The Ethnography Group at Royal Holloway University of London was established in September 2022 by researchers in the Information Security Group. Most of us come from academic fields outside information security, including social and cultural anthropology, human and cultural geography, sociology, media and communication studies and critical criminology.
Information security is concerned with securing information – and that which depends on it – from adversaries. Information security is thus a field centrally concerned with conflict, of protecting one interest against the other. Members of the Ethnography Group use ethnographic methods of inquiry to research distinct sites of conflicting interests as a way to understand information security needs and practices held among groups with no institutional representation. This includes research with domestic workers, single-household families on the poverty edge, `data-driven’ policing networks, mobile workforces, protesters, populations in post-conflict contexts, environmental and human-rights activists, to mention a few. Our focus is thus on groups that are under-represented in information security research and concerns the information security needs of people who interact with institutions, while not the institutions themselves.