Most discussions of surveillance in recent years have been focusing on State surveillance and its intersection with the massive data collection that underlines the business models of tech corporations. But this overlooks the different types of surveillance that women and non-gender binary people face based on their gender and sexual preferences. Unlike surveillance, this kind of surveillance is perpetrated by family and community members, in addition to States and corporations under the excuses of morality, public health, population control, normativity and even marketing.

Very vocal feminists questioning gender roles, women in politics, female journalists, people working or exercising their sexual and reproductive rights, gender non-binary people performing against gender and/or heteronormativity or even women that are not politically active certainly are being targeted of different surveillance tactics and censorship to maintain the values of patriarchy.

Coding Rights, represented by its Executive Directress, Joana Varon, leads a session called “Gendered Surveillance: mapping actors, practices and excuses used to control female and non-binary bodies” during the Citizen Lab Summer Institute 2018, on 14th, June, in Toronto, Canada.

In this session, Joana aims to kick start a discussion based on concrete cases collected by digital security trainers acting to support actions against online gender based violence and surveillance and extrapolate these cases towards a broader methodological framing to understand what gendered surveillance means and what are the tactics to counter it that are different from the traditional surveillance discourse and counter tactics.

Session Objectives

The set of actors, practices and excuses to perform gendered surveillance is significantly different, therefore, it poses us a different set of questions to understand surveillance through a gender lenses and to propose measures to counter it.

Focusing on this challenge, this session will have the objectives to:

_Expand the diagnostic: Amplify the discussion of surveillance to add a gendered and intersectional lenses to it.

_Map a series cases of surveillance and censorship performed due to gender and build a matrix of actors, practices and rationale in order to allow for a better understanding of this aspect of surveillance.

_Counter Gendered Surveillance: brainstorm on the existing actions and the actions needed from the digital security community to counter this particular kind of surveillance.

More about the Citizen Lab Summer Institute 2018 here.