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[liberationtech] uVirtus Linux, encrypted OS for Syria

Robert Guerra rguerra at privaterra.org
Fri Sep 27 08:18:41 PDT 2013


quick comments from me..

1. The press should learn from past experiences. 

A "security tool" launched by a featured/cool activist should be a warning sign. Far too many such projects have been launched with disastrous effects. "coolness breeds a false sense of security"

2. The press should do their homework and engage experts before running a story..

 As with any such initiatives - information, if any, that is available on the technical qualifications of the developers, external review, and source of funding can be helpful.

3. We need secure tools that are sustainable, easy to use, that don't betray the users.

That's hard and very few developers get it right.

4. Case studies and external review is way more important than hype..

In terms of community engagement, hard engineering work and practical deployment - Martus (by benetech) and Tor (by torproject) are highly recommend and have a great track record.

Robert




On 2013-09-27, at 10:23 AM, Lorenzo Franceschi -Bicchierai wrote:

> Dlshad Othman, a Syrian hacker and anti-Assad activist (you might remember him for Stephan Faris' piece on the hackers of Damascus on Businessweek) is launching uVirtus Linux today in DC (see event here: https://www.uvirtus.org/?p=139).
> 
> uVIrtus Linux, according to the project's site (https://www.uvirtus.org/?page_id=4) is a fully encrypted OS based on Debian that has encryption tools preconfigured so that activist in Syria can use it to avoid governemnt surveillance. 
> 
> What do you guys think about this project? Reminds me a little bit of FreedomBox (without the hardware).
> 
> Thoughts?
> 
> -- 
> Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai 
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