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[liberationtech] Ilya Zhitomirskiy

Yosem Companys companys at stanford.edu
Mon Nov 14 13:15:39 PST 2011


Hi All,

Thanks for reaching out to me privately to express your condolences
for Ilya Zhitomirskiy's passing.  It means a lot to all of us who were
so close to Ilya.

As most of you know, Ilya was a strong believer of the Liberationtech
vision.  Ilya had a contagious energy and enthusiasm for using
technology to promote democracy, human rights, activism, and make a
difference in the world.  He had a passion and zest for making the
world a better place.  He was especially committed to building
community and promoting privacy and security for activists around the
world.

Since the spring, Ilya and I had interacted with countless activists
to teach them about how to protect their online privacy and security
from authoritarian regimes.  For Ilya, Diaspora* was to be a big part
of this mission: Provide the opportunity for activists to host their
own Diaspora* servers, so they could organize privately, while using
Diaspora*'s capabilities to broadcast publicly via Twitter, Facebook,
and so on.

I know many of you had the opportunity to meet Ilya at Rightscon and
see his promise and commitment in action.  What you saw there was just
the tip of the iceberg.  Ilya was an idea machine.  His brilliant mind
was always seeking ways to disrupt power structures in order to create
a more just, equal and free society.  Whenever we'd meet, what was
meant to be an hour or two would always turn into long brainstorming
sessions that would last through the night.  So enjoyable were the
conversations that Ilya and I would often look at the clock with
dismay and just wonder where the time had gone.  There was always so
much left to discuss about how we could help the world.

There's not much more I can say at this point other than I will miss
Ilya -- his joie de vivre, his passion, his enthusiasm, his
brilliance, his friendship...  The world lost a great activist this
weekend, and I hope we all remember the ideas he promoted in our
community and work toward making them a reality, so we can some day
achieve Ilya's vision for our world -- a kinder and more just, equal
and free society.

Best,

Yosem



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