The developing cyber-infrastructure has provided new tools, methods, and opportunities to conduct research. However, the Snowden leaks and subsequent developments proved that the same infrastructure has made all-encompassing surveillance possible – posing new challenges for researchers when engaging with those they are obligated to protect. As the cyber-infrastructure simultaneously opens up new possibility-spaces for circumventing structures of surveillance, while drawing on the authors’ own experiences, this article presents a number of tools and suggestions that will aid the researcher to engage more responsibly and safely with the research subject digitally.


Surveillance, Source Protection, Data Protection, Digital Fieldwork, Encryption, Field Methodology

Author Bio(s)

Jedidiah Anderson is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Furman University. He is currently preparing his book, Sexual Intifada Now!, an ethnography of LGBTIQ activists in Lebanon, Iraq, and Israel/Palestine for publication with Indiana University Press. His work focuses on minority groups and transnational identities in the Arab World. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: jed.anderson@furman.edu.

Erik Skare is a PhD Fellow at the University of Oslo. He is currently preparing his dissertation on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, its history and developments. He wrote his master’s thesis at the University of Oslo on Palestinian hackers and their targeting of the Israeli cyber-infrastructure, which was published by Zed Books with the title Digital Jihad: Palestinian Resistance in the Digital Era, October 2016. Skare’s research focuses on the Palestinian violent and non-violent resistance against the Israeli occupation. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: erik.skare@ikos.uio.no.

Courtney Dorroll is an assistant professor of Middle Eastern and North African Studies and Coordinator of the MENA Program (http://www.wofford.edu/MENA/) at Wofford College, a liberal arts institution in Spartanburg, SC. Courtney is currently the executive director of the Wofford/MENA Virtual Exchange which links Wofford students through social media and new communication technologies to students in Beirut and Cairo. Her research focuses on pedagogy, ethnography and new media. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: dorrollcm@wofford.edu.


This work was supported by the Aspen Institute under the Stevens Initiative.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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