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Jan 18, 2022
**TUESDAY** The Digital Defense Fund and information security in abortion access

NOTE: this meeting is on the 3rd TUESDAY because of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday!

The 2020s have seen new and complex challenges for those fighting for reproductive freedom. In September of last year, the Texas legislature passed one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation, prohibiting all procedures after 6 weeks, without exceptions for rape or incest. But SB8 goes further, giving citizens with no connection to the woman the right to sue in civil court any person who aids her in seeking an abortion. As Planned Parenthood states, this means that “private citizens can sue other Texans for having or aiding in the procurement of an abortion — they can sue anyone from the person who drives the patient to the clinic to the doctor who performs the abortion.” ( As the EFF predicts, “The result will be a chilling effect on speech and a litigation cudgel that will be used to silence those who seek to give women truthful information about their reproductive options.”

Since 2017, the Digital Defense Fund has brought engineers and organizers together to provide security and technology support for the abortion access movement. Kate Bertash, Director of the DDF, will speak during our January event about the critical work the DDF does to create "a future where technology and innovation support secure, autonomous reproductive decisions, free from stigma.”

Speaker bio:

Kate Bertash (she/her) is Director of the Digital Defense Fund, a team providing technology and security resources and front-line support to the American abortion access movement. She brings together a background in nonprofit fundraising and technology, and left startup life after co-organizing the Abortion Access Hackathons and Debug Politics Hackathons. In her free time she helps organize the Crypto and Privacy Village at DEFCON, designs fabrics, and is working on building a science research and education center here in the Pacific Northwest.

Related links: Her Twitter handle is @KateRoseBee.

{short} Code of Conduct

Portland's Techno-Activism 3rd Mondays is dedicated to providing an informative and positive experience for everyone who participates in or supports our community, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religion, socioeconomic status, caste, or creed.

Our events are intended to educate and share information related to technology and activism, and anyone who is there for this purpose is welcome. Because we value the safety and security of our members and strive to have an inclusive community, we do not tolerate harassment of members or event participants in any form.

Audio and video recording are not permitted at meetings without prior approval.

Our Code of Conduct

( applies to all events run by Portland's TA3M. Please report any incidents to the event organizer.

Dec 13, 2021
Surveillance technologies policy development codesign event

Join us to discuss and contribute to the development of the City’s surveillance technologies policy by exploring what surveillance technologies are and how Portlanders can have better control of technology being deployed and used in the city.

In this codesign event, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about existing city policies on privacy and digital justice, and contribute to the city surveillance policy development and outcomes that are going to inform the policy.

Listen to an introductory presentation from City staff to learn about surveillance technologies policy development and how other communities define Community Control over Surveillance Technologies (CCOS).

Join other participants in breakout rooms to explore:

  • An updated definition of surveillance technologies considering emergent tech and impacts in the Portland community

  • What Community Control over Surveillance Technologies (CCOS) governance could look like in Portland

  • Listen to other participants and share your experiences for how surveillance technologies impact residents and visitors in Portland

This event is open to all Portlanders and is organized in collaboration with Smart City PDX, the City of Portland's Office of Equity and Human Rights, PDX Privacy, and Cascadia Partners.

Background on City of Portland privacy and surveillance policy development:

The City of Portland is working on developing a comprehensive surveillance/ privacy policy. This policy will create the transparency and accountability processes for use and purchase of surveillance technologies. It will also define roles and responsibilities for decision making, oversight, and implementing aspects of this policy.

The Smart City PDX program and the Office of Equity and Human Rights are coordinating policy development actions, including policy drafting, City of Portland agencies coordination, and public engagement.

These policies need to be informed by those most impacted. Negative impacts of surveillance technologies are disproportionately experienced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. Abuses derived from surveillance technologies can endanger people’s freedoms, civil rights, and liberties.

Existing Portland policies define surveillance technologies as any software, electronic device, system utilizing an electronic device, or similar used, designed, or primarily intended to collect, retain, analyze, process, or share audio, electronic, visual, location, thermal, olfactory, biometric, or similar information specifically associated with, or capable of being associated with, any individual or group.

This definition covers certain surveillance technologies; however, emergent technologies, including artificial intelligence and predictive inference algorithms, are not necessarily covered by this definition. The City is exploring an updated definition of surveillance technologies that includes these new and emergent information technologies.

Read more about the policy roadmap and engagement plan here: