Contested technologies: The emergence of the digital liberties movement

  • Sky Croeser Curtin University


The digital liberties movement is an emerging social movement that draws together activism around online censorship and surveillance, free/libre and open source software, and intellectual property. This paper uses the social movement literature’s framework to build an understanding of the movement, expanding the dominant framework by including a focus on the networks which sustain the movement. While other communities and movements have addressed these issues in the past, activists within the digital liberties movement are beginning to build a sense of a collective identity and a master frame that ties together these issues. They are doing this in online spaces, including blogs, and through campaigns around landmark issues, which also help to build the network which the movement relies upon. The 2012 campaign against the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act has highlighted the movement’s strength, but will also, perhaps, raise challenges for digital liberties activists as they confront the tension between attempts to disavow politics and a profoundly political project.

Author Biography

Sky Croeser, Curtin University
lecturer at Curtin University,and a co–founder and current member of the Bluestocking Institute, Perth. Her research focuses on the ways in which activists are working to shape, as well as use, the technologies of everyday life. Her Ph.D., ‘The global justice movement and struggles to control knowledge’, was undertaken at UWA in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, and her subsequent research has looked at digital liberties activism in Bangalore, India, and at the ways in which Occupy Oakland activists are using Twitter to organise and communicate.
How to Cite
Croeser, S. (2012). Contested technologies: The emergence of the digital liberties movement. First Monday, 17(8).