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[liberationtech] Designing the best network infrastructure for a Human Rights NGO

SiNA Rabbani sina at
Thu Feb 28 10:43:27 PST 2013

Speaking of GUNE/Linux operating systems, I am personally a big fan of
LiveCDs such as Tails (, where you don't need to
install any software on a computer and loose all data (almost all data)
on a reboot.

Journalists, activists in high risk countries can have multiple copies
of a LiveCD at home, work or school. Instead of carrying their
activities in their laptops, they can load the CD and perform their
tasks with little or no trace.


Julian Oliver:
> ..on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 03:00:11PM +0000, anonymous2013 at wrote:
>> If you think you can get a board member or a finance person in an NGO to use
>> Linux then you are detached from the reality of how most NGO's work. The use
>> will simply ignore it.
> Really? Have you tried a recent desktop Linux distribution? What about Android?
> While not a fan of Ubuntu myself, I've seen both an 11yr old girl and a 70yr old
> retired farmer installing packages and watching videos, making documents in
> Ubuntu. One quite often hears many people find it far less confusing than
> Windows.
> Linux is just a kernel. GNU tools, applications and the UI are what make it a
> Desktop OS - and they vary in usability.
> Anyway, to be a little more constructive on the topic, check out Tactical Tech's
> NGO-in-a-box. All built on free and open software:
> "Everyday tools for NGOs Base NGO in-a-box is a collection of tools for the
> day-to-day running of small to medium sized NGOs. Produced by Tactical Tech in
> association with WomensNet, this toolkit aims to make it easier to set up base,
> find the right software and learn how to use it. Targeted primarily at NGOs and
> advocacy organisations in developing countries the Box contains a set of
> peer-reviewed Free and Open Source Software tools, with associated guides and
> tutorials."
> Testimonials:
> Cheers,
> Julian
>> On Thu, 28 Feb 2013 14:50:08 +0000 "Andreas Bader" 
>> <noergelpizza at> wrote:
>>> anonymous2013 at
>>>> Hi, 
>>>> We are a human rights NGO that is looking to invest in the best 
>>>> possible level of network security (protection from high-level 
>>>> cyber-security threats, changing circumvention/proxy to protect 
>>> IP 
>>>> address etc, encryption on endpoints and server, IDS/Physical 
>>> and 
>>>> Software Firewall/File Integrity Monitoring, Mobile Device 
>>>> Management, Honeypots) we can get for a our internal network. I 
>>> was 
>>>> wondering if people would critique the following network, add 
>>>> comments, suggestions and alternative methods/pieces of 
>>> software. 
>>>> (Perhaps if it goes well we could make a short paper out of it, 
>>> for 
>>>> others to use.)
>>> I also work for a human rights NGO.
>>> First don't use an internal network, you need a decentral 
>>> communication
>>> and information network.
>>> Second, Windows is not easier than Linux, compare Windows 8 and 
>>> Debian
>>> with Gnome 2.
>>> I would probably use a SEL Kernel like in SL 6, when possible a 
>>> Live-System.
>>> Forget all the closed-source software.
>>> Now the Software:
>>> -Firefox with Torbutton
>>> -Thunderbird with Torbirdy and OpenPGP
>>> -Vidalia
>>> Encrypt your systems with LUKS, its also FDE. Truecrypt doesn't 
>>> work
>>> with Linux as FDE.
>>> You can possibly try Liberte Linux, someone on this list presented 
>>> it to
>>> us, its made for secure communication.
>>> And if you are unsure about Linux and Windows in "High Level 
>>> Security
>>> Systems", then you should probably go and get a real
>>> Sysadmin/Security-Fanatic.
>>> How good are you with IT-Sec?
>>> I don't want to offend you, but you sound like a beginner.
>>> Andreas
>>> (P.S.: Skype? You can't be serious. ICQ and Facebookchat is more 
>>> secure.
>>> Use IRC).
>>> --
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“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Gandhi

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