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Tag: Security

Threat Modeling For Activists: Tips For Secure Organizing & Activism

Posted in Creative Commons, and Journalism

Threat modeling is a fancy term for “knowing how to protect yourself in different situations.”

The idea of “threat modeling” originated in the military before being adopted by security experts. While the field includes many advanced concepts that don’t interest us here, threat modeling can help us get a handle on our personal security choices. In an age of mass surveillance, choosing what steps to take can feel overwhelming. For a lot of people, it may be easier to do nothing at all than worry about protecting yourself online.

Unfortunately, even if you feel like “you’ve got nothing to hide,” many of us are still vulnerable: to government repression, to police brutality and surveillance, and to threats from fascist forces. Even if you’re completely safe, your social networks might be used to target other people close to you. You might not even be aware that someone near you is taking actions that make them a target for surveillance.

Kit On Online Privacy & Repression Under Trump, Media Lies About Cannabis On Halloween

Posted in Act Out!, Audio, Journalism, and Ministry of Hemp

Once a month, I appear on Black Tower Radio.

This time, Jake and I discussed what the media got wrong about cannabis edibles and CBD candy on Halloween 2017. Then, we talked about the American police state after Trump’s inauguration, the J20 defendants, and some simple alternatives to Google and Twitter.

Reclaim Your Online Privacy: Alternatives To Facebook, Twitter & Google

Posted in Act Out!, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

Imagine a police state so bent on repressing dissent that people were targeted by the government just for visiting a web page or liking a page on Facebook?

This dystopian scenario isn’t science fiction, and it isn’t something happening in a far off country — it’s happening in the United States. No really, let’s take a look at a recent example: On an auspicious Friday the 13th in October, the federal government dropped its demand that Facebook turn over information about anyone who had simply “liked” a page dedicated to protesting Donald Trump’s inauguration. And while it wasn’t successful, this isn’t the first time the feds tried to target anyone who’d even looked up information on the massive January 20 protests.

While the government backed down when challenged by groups like the ACLU and cyberliberties watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation, this was still a clear attempt to silence even the most basic forms of dissent and it’s almost certain we haven’t seen the last of this kind of thing. Keep in mind that dozens of people arrested for protesting the inauguration are STILL facing decades in prison, and we can only guess at the horrors the Cheeto Gestapo might have unleashed with access to even more information about Trump’s opponents.

And if you think this all sounds Orwellian, you are absolutely correct.

Security Culture And Punching Nazis In Texas (Kit O’Connell On Radical Underground Podcast)

Posted in Act Out!, Audio, Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Occupy Wall Street

I really enjoyed talking with the Radical Underground podcast and the episode turned out great, full of lively conversation and fab music.

In our conversation, we talked about security culture and the ways our smartphones turn us into snitches against ourselves — but also touched on the human element, which is just as vital as technology when it comes to staying secure.

We also talked at length about the Oh Shit What Now collective, the recent incident at my “Punching Nazis” class in Houston, and other fascist and antifascist activity in Austin, Texas (including copwatching).

What Is Black Bloc? Why Do Activists Wear Masks?

Posted in Creative Commons, and Journalism

Black bloc are the masked activists in matching black clothes you may have seen at protests or on TV. There are many misconceptions about black bloc, especially about who they are and why they look the way they do.

One common misconception is that antifa (antifascists) and black bloc are one and the same, or that block bloc are all members of a particular activist movement. In reality, black bloc is not a movement but a tactic that has been used by diverse groups and movements over the years. Originally developed by autonomists in Europe, black bloc tactics first came to America during the protests against the World Trade Organization, including the famous “Battle of Seattle” in 1999.

By wearing masks and near identical clothing, activists in a black bloc protect their identities while creating a sense of unity and common purpose. While acts of property destruction by masked individuals tend to receive most media attention, one of the most common purposes of a black bloc is to protect other activists from attacks by police and fascists.

The GOP Just Sold Your Internet Privacy To The Highest Bidder … Here’s How To Protect Yourself Online

Posted in Journalism, and Lee Camp

Republicans just voted to roll back FCC privacy protections that would have prevented your internet service provider from selling your private browsing history.

After passing the Senate earlier in the week, the House approved a measure on Tuesday which would allow broadband providers like AT&T, Spectrum or Comcast to sell your online data to marketers (as well as corporate and government spies).

The vote in both chambers was split along party lines, with the GOP voting in favor of selling your porn habits to just about anyone who cares to pay for them, including maybe future employers. Naturally, many of these legislators were also the recipient of large donations from the telecommunications industry.