Greetings! It’s been an exceptionally busy few months over here at the Library Freedom Project. We’ve been conducting privacy trainings at libraries across the United States and some internationally, and in June we held our first Digital Rights in Libraries conference. We’re also starting an HTTPS campaign for libraries with friend o’ the Library Freedom Project Eric Hellman and the good folks working on Let’s Encrypt (more on that to come in about a week or so). LFP: can’t stop, won’t stop.
Today, we’re announcing the start of a new initiative, a collaboration between the Library Freedom Project and our friends at the Tor Project: Tor exit relays in libraries. Nima Fatemi, the Tor Project member who’s already helped Library Freedom Project in a number of ways, is our main partner on this project. This is an idea whose time has come; libraries are our most democratic public spaces, protecting our intellectual freedom, privacy, and unfettered access to information, and Tor Project creates software that allows all people to have these rights on the internet. What’s more, Tor Project is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), which is the best defense against government and corporate surveillance. We’re excited to combine our efforts to help libraries protect internet freedom, strengthen the Tor network, and educate the public about how Tor can help protect their right to digital free expression.
Editor’s note: Over here at Library Freedom Project HQ, we often get emails from rad librarians across the country who’ve attended one of our privacy trainings and have been successful applying those principles and tools in their libraries. Recently, we heard from one such librarian: Justin Wasterlain of the Santa Clara City Library, who’d just taught his first privacy class for the public. We were jazzed to hear about Justin’s experience and asked him to write this blog post so we could amplify his success and encourage other librarians to do the same. Below is the first in what we hope to be an ongoing series of LFP success stories. Thanks for writing it up for us, Justin! -Alison
While down some internet research rabbit hole, I stumbled across Alison’s Digital Privacy Toolkit webinar (ed note: that webinar is out of date now. Contact me for a copy of my updated presentation). In just over an hour, she had covered a huge number of tools and concepts in a manageable and teachable way. As a librarian looking to create privacy workshops, it was exactly the resource I needed. I recognize that sounds very “paid testimonial,” but it was the first place I had seen so much content laid out so accessibly in a library context. I was pretty stoked.
While I was in San Francisco prepping for ALA and Digital Rights in Libraries, I sat down with Meredith from Restore the Fourth SF to talk about the Library Freedom Project. Check it out here!
Digital Rights in Libraries was a giant success!!!! As one participant said, it was a “unique and special blast”. Thank you to all those who presented, participated, tweeted, and partied with us after the event. We’re getting together a listserv for anyone who wants to keep the conversation and action going; please get in touch with Alison if you’d like to be added to that list. You can read the highlights of the event at this Storify.
We’ll be posting presenter slides and other resources at this link as we receive them. Check back there for updates in the next few weeks!