Who We Are
The Surveillance Resistance Lab is led by a core team of senior organizers, researchers, legal experts, and strategists focused on technology, democracy, and human rights. Our strategy and ongoing efforts are supported by a team of strategic advisors that include organizers, legal scholars, social scientists, social justice leaders, and seasoned practitioners.
To learn more about our staff and our advisors, please contact us.
The Surveillance Resistance Lab is a think and act tank focused on state and corporate surveillance as one of the greatest threats to migrant justice, racial equity, economic justice, and democracy. We challenge how surveillance at the nexus of state and corporate power not only threatens privacy, but seriously erodes fundamental rights leading to heightened oppression and repression. To counter this threat, the Surveillance Resistance Lab engages in investigative research, campaign incubation, advocacy, and organizing. We are committed to movement building to fight for accountability and government divestment from technologies that expand systems of control and punishment (as well as suppress dissent and difference) in public spaces, schools, workplaces, and at and across borders.
The Lab launched as an independent project in January 2023 to ensure effective interventions at the intersection of carcerality, democracy, the economy, power, and technology. The Lab was formerly housed at the Immigrant Defense Project where our initial explorations on technology, social control, and human rights demonstrate our proof of concept and serve as the foundation of the Lab’s strategy.
Our key projects
Tech, Power, and the Right to the City: Transforming Procurement toward Accountability, Justice, and Democracy
The Lab’s Transforming Procurement Project implements a cross-city and cross-sector strategy to engage government procurement of technology as a key site of the struggle for the collective right to the city, for a full and inclusive democracy, for economic justice and civil and human rights. This project explores how we can expand meaningful civic engagement on technology and the future of our cities in ways that have often felt beyond the public’s scope of understanding. This is an especially urgent task, as the space of AI regulation and data governance tightens around norms that exclude community as a necessary stakeholder in these conversations. See our resources
Popular Education and Community-Oriented Research
The Lab cultivates spaces to learn collectively about surveillance in relation to governance, social ordering, and power. The Lab’s work is grounded in a structural analysis that prioritizes agency and action. We employ a participatory action research and popular education approach that builds the capacity within organizations and movements to demystify and organize against surveillance tech. Our research and resources are developed in partnership with organizations to strengthen networks of collective knowledge, analysis, and power. See our resources
Building Bridges Across Borders: Tracking Digital Infrastructures of Transnational Migrant Control
The migration control regime has expanded well beyond national territories and reinforces systems of control transnationally. This includes digital infrastructure that expands the power of policing and corporations at the cost of struggles for indigenous rights, workers’ rights, those organizing to combat the climate crisis, local fights for democracy, and more. The Lab is anchoring a pilot project along with R3D (el Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales, based in Mexico) and the Temple University Institute for Law, Innovation & Technology (iLIT) to build a transnational network to combat the harms of the digital infrastructure of migration control. This work includes building with human rights monitors and organizations in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. See our resources
Changing Narratives & Cultivating Public Dialogue
Our narrative change strategy is grounded in decriminalization, uplifting alternative visions of security, safety, and democracy. We build our narrative content through grounded partnership with those organizing towards equity and justice, and in collaboration with artists, journalists, scholars, and others who amplify shared perspectives in the public forum. This work includes collaborations including the Justice Beyond Punishment Collaborative and the Feminist Peace Initiative.