Tech Tools for Activists

Recent days have revealed the shocking lack of security awareness of some politically active groups and individuals. As a result under consideration is a new Centre of the Psyclone blog page that will feature posts containing the kind of information needed to redress this risky…no, this potentially dangerous situation.

Advice and information will include the practical and the conceptual and will be drawn from a variety of sources that have proved themselves and their material ‘in the field’ so to speak.

Those concerned with their own and/or their group’s security, meatspace and/or cyberspace, would do well to check back soonish. In the meantime (and times are getting meaner) there are already posts on this blog related to security. As mentioned in them, some of the information is relatively dated although still very relevant and still valuable.

Here then is an addition to the material in those posts, a more up to date handbook produced by the folks at the HacktionLab. (An update is currently under production and expected in the spring.)

From the introduction to Tech Tools for Activists:

Effective political organising has always required good communication. Over the last two decades the information revolution has changed the way political activists communicate to an extent that was previously unimaginable. Alongside the new opportunities this has created, there also remains the age-old problem of how to get information to your political allies while maintaining confidentiality.

Communicating securely is everyone’s business. Even if your activism is super-fluffy, you can help make the internet safer for everyone by adopting good security practices. If only the people doing spiky things used these practices, they would attract attention just by doing so. Get into the habit of doing things securely before you really need to and you will be a thorn in the side of the surveillance state.

The aim of this short booklet is to provide a cursory introduction to the effective use of technology for activism. It is not a step-by-step guide. It does not aim to explore all the possible options for you, but rather sets out simple ideas about good practice and how activists around the world can use and are using these techniques to their advantage.

Personally, I put the played down note down to modesty. The ‘cursory introduction’ is actually brilliant, and essential reading for anyone serious about the subject who hasn’t already got their act together.

The 32-page booklet can be downloaded, free, from here.

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