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[liberationtech] Stanford Liberationtech: Ready for migration?

Yosem Companys ycompanys at
Thu Aug 30 17:23:16 PDT 2018

Dear Stanford Liberationtech friends,

How are you? I hope that you and your families are all doing well and that
you're all enjoying the summer (or the winter, depending on your location)!

Please allow me to introduce you to Gonzalo (cc'ed), who has been working
with the Stanford Program on Liberation Technology over the summer to help
us spinoff Stanford Liberationtech as an independent organization. If you
have yet to meet Gonzalo, please don't be shy to say "hello."

Below are the recommendations that you provided in terms of the next steps
for a newly independent Liberationtech:

   - *Corporate Governance: Fiscal Sponsorship, NOT Legal Status*. Most of
   you recommended that we not incorporate legally as a 501(c)3 at this time.
   Instead, you recommended that we use a fiscal sponsor instead. A number of
   fiscal sponsors were proposed including Creative Commons; the Electronic
   Frontier Foundation; Freedom House; the Free Software Foundation; the
   Information Ethics and Equity Institute; Mozilla; Oasis; the Open Source
   Institute; the Public Sphere Project; the Puerto Rico Science, Technology,
   and Research Trust; the Renewable Freedom Foundation in Germany; Software
   Freedom Conservancy; and Wikimedia. There is also the Tides Foundation. The
   advantage of fiscal sponsors is that they can accept charitable
   contributions on behalf of Liberationtech and take care of the legal and
   accounting requirements needed to maintain the organization, thereby
   freeing Liberationtech to pursue its vision and mission. We have decided to
   find fiscal sponsors for different legal jurisdictions to ensure that we
   have a global presence. [Down the line, the Sustainable Economies Law
   Center was proposed as an organization to help Liberationtech incorporate
   as a 501(c)3.]
   - *Vision*. To organize the world's information about technology for
   social good, especially privacy and security.
   - *Mission*. To create and support a community of practice around
   technology for social good that incorporates privacy and security by
   - *Hosting Service*. Most of you expressed concerns about hosting in the
   U.S. and asked that Liberationtech use the most privacy- and
   security-friendly legal jurisdiction instead. Most of you also
   recommended Greenhost.
   - *Website Design and Development*. Some of you kindly offered to work
   on a pro bono basis to design and develop the Liberationtech website.
   Others suggested contacting groups such as the Agile Collective, Aspiration
   Technologies, CoTech, Digital Life Collective,, and Greenhost
   for these services. What should the website have? You asked that we keep
   the Liberationtech website simple. Beyond a basic description and a list of
   the board of advisers, you asked that we do the following:
      - *Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS)*. Most of you asked that we build a
      site that is as simple as possible so that it may be viewed even by those
      who have slow devices or weak bandwidth.
      - *Just a mailing list, please*. Most of you also asked that we only
      use open-source mailing list software that has been around for a
long time
      for convenience (i.e., you get the email in your inbox) or
security reasons
      and to make it easier for any list subscriber to download the
list or port
      it from one device to another. (A minority of you asked Liberationtech to
      move to or, but the majority eschewed using any
      closed platform or anything more complex than a mailing list.)
      - *Let me create my own list, please*. Many of you asked that we
      allow list subscribers to create their own lists around specific
      whether by chapter (read more below), geography, sector, or topic. For
      example, some of you asked that Calls for Papers (CfPs), jobs, and
      announcements be moved to separate mailing lists.
      - *Mirror it*. Many of you asked that we mirror the site at a number
      of locations for security reasons.
   - *Incubation*. A number of you asked that Liberationtech continue to
   vet technology for social good projects as we have long done on the mailing
   list. Some of you asked that Liberationtech work to raise funds to become
   an incubator of technology for social good, where the funds would go to
   support the development of projects based on the ideas the community likes
   the most.
   - *Directory*. Some of you suggested that we create a wiki (or similar)
   with tips, good practices, tools, and apps for secure communication and
   digital privacy, along with a list of the organizations and platforms that
   work in the technology for social good space.
   - *Funding*. Some of you suggested that Liberationtech contact
   foundations such as Omidyar and the Open Technology Fund. Others suggested
   that Liberationtech engage in crowdfunding. Yet others suggested charging a
   yearly fee for people to create their own Liberationtech chapters in
   geographies around the world.

Assuming that no one has a strong objection to any of the recommendations
above, we -- and that includes all of you who have volunteered your
services to help us spinoff Liberationtech -- will begin the process of
implementation and migration.

Any questions? Anything we overlooked? Please let Gonzalo or me know.

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