Study and fight back Intimate Partner Violence via Technology with data!
In collaboration with the Tor Project and the Transition House, we developed a research portal for researchers (eg. advocates from the Transition House) to understand Intimate Partner Violence via Technology (IPVTech), and how device surveillance technology is involved in this process.
Besides, we also have an infographic describing the IPVTech process.
try it out
see the slides
read our case study
We continued our work on IPVTech Research Portal, a tool designed for advocates to help them find related cases of Intimate Partner Violence via technology.
We evaluated our previous iteration and made some modifications. We took into account issues such as privacy and potential legal caveats; we tried to define categories for cases; we explored more sources of information and considering include court decisions into our datasets.
We revisited how our product is integrated into the advocates’ workflow. We decided and drafted some mini infographics describing the new workflow, which will serve as our introductory material.
Besides, we started to work on our case study.
Some screenshots (see case study for more):
During this week, we scraped the data from Cambridge police logs. We’ve got roughly 3600 lines of data of police reports. We’ve found that some of them are relevant to our research. (e.g. search with keywords like “computer” or “hacking”) There are also other interesting findings, such as police refer “domestic violence (DV)” to “domestic dispute”, which may provide some insight to workers in DV field.
We started to design the user interface for a database. Advocates can use this database to explore the uncharted sea of domestic surveillance. The database allow advocates and general public search among vast of police logs, which was unfriendly to researchers in the past. The database will also allow advocates and domestic violence shelter staff comment on logged cases, tag on cases to summarize device and technology uses, and submit new cases. This tool will be included in IPVTech, a resource center for people who want to eliminate intimate partner violence or abuse through technology.
The next step is to choose the proper web technology and build the interface out. We also contacted some interviewees and tried to reach out Cambridge Police. So interviews are also included in our schedule.
We want to make something that really helps people in the field. We want to make something that will be not only opened or installed once. After further identifying the needs of our partners, we shifted the scope of our final product to a website that helps advocates to better carry out their job in helping domestic surveillance survivors.
The website will include statistics (data visualization) and qualitative descriptions of cases on stalking/harassment by digital devices. It will include information on digital forensic techniques that helps advocates know what we can do to this issue. A typical scenario of this website is when a survivor comes into a shelter and reports a case of digital-related stalking and harassment, the advocate can understand the issue by reading information provided by our mini website.
The most important task of this project is mapping the field. Knowing the enemies is the first step to drive off fear and defeat them. For this, Getting data is more important than talking about technology. In the past weeks, we are planning to interview several forensic experts. We’ve designed and revised the interview questions. We also collected resources (documents and papers) to understand this issue. We will finish scraping police logs from Cambridge police by this Friday, and build a database for further research.
(Technologies do not need to be new. Old tech or old-new hybrid tech is equally amazing when used on social causes)
I’m Yu, a first-year CMS graduate student and RA in Center for Civic Media. I like building things together with people. I’ve lighted up my skill tree as a researcher, web or non-web programmer, a media producer and (sometimes) a designer.
Oh, I’m working in the NGO20 project. Browse the map or follow us on twitter if you’re interesting in what’s happening in China’s nonprofit organizations and creative technologies for public good use.
I signed up for this course because I’d like to experience interacting creatively with the world through co-design methods, as well as meet the local community, and all the lovely people inside or outside campus. The mass-surveillance topic also gives me a chance to learn how people set their steps in the maze of such a complex cause.
For “the day we fight back” event, I joined the 5000 websites and installed the code on my MIT personal homepage. It is a large banner describing the arguments of the activity and what kind of action the visitor can take; the banner does not block the function of the website, and it disappeared in the next day (though I didn’t remove the code).
It’s a natural tendency to compare #StopTheNSA with “Stop SOPA” action. The latter one is more successful perhaps because of its obvious connection with the interest of big Internet companies such as google. “Stop SOPA” tries to stop an act, while “Stop the NSA” try to get an act passed. Though I doubt what the legislators may think when they are flooded with emails and phone calls with exactly the same content. Also, I appreciate this american boy (video) who argues that everything wrong with the action is that people should have their OWN voice instead of repeating someone else’s mechanically.
I’m also interested in the symbols or icons used in the action. In “Stop SOPA”, a simple black out square is adequate to convey the idea. In “Stop the NSA”, the “slap in the eye” symbol and the scary red-eyed NSA eagle are used in the action. Somehow I feel that it is not that intuitive in compared with the black out square. What do you think about it?