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[liberationtech] We need an incubator for scalable, desirable user tools was: Forbes recommends tools for journalist; is now: depressing realities

Brian Conley brianc at
Fri Dec 21 07:14:05 PST 2012

The tools that exist are either not acceptable, or not broadly marketed.

I believe the Open Technology Fund(previously Freedom2Connect) is making a
good start at changing this. (Full disclosure, SWN's forthcoming multimedia
storytelling app is funded in part by OTF)

This can't be the only start, and I happen to believe it won't be
successful if it isn't. What OTF is doing, to some degree, is enabling
those who work on the ground, for example teaching or being journalists, to
obtain funding IN CONJUNCTION with security experts. At SWN we do our best
to remain knowledgeable of security threats and threat models, but for over
a year now we've found our place synthesizing the information from security
experts into a format that is approachable to users.

Simply being secure by design is not enough. People are people and they
have many different particular preferences. Only a small subgroup wish to
know the details behind the magic of technology. This doesn't mean they
want to be treated Luke stupid children, it means they want their time and
priorities respected as well as yours.

People use skype because its been around for years. Security and privacy
folks can decry it all you want, but you'll get farther building a better
Skype. I'd like to see more members of this list stop talking about the
efforts that aren't good enough and expend more energy working with those
of us who are your allies to make it better.

I for one maintain an open door policy to criticism and critique and try to
listen. In 2013 I hope I'll be working with more of you to strategize how
we create a world where privacy and communication are preserved for all.

Apologies for my lack of brevity.

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