Dr. Nathalie Maréchal is a writer, researcher and activist working at the intersection of internet policy and human rights advocacy. In 2018, she received her PhD in Communication from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Her dissertation, “‘Use Signal, Use Tor’ ? : The Political Economy of Digital Rights Technology,” examines the relationship between the transnational social movement for human rights online and the US Internet Freedom Agenda through an ethnography of the “freedom technologists” behind popular secure messaging applications (Signal, WhatsApp, Telegram) and censorship circumvention software (Tor, Psiphon).
Nathalie works as a Senior Research Analyst at Ranking Digital Rights, a non-profit research initiative housed at New America’s Open Technology Institute that works with an international network of partners to set global standards for how companies in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector should respect freedom of expression and privacy. In this role, Nathalie leads RDR’s methodology development process to expand the Corporate Accountability Index to include new company types and issue areas. Her current research focuses on the human rights harms associated with targeted advertising and surveillance capitalism.
Fluent in French and Spanish, Nathalie is a frequent speaker at digital rights events and academic conferences around the world. Her work has been published by the International Journal of Communication, the Global Commission on Internet Governance, Media and Communication, Global Voices, Motherboard, and Slate. Nathalie is based in Washington, DC.