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[liberationtech] Need some advice re: online secure communications platform for a survivors group

Miles Fidelman mfidelman at meetinghouse.net
Mon Jul 11 05:09:19 PDT 2016


Personally, I'd recommend staying away from any kind of hosting service 
- stick with a peer-to-peer system designed for privacy.

One, really simple notion would be to simply use encrypted email, 
perhaps over a list server.  It's a pain, but straightforward.  It does, 
however expose group membership, in the form of email addresses.  (One 
important issue, for group organizers to think about, is the distinction 
between private and anonymous - which has both social and technical 
implications).


One obvious approach is to use freenet (https://freenetproject.org/) - 
it will require that each participant download and install some software 
on their laptops - but it's not all that hard.  There are a variety of 
similar protocol/software stacks also designed for secure communication 
- Napster, Gnutella, Kazaa, FastTrack, eDonkey, Gnunet.

A couple of good starting point:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_P2P  and

http://www.planetpeer.de/wiki/index.php/Main_Page


There are some newer approaches, based on blockchain technologies - like 
the twister micro-blogging platform - http://twister.net.co (article 
about twister and a few similar projects: 
http://techpresident.com/news/wegov/24759/making-NSA-proof-social-networking-mainstream)

As a side note - for a while, the State Department was funding 
development of such applications - specifically to support revolutionary 
movements (think Arab Spring).

Miles Fidelman


On 7/11/16 6:36 AM, casper wrote:
> Check out:
> https://we.riseup.net or
> https://www.systemli.org/en/service/hosting.html
>
> best regards
> casper
>
>
> On 11.07.2016 11:29, Jan Weisensee wrote:
>> Hello Lina,
>>
>> I'm not sure what "high security levels" means, but given that this
>> group wants to discuss extremely personal and sensitive topics (namely
>> sexual assault / rape), choosing the services of a data company such as
>> Google, whose business model it is to access, analyse and sell private
>> data, doesn't sound like a good idea to me.
>>
>> In my view:
>> - If the group is small (<10), I would use Signal or Threema.
>> - If not but there's some tech knowledge in the group, I'd get a server
>> at some place safe, set up an SSL certificate and install Mattermost on
>> that server.
>> - Otherwise, something similar to Mattermost is hosted by SpiderOak.
>> They call it "Semaphor", and it has full end-to-end encryption. Haven't
>> tried it myself but looks like a good solution for non-techy people.
>>
>> Hope this helps.
>> Jan
>>
>>
>>
>> On Mon, 2016-07-11 at 01:20 +0000, Steve Weis wrote:
>>> I'd use Google Apps for Nonprofits:
>>> http://www.google.com/nonprofits/
>>>
>>> It's simple, familiar, and the security is good enough for enterprise
>>> businesses.
>>>
>>> On Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 4:56 PM Lina Srivastava
>>> <lina at linasrivastava.com <mailto:lina at linasrivastava.com>> wrote:
>>>> Hello all,
>>>>
>>>> A new support group for survivors of campus sexual assault is looking
>>>> for a secure online communications platform. The group is not one of
>>>> my clients, nor am I a member of or advisor to the group -- I am
>>>> passing this request along as a favor -- so I have relatively little
>>>> information about membership numbers, etc. I do believe everyone who
>>>> is in the group is located in the U.S. or Canada. And they are
>>>> looking for high security levels, giving survivors the ability to
>>>> seek support from other members and to collectively organize for
>>>> changes to policy and legislation on rape and assault. They are
>>>> hoping to have password-protected login, private messaging, group
>>>> forums, file share, all encrypted.
>>>>
>>>> Do any of you have advice for an existing platform that would provide
>>>> this that is relatively affordable?
>>>>
>>>> Thanks in advance,
>>>> Lina
>>>>
>>>> -- 
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Lina Srivastava
>>>> --
>>>> twitter <http://twitter.com/lksriv>  |  linkedin
>>>> <http://www.linkedin.com/in/linasrivastava> |  facebook
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>>>> <http://instagram.com/lksriv/>
>>>> www.linasrivastava.com <http://www.linasrivastava.com>
>>>> www.regardinghumanity.org <http://www.regardinghumanity.org>
>>>> www.whoisdayanicristal.com <http://www.whoisdayanicristal.com>
>>>>
>>>> --
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>> -- 
>> Get my PGP public key at https://keybase.io/janweisensee <here>
>> XMPP Chat: jan at swissjabber.de <mailto:jan at swissjabber.de>
>> Twitter: @ilumium
>> Tox: jw at toxme.io
>>
>>

-- 
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.  .... Yogi Berra




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