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Message posted on 12/10/2020

[Registration Open] VUB Chair in Surveillance Studies Seminar Series on October 23rd with Dr. Marcus Michaelsen: Silencing across borders surveillance and digital threats against exiled dissidents and diaspora activists

Dear all,

I am happy to announce that registration for our second seminar on October 23rd at 11am is now open. Registration is mandatory at the bottom of this page. Looking forward to meeting many of you either on-campus or online. If you decide to join on-campus, please keep in mind that no lunch will be provided and all measures relating to COVID-19 will be respected.

VUB CHAir in surveillance studies Seminar series: Silencing across borders: surveillance and digital threats against exiled dissidents and diaspora activists - October 23rd, 2020 Authoritarian regimes have long used a variety of repressive tools to control, silence, and punish dissidents living beyond their borders. Yet the advent of the Internet-and its central role in activist communities-has changed the means by which these regimes choose to intimidate those who would dare speak out against them. Today, subtle but pervasive forms of online transnational repression are increasingly common. Activists living outside their homeland are now more likely to encounter surveillance and other digital threats designed to stifle their opposition, induce self-censorship, and undermine their ties to the home country. Building on dozens of interviews with human rights defenders, journalists and other civil society activists from Middle Eastern countries, the lecture presents the authoritarian "toolkit" of transnational surveillance and repression as well as its silencing effects on the targeted communities.

[A person wearing glasses and smiling at the camera Description automatically generated]Marcus Michaelsen is a senior researcher in the Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS) research group at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research investigates digital surveillance and transnational repression against exiled activists and advocacy networks from the Middle East. In 2018-19, Marcus was a Senior Information Controls Fellow with the Open Technology Fund. Previously, he was a member in the research group Authoritarianism in a Global Age in the Political Science Department of the University of Amsterdam. Marcus holds a PhD in Media and Communication Studies.

This seminar is part of the VUB Chair in Surveillance Studies and will take place on September 23rd, 2020 at 11 am in I.2.03. Online registration (with a limited number of people On-campus) is mandatory due to Corona measures. The seminar can also be followed live online. The livestreamlink will follow after registration. Click here for more information.

Kind regards,


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