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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Local Tech Activists Advise You to NOT Use a Computer?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 12:59 PM

click to enlarge eff.jpg
During the aftermath of the Iranian elections, protesters widely utilized Twitter to communicate. More and more, activists in foreign countries ruled by oppressive governments are using social networking and the Web to connect with each other. Of course, when even the U.S. government has employed controversial surveillance tactics against its citizens, using the Internet is not a foolproof means of keeping correspondence under wraps. That's where local champs of civil liberties in the digital world, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, come in. This team of technology experts and lawyers have been going to bat for free speech, among other issues, since 1990. You can peruse a list of their court cases here.

Today the EFF released a guide called "Surveillance Self-Defense International." The guide is exactly what it sounds like: a six-step manual that helps online dissenters living in authoritarian regimes cover their digital tracks and try to remain anonymous.

This is complicated stuff for a lay person. Do you know what Tor Bridge is? (Somewhere in here is a joke about trolls.)

But perhaps most striking about the succinct missive is suggestion No. 3, which cautions the reader to "Choose the Least Risky

Communication Channels," meaning that "Talking in person is usually the safest way to speak (unless others are watching you, or your location is bugged)."

In other words, the high-tech, online experts advise you to have a cup of coffee and chat face to face.

Check out the manual here and also pick up some tips on how you can use your technical prowess to help people abroad.

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Andy Wright


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