misogynistic Reddit thread. That nanny cam set up to protect your 6-year-old niece whose footage ends up on a child porn site. For most women, Big Brother lives a lot closer to home than the NSA. In fact, it’s all the Little Brothers that we’re more concerned about,” affirms GenderIT.org writer Richa Kaul Padte in this spirited article on surveillance, privacy, and its gender implications.

Naomi Wolf's interesting take on a recent storm of high-profile sexual scandals

Kateřina Fialová on 6 Jun 2011
In the article Sex and Surveillance published by Aljazeera , Naomi Wolf gives her own interesting take on a recent storm of sexual scandals involving public figures, such as the head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and raises some interesting points and questions.

Women's rights and the internet at the Human Rights Council

Jac sm Kee on 31 May 2011
The increasing prevalence of the internet in all aspect of our lives is becoming impossible to ignore, and that it is becoming pivotal in the realisation of our fundamental rights and freedoms. At the same session of the UN Human Rights Council, where the role of the internet on the right to freedom of opinion and expression is being reported by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression for the first time, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women is also presenting her report on violence against women, its causes and consequences. The synchronicity of both reports, especially given the fact that human rights are universal, interdependent and indivisible, calls for a close reading to identify the points of connection that can be built in the effort to recognise, analyse and address violations that affect the recognition, protection and fulfilment of women's human rights.
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