Gendered hate speech, data breach and state overreach

Identifying the connections between gendered cyber harms to shape better policy responses
Research paper Published 24 May 2024 Updated 31 May 2024 ISBN: 9781784135973 DOI: 10.55317/9781784135973
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Cybersecurity is not only concerned with the essential work of protecting information and communications technologies. It is also about keeping all users safe in cyberspace from cybercrimes, data and privacy violations, harmful and abusive content, and the risks and harms that have emerged and multiplied as the world has digitally transformed.

Cybersecurity is therefore more inclusive, more resilient and more effective when it actively and deliberately considers the threats, risks and harms that all users might face when they interact with cyberspace and digital technologies. This means recognizing that different groups of people – depending on age, socio-economic status or gender, among many other factors – experience cyberspace, and harms in cyberspace, in different ways.

This paper focuses on the interactions between the three main kinds of cyber harm that have different impacts depending on a person’s gender: hate speech, data breach and state overreach. It shows how these harms – each of which has tended to be considered and addressed as a separate area of policy concern – are in reality cascading and compounding; and offers recommendations to guide states’ efforts to connect and address the gendered harms arising from cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities.