June 2009

Iran, censorship, social networks — and hundreds of thousands of people risking their lives

new photos from today in Tehran from @mousavi1388

“I think the filters and the restrictions have been going on for so long in Iran that the experienced people are already prepared for this,” said Jon Pincus, a former Microsoft project manager and digital activist who works on projects promoting online freedom.

Iranians dodging internet censorship , Doug Gross, CNN

The OpenNet Initiative’s Cracking down on digital communication and political organizing in Iran is a good summary of the situation there, and their research report has a lot more details.  Thus far, at least, the internet is largely routing around censorship: despite severe filtering by the government, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube have played huge roles in the protests.

The Mir Hossein Mousavi میر حسین موسوی Facebook page is one important example, updated regularly with instructions and requests for help and information.  Tuesday, when the sites hosting the “guide to cyber-warfare in Iran” were going down under DDoS attacks, they sent a link to a text version of this to all the supporters.  This is a very efficient way to get credible information distributed broadly internationally, in easy-to-forward form — and even when Facebook is blocked in Iran, information can flow back into the country through whatever other channels are open.

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Packing and the friendly skies: Deviant Ollam on how to be able to really lock your luggage and avoid those horrible “TSA-approved locks”

Another Shakacon presentation, this one from Deviant Ollam.  The short answer: fly with firearms.

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Pyr0 on “the art of espionage” at Shakacon

Sarah Blankinship and I are presented Securing with the Enemy: Social strategy and team of rivals at Shakacon today.  More about our talk later; this post has notes from the keynote presentation on The Art of Espionage, by Luke McOmie (aka Pyr0) of British Telecom.

Luke’s consulting includes “real world risk assessments”, which sometimes involves breaking into his clients’ companies to test their security.  So it’s a great opportunity to hear about the kinds of techniques the real bad guys use.  Fascinating stuff!

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We *can* do better: grassroots organizing against hate speech

TommyXtopher: Playboy Magazine Officially Hates Women, Conservative or Otherwise http://bit.ly/1aqcMe.* I hope other liberals join me in defending women, #tcot or not, from this crap.

jointheimpact: AT&T Latest Advertiser To Leave KRXQ Confronted By Advertisers, Media and Community … UPDATE: McDonald’s Is 10th Company to Pull KRXQ Advertising http://bit.ly/ki7vc //zomg! Amazing! (via @Andy_Marra)

nerdette: Join me in blogging this weekend against hate http://bit.ly/JqdDr We can #dobetter than use violence to change minds.

— from Twitter, June 1-5 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

In nerdette’s Don’t get mad, ORGANIZE call to action for the “We can do better” blogathon she discusses how online and offiline organizing are increasingly blurring together.  The swift reactions to Playboy’s article about hate-f***ing conservative women and KRXQ radio hosts encouraging violence against transgendered youth are two good examples of this — and both have gotten immediate results.

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The psychology of security and privacy — a #cfp09 panel discussion

Raw notes …

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Creating the future at #cfp09: showtime for privacy and civil liberties activsm!

CFP logo

“Fight for me!”
— a privacy-loving Facebook friend, wishing me luck at the conference

Here’s our opportunity to realize the promise of the Net that was so present in 1990s when CFP started.
— Deborah Pierce on the CFP blog

The program for this year’s Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference is outstanding even by CFP’s high standards.  The mix of technology, legal, policy, and activism perspectives is particularly strong this year, and with the new administration and Washington DC location there’s significant involvement by government employees for the first time since the 1990s.  As well as CFP regulars like Jennifer Grannick, Jim Harper, Ed Felten, Nicky Ozer, Alessandro Acquisti, Stewart Baker, and Lillie Coney, speakers incude first-timers like Marcy Wheeler, Dori Maynard, Paul Ekman, Shireen Mitchell, Rebecca Mackinnon, Nancy Scola, and Ari Melber.  Don’t take my word for it — check out the program and prepare to be impressed.

Best of all, with streaming video, the #cfp09 Twitter backchannel ,* live-blogging, and a community wiki, the conference will be more accessible onine than every before.    Kudos to Katy Nelson of the ACLU and Robert Guerra of Freedom House for taking the lead with the video streaming, and to all the volunteers of the online visibility team for all the great work on the blog, Twitter, and Facebook.  The online schedule has details, we’ll do our best to keep the web site updated regularly, and the Twitter feed will be best way to keep up what’s going on.

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Twittering in the Trenches: a workshop on social networks at #cfp09

Along with Deborah Pierce, Shireen Mitchell, and Ari Melber, I’m presenting n the Twittering in the trenches workshop today at Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference.

If all goes well, it’ll be streamed at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/cfp09 … and the Twitter hashtag is #cfp09.

Deborah’s post on the CFP blog has some background.  Check it out!

I’ll be at CFP all week … stay tuned for more.  For now, here’s the program.

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