Editor’s note: We’re pleased to continue our series of guest posts with one from our good friends of the UK Radical Librarians Collective. RLC’s incredible work organizing librarians across the UK and Ireland is a great inspiration to us at LFP, and so we’re especially excited to share their experience of running a local CryptoParty and implementing some FLOSS technologies in their work. We hope it will encourage other librarians and affinity groups to do the same.
In 2013, the public learned of extensive programs of corporate and state surveillance operating through the web and internet technologies that have become embedded in our lives. Data about citizens and consumers is routinely harvested, retained, traded, and examined without the informed consent of the public. Thanks to the leaks of Edward Snowden, subsequent revelations about the UK’s TEMPORA Project, the UK Government’s proposed ‘Snooper’s Charter’, and the more recent “extremism clampdown” in UK Higher Education, surveillance is known to be a widespread embedded practice that restricts our freedom in a variety of ways. The more aware we are of this, the more we can defend ourselves.
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Continuing our guest blogger series is Zak Rogoff, campaigner at the Free Software Foundation, who also blogs over on his personal site. Zak is a friend of LFP and a rad tech activist, and we’re jazzed that he agreed to write the following post about why all of us need privacy, example threat models that can help us understand this need, and strategies we can use to fight back.
Privacy — who needs it?
By Zak Rogoff
The benefits of online privacy can seem intangible. So what if someone on the Internet knows what someone else is doing on the Internet? But for many people (potentially including you or people you know), privacy tools are a shield from very real and immediate threats. Let’s meet seven of them:
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We’re excited to announce a new Library Freedom Project initiative, the Library Digital Privacy Pledge. Together with Eric Hellman (of Gluejar/Free Ebook Foundation/GITenberg/general notoriety in the library world), we’re asking libraries and vendors to help protect reader privacy by moving their services to HTTPS. I’ve written about why this matters, and EFF’s Jacob Hoffman-Andrews has done an even better job making the case. For even more info on the what, why, and how of this pledge, check out our FAQ. We’ve already got some amazing charter libraries and vendors signed on, and we’re hoping that many more will follow suit. Join us in protecting patron privacy by emailing pledge(at)libraryfreedomproject(dot)org!