I’m Michaela, the Library Freedom Project’s new intern. I’m a relative newcomer to this field, although I’ve been interested in digital rights/civil liberties and free/libre/open source software for several years. I’ve spent the past year and half volunteering with Mozilla, where I became acquainted with the greater free/open source software community and fell in love with LFP’s work.
The freedom of speech and right to privacy are very important to me. I discovered the Tor Project in 2010, and the Tor network proved indispensable to me as a queer kid — my high school blocked most LGBT+ resources, because they were often on forums. I used the Tor browser both at school and at home, since I didn’t feel comfortable talking about these sorts of things with my family.
Because of Tor, I was able to gain access to resources privately, do my research, and come out on my own terms. I strongly believe that everyone should have that opportunity — and that libraries have a duty to be a place where it’s safe for patrons to research these and other often-controversial subjects without having to worry about their privacy being compromised.
I’m looking forward to helping to provide people with tools they need to keep themselves safe online. Some of those people are kids in similar situations to my own — and I’m hopeful that the work that I’ll be doing here will make a difference for them. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to join the team, and I can’t wait to see what we’ll accomplish in the next few months!