Surveillance is a function of power, and that power affects us differently as women, as it does people of colour, religious minorities, and so forth. In the past two years since the Snowden disclosures, it has felt as if surveillance is something Americans have just discovered, something that affects us all equally. And that’s not true. Many communities have been aware of surveillance in their lives for a long time. Women are often cognisant early of the importance of anonymity, because we know what life online can look like if we don’t protect our identity. I see Deep Lab as part of a growing movement including gender, and race, and other factors, in our conversations about privacy.
I think this, or at least sentiments like it, are why I feel so comfortable with feminism. There’s a subset of hacker culture that deals with “social engineering,” or the study (and occasional modification) of social structures and beliefs. These people look to the bigger picture of how humanity works, and through disclosure and activism try to improve on it.
Feminism is no different, it just happened to “First Post.” That Declaration of Sentiments is a paper disclosing flaws in our institutions which can be exploited by a select few for material gain, and through sunshine and organized activism vows to patch those zero-days.
Hacking and feminism are peas in a pod. And I’m happy I’m not alone in thinking that.