Monthly Archives

November 2015


Today, Alison gave a quick talk to students at the School of Information & Communications Technologies SAIT Polytechnic. Here’s a list of links that she discussed:

Canadian Civil Liberties Union:

Library Freedom Project resources, including class curricula (all CC-BY-SA licensed):

Let’s Encrypt:

Tor Browser:

Tor Messenger:


Signal (for iOS or Android):

Mass Surveillance Isn’t the Answer to Fighting Terrorism (NYT editorial):

NYT Editorial Slams “Disgraceful” CIA Exploitation of Paris Attacks, But Submissive Media Role Is Key:

Surveillance in the Stacks (book about the FBI’s Library Awareness Program):

My library blocks!

Oh no! Please feel free to share the below letter with them, either in the original or with modifications (please honor our CC-BY-SA 4.0 license).

We noticed that you don’t allow access to ‘’, which prevents users at this library from downloading the Tor Browser. We’re writing to kindly ask if you’ll reconsider this position. The Tor Browser is software that allows users to browse the internet without being tracked by companies or spied on by government agencies. It also helps people stay safe and secure from any malicious persons who might be observing their network traffic or trying to determine their location.

Tor Browser is made by the The Tor Project, a nonprofit organization, and its software is free for downloading by anyone. Tor is used by human rights activists, diplomats, journalists, and others who value privacy. Journalists in repressive countries use it to publish their work without fear of government surveillance, censorship or persecution. Domestic violence survivors use it so that they cannot be tracked by their abusers. People in African countries like Zimbabwe and South Africa use it to report poaching of endangered animals without fear of retribution. Tor is a powerful tool for unfettered intellectual inquiry, one that the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression recently stated should be “protected and promoted” [1]. Human Rights Watch recommends Tor for human rights advocates in their report about censorship in China [2]. Reporters Without Borders suggests that journalists and bloggers all over the world should use Tor to keep themselves and their sources safe.

The Tor network has also found support in high places in the US government. The anonymizing technology Tor provides is based upon research designs originally developed by the US Navy and
others. The Tor Project receives funding from the US State Department to develop, maintain, and promote this democracy-enhancing technology [3].

Libraries have always protected democratic ideals like intellectual freedom and privacy, and fought against censorship. Tor is a vital service to a more democratic digital age. We ask that you please consider the many people who benefit from access to Tor Browser, and please allow your users to access ‘’.

Thank you for your consideration,

Library Freedom Project

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye
[2] Race to the Bottom: Corporate Complicity in Chinese Internet Censorship
[3] Who uses Tor?
[4] Tor Project’s sponsors