Are you ready to be surveyed as a sex worker?
In addition, many traditional methods of maintaining relative anonymity on the internet are likely to begin to disappear. Considering that organizations follow Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which requires libraries and schools to block access to content that may be “harmful to minors”, will have to decide whether to allow the public to access abortion information.
Mass surveillance is so normalized that the basic ways we operate in the world have finally made these technologies more sophisticated. If you’re seeking, providing, or facilitating an abortion, you can take practical steps to secure your digital footprint: carry out a risk assessment, communicate via Signal and allow the notification to disappear, use VPN on your smartphone and computer, use DuckDuckGo instead of Google, familiarize yourself with existing surveillance technologies such as traffic cams, facial recognition and data scanning, enable two-factor authorization, sign out of all your accounts (yes, even when using an incognito browser), only connect to Wi-Fi in public places that don’t require you to authenticate yourself, transfer money out third-party apps instantly (and charge a transfer fee), use cash or a prepaid card when you can. Do as much offline organization as possible.
If you organize it publicly, post nothing that can be used to annoy you. Some of the precautions I have taken to keep myself safe while working in prostitution include withholding date of birth, age, ethnic background, hometown, current city, old cities , commute, graduate, year of graduation, time zone, weather, current employer, past employer, even my favorite color. When I post pictures, I photoshop my face and tattoos, and I never go natural. If I post a screenshot, I’ll cut out any timestamps.
I know this sounds paranoid. These precautions may seem excessive; the algorithms seem outdated. But the oppression these technologies reproduce is insidious and pervasive, and those who seek to survey us have been refining tools to do so for a very long time. This is exactly why sex workers are the first prey: because those in power know that no one will listen to us until you’ve Googled “two weeks late”.
When I started consufused why people behave the way they do, I answered the query with a question: “What is seven minus yellow?” Unanswerable and more importantly irrelevant. I can’t infer other people’s motives, and even if I could, their motives don’t matter when it comes to the impact of their actions. To ponder this is, at best, a waste of time and after Roeconcealing and concealing the intentions of the judges is tantamount to bringing feathers to a knife fight.
That said, we can dissect these decisions and try to analyze how this law will affect us. The first step is to let go of any lingering beliefs you may have about the integrity of the state.
Neither the purpose nor the effect of FOSTA or Dobbs is the abolition of prostitution or abortion, which has existed for millennia and will continue to exist regardless of legality. Remember: these measures are not related to the law; they are about power. Such laws that slowly and systematically exclude certain demographics from participating in society by systematizing cultural biases have been enforced. Thus, while some will face arrest, and many others will have to live through the nightmare of an unwanted pregnancy or be unable to live to term, the most far-reaching effects of This law will be the coldness of free speech and the systematic opposition of abortion activists from social media and financial institutions, will protect themselves from liability at our expense.