I have a new article in the great special issue of Surveillance & Society on “Surveillance in Post-Communist Societies,” guest edited by by Ola Svenonius and Fredrika Björklund. My piece, “Be Safe or Be Seen? How Russian Activists Negotiate Visibility and Security in Online Resistance Practices,” ethnographically examines how activists in Russia manage surveillance, security and visibility concerns online. Download the open access PDF here.
…the paper traces connections between everyday security practices that these activists engage in online and the resistance tactics and repertoires they enact in an environment where the free and open exchange of information on the Russian internet is becoming increasingly difficult. The analysis finds that Russian opposition activists place a high value on digital, media, and security literacy and that navigating the internet using security tools and protocols such as VPN, two-phase authentication, and encrypted messaging is increasingly seen as the default modus operandi for those participating in organised dissent in Russia to mitigate growing state surveillance. Furthermore, the analysis reveals that Russian activists have to balance the need for security with growing visibility—a key factor for entering the mainstream political and social discourse.
Read all of the excellent contributions to the issue (it’s open access, too!).