Mobile Power - Device, Account, Service, State, Policy [Deepening Activity]


This is a collaborative mind-mapping activity. Through a facilitated conversation, the group will discuss how they relate to their phone devices, service accounts, mobile phone providers and a small amount about how corporate and government policies come into play.

We suggest doing this activity at the start of a mobile workshop.

Learning objectives this activity responds to

  • an understanding of mobile communication safety from the perspective that mobile phones are our tools for both personal, private and public, movement communications;
  • an understanding of basic concepts of how mobile communications work in order to better understand the risks of mobile communications;

Who is this activity for?

This can work for anyone who uses a mobile phone or has used one.

Time required

This activity will require about 45 minutes as written. If you want to cover this content faster, you could ask the participants fewer questions and instead share a slide or example mindmap.

Resources needed for this activity

  • chart paper
  • markers


Ask your participants a series of questions and mind-map their responses. The goal is to try to map the ways participants related to their mobile phones. Participants will discuss mobile power, control and agency as they discuss how they relate to their mobile devices, service accounts, mobile phone providers and corporate and government policies.

Suggestions for preparation:

  • Familiarize yourself with the local carriers;
  • Familiarize yourself with the links between the local carriers and the state. ex. are they state run?
  • Prepare some local examples of ways that women/gender rights activists are using their mobiles, how this relates to power; how corporations and/or the state react/regulate if applicable;

Draw a mind map in a visible space so people can see as you ask the following guiding questions.

  • indicate places where participants speak of choices or decisions that were made for them. ex. type of phone, android/nokia; who else has access to their phone, how they chose it; service provider; plan type; who has access to their plans

example mindmap. click to view it larger.


Questions to ask:

  • About devices: What kind of phone do you use? How did you get your phone? Do you share it? How and with whom?
  • About your mobile service: How did you select your mobile carrier? Do you share your plan? Do you manage your plan and if not, who does? Did you choose your plan? How?


The relationship between ourselves and our mobile providers. Did you sign terms of service? What did you agree to when you signed your contract? What did you provider agree to?

Note to facilitators: If you know of particular concerns with local carriers, try to find and bring examples of terms of service and/or case studies where people/consumers have engaged with the carrier around safety.


The relationship between the mobile providers and the state. Are these state run? Are they international, local, regional companies?

Note to facilitators: You may want to research in advance, state regulations or influences on mobile use. Have there been any recent state shutdowns of service? Are participants familiar with targeted shutting down of individual's lines? Do security forces seize devices?

Additional Resources

Case studies: as WRP continues to use this activity, add links to relevant case studies here

Go back to this activity's main module (Mobile Safety)