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[liberationtech] List of Online Risk/Security Resources (was Re: Resignation)

Ronald Deibert r.deibert at
Tue Sep 14 17:49:26 PDT 2010

Hi Katrin (and hello others, I'm new to the list)

On our "Everyone's Guide" you are correct that it is in need of some  
updating.  However, I do not think we'll be doing it any time soon as  
those of us who wrote it are not focused in this area to the same  
degree as we were back then (and the grant that funded the project has  
run its course).

We gave it over to Sesawe to draw from as they saw fit in their guide  
(which you will notice they did here and there).  Others are free to  
do same.

On the "pro" side, I should note that the guide is available in  
Burmese and Russian in addition to English.  We were working on  
French, Urdu, Spanish, Farsi and Arabic translations but the funds/ 
personnel evaporated/moved on and they're incomplete.  We hope to be  
able to complete those one day soon...

  We're going to shut down the Civisec site that has hosted the  
project and move the guides over to the main Citizen Lab site as an  

Hope this helps.


On 14-Sep-10, at 6:14 PM, Katrin Verclas wrote:

> Thanks, Joshua - really great to hear that there is a question  
> mark :)   Totally agree on bullshit detection - good call.
> To shit the convo slightly and add/contribute something useful and  
> ask your advice, see below.
> Here is a list of guides and resources we compiled on online  
> "security"/risk, many from respected sources:
> What are we missing? Other pros/cons to note?  Anyone vetted these  
> from a tech perspective?  (we have not - just compiled them as a  
> quick exercise).
> Katrin
> On Sep 14, 2010, at 1:17 PM, Joshua Cohen wrote:
>> I am one of the directors of the Program on Liberation  
>> Technologies, and (now just speaking for myself) wanted to say a  
>> word on this (partly echoing themes from Katrin, Daniel, Jake,  
>> Evgeny, Jim Youll, and Jane Fountain, among others):
>> 1. For me, a basic purpose of the Program is to host conversations  
>> exactly like the one we have just been having about Haystack. That  
>> means that I understand the purpose of the Program as if the name  
>> had a question mark:
>> For me, the name is: Liberation Technologies?
>> In short, we have a question, not an answer. [Thus share the Katrin/ 
>> Evgeny concern about myths and rhetoric.]
>> 2. I think bullshit detection — aka the discipline of evidence and  
>> argument, aka reason — in discussions about IT solutions to  
>> important social/political problems has been VERY low (comparable  
>> to the minimal levels of bullshit detection in discussions about  
>> development assistance, before the Poverty Action Lab). It has been  
>> low because lots of people are not in the habit of asking the basic  
>> questions:
>> (a) how do I know? and (even more importantly)
>> (b) how would I know if I was wrong?
>> Moreover, people who do ask those questions are often treated (as  
>> Jim says) as hurdles to getting things done in a world filled with  
>> incredibly urgent problems in which everything needs to have been  
>> done yesterday: treated as hurdles, or as irritating skeptics, or  
>> as annoyingly impractical academics, not as key players in making  
>> things work.
>> 3. Of course, when people ask hard questions, you end up with lots  
>> of uncertainty. And if you can't act with clear purpose while  
>> openly acknowledging the uncertainty, you should find something  
>> else to do, because you are almost certain to do serious damage.
>> Josh Cohen
>> On Sep 14, 2010, at 8:46 AM, Katrin Verclas wrote:
>>> A lot hinges on the myths and rhetoric around so-called  
>>> ''liberation tech" and the collective (and in many ways uniquely  
>>> American) techno-fix mythology.  It's more about us than people  
>>> and their hopes and fears in Iran, more about American values and  
>>> assumptions, and a lot more about the blinders of the players  
>>> involved, including as Jillian York put it to me, desperate tech  
>>> journalists on the prowl.
> Katrin Verclas
> katrin at
> skype/twitter: katrinskaya
> (347) 281-7191
> A global network of people using mobile technology for social impact
> _______________________________________________
> liberationtech mailing list
> liberationtech at
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Ronald J. Deibert
Director, The Citizen Lab
Munk School of Global Affairs
University of Toronto
r.deibert at

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