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 talk will outline the relevance of feminist critiques of security studies and argue 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 will 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, particularly my work on “abusability testing”, and reaffirming the importance of critical studies of information architecture.
Julia Slupska is a doctoral student at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Cybersecurity. Her research focuses on the ethical implications of conceptual models of cybersecurity. Currently, she is studying cybersecurity in the context of intimate partner violence and the use of simulations in political decision-making. Previously, she completed the MSc in Social Science of the Internet on the role of metaphors in international cybersecurity policy. Before joining the OII, Julia worked on an LSE Law project on comparative regional integration and coordinated course on Economics in Foreign Policy for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She also works as a freelance photographer.