Safe at Home: Towards a Feminist Critique of Cybersecurity
St. Anthony's International Review 2019 no. 15: Whose Security is Cybersecurity? Authority, Responsibility and Power in Cyberspace
18 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2019
Date Written: May 1, 2019
Feminist theorists of international relations (IR) have long argued that binaries of public/private reinforce the subsidiary status given to gendered insecurities, so that these security problems are ‘individualised’ and taken out of the public and political domain. This article argues that the emerging field of cybersecurity risks recreating these dynamics by omitting or dismissing gendered technologically-facilitated abuse such as ‘revenge porn’ and intimate partner violence (IPV). I present a review of forty smart home security analysis papers to show the threat model of IPV is almost entirely absent in this literature. I conclude by outlining some suggestions for cybersecurity research and design, and reaffirming the importance of critical studies of information architecture to the modern study of IR.
Keywords: cybersecurity, feminist theory, domestic violence, domestic abuse, intimate partner abuse, smart home, security, privacy
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