Countersurveillance DiscoTechs (2014 Archive)

The Codesign Studio team organized, hosted, participated in, and supported several countersurveillance DiscoTechs (short for “Discovering Technology” events) and hackathons during the spring of 2014, mostly on March 1st and 2nd. A DiscoTech is a workshop for people of all skill levels to learn about a set of technologies.

Countersurveillance DiscoTech Locations

More information can be found via:


Cool! What’s a DiscoTech?

DiscoTech Zine, by Detroit Digital Justice Coalition

Our DiscoTechs follow the model developed by the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition:

A DiscoTech is a community-based, community-organized, multimedia workshop and fair. At a DiscoTech, participants learn more about the impacts and possibilities of technology, and take part in fun, interactive and media-based workshops. Discotech workshops are designed to demystify technology and create a space where we can inform and engage our community […] A Discotech utilizes the unique skills and expertise within each community, and morphs to adapt to changing needs. [See this “How To Discotech” Zine:  ]

Our countersurveillance DiscoTechs are free, open, multi-site events. This page is for sharing information about these events, as well as for resources to help you organize your own DiscoTech!

What happens at Countersurveillance DiscoTechs?

At countersurveillance DiscoTechs, we focus on creating welcoming spaces where a wide range of people (not just techies and activists!) feel welcome exploring, learning about, and sharing each others’ experiences with surveillance. We invite community organizations, technologists, developers, and designers to come to the DiscoTechs to sprint/hack on projects together. There are speakers and workshops. We dive in deep to understand surveillance tools, systems, and histories. We also get hands-on with tools and approaches that can strengthen our communities’ privacy, safety, and security. We break down structural inequality in surveillance regimes that disproportionately target people of color, working people, immigrants, and activists. Our goals are to understand surveillance in everyday life, and to work hands-on with community-based organizations to strengthen countersurveillance strategies and tools.

Awesome! How can I participate?

Organize your own countersurveillance DiscoTech, hackathon, or event! We’ll be happy to share our approach, link to your event, and otherwise support you.

How to organize your own countersurveillance DiscoTech:

  1. For general background on DiscoTechs, check out this DiscoTech Zine, by the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition:
  2. For more countersurveillance DiscoTech organizing resources, jump in to the surveillance hackpad at
  3. Please get in touch by sending a meeting request or email to Willow.

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