Virginia Eubanks

Virginia Eubanks is the author of Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age and co-editor with Alethia Jones and Barbara Smith of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith. She teaches in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University at Albany, SUNY, and is a fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

Recent Articles

How Big Data Could Undo Our Civil-Rights Laws

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Big Data will eradicate extreme world poverty by 2028, according to Bono, front man for the band U2. But it also allows unscrupulous marketers and financial institutions to prey on the poor. Big Data, collected from the neonatal monitors of premature babies, can detect subtle warning signs of infection, allowing doctors to intervene earlier and save lives. But it can also help a big-box store identify a pregnant teenager—and carelessly inform her parents by sending coupons for baby items to her home. News-mining algorithms might have been able to predict the Arab Spring. But Big Data was certainly used to spy on American Muslims when the New York City Police Department collected license plate numbers of cars parked near mosques, and aimed surveillance cameras at Arab-American community and religious institutions.

How Big Banks Are Cashing In On Food Stamps

AP Images/Rich Pedroncelli

The Agricultural Act of 2014, signed into law by President Obama last Friday, includes $8 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over the next decade. One way the bill proposes to accomplish these savings is by reducing food stamp fraud. When the new farm bill is enacted, many of America’s hardest working families will experience cuts in services and have trouble putting food on their family’s table. But there will be major gains for an industry that most Americans might not expect: banking.

Want to Predict the Future of Surveillance? Ask Poor Communities.

AP Images/Stephen Chernin

Since Edward Snowden started disclosing millions of classified NSA documents in June, terms like meta-data, software backdoors, and cybervulnerability have appeared regularly in headlines and sound bites. Many Americans were astonished when these stories broke. In blogs, comment sections, and op-ed pages, they expressed disbelief and outrage.