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Adversarial ‘intended’ use of technology and the need for new threat models addressing human harms

The need for new threat models is considered first through a study of user behavior and perceptions of norms with respect to phone sharing and access behaviors in romantic relationships. We find that most people give their partner access to their phone but often have negotiated boundaries on usage of that access, and consensus that whatever access exists ought to be mutual, and consensual, and – I argue – technologically enforced. TFCC is then considered in the context of spyware; we find that hundreds of apps exist in app stores, many designed and advertised explicitly for partner surveillance. We discuss the social harms created by doxing, and find that changes in social media platforms’ algorithms and moderation can reduce them. Then, we consider a specific group of victims: researchers. We enumerate ways in which researchers are targeted and silenced by online harassment, the various harms they face, and the impact this has on research freedom. We propose a taxonomy of harasser motivation which helps inform prevention and remediation strategies.

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