Global Voices Summit: Frontline Activists, Tools and Knowledge

The fourth panel addresses the challenge of providing people with the tools they need to circumvent web filtering and other methods of online censorship. Digital activists and technology experts from China, Cuba and the US shared their insights.

Some notes:

  • Part of the arms race is between us and US corporations;
  • The use of censorship circumvention and anonymity technology is global;
  • There are circumvention, anonymity and hybrid tools;
  • Everyone’s Guide to By-Passing Internet Censorship
  • Digital Security for Human Rights Defenders
  • Three walls to digital activism: free access (technology), free speech (poliitcs) and free thinking (education);
  • Digital Nomad is a non-profit group that provides services for co-location of hosting; CMS software installation; Fast responses to the Great Firewall; Marketing with social media;
  • The Chinese government blocks some key words in domain names/URLs (me: how about using domain names similar to major multinational companies operating in China, e.g., IBM, Microsoft, etc);
  • Governments are increasingly savvy in their ability to block emails with specific key words;
  • We need to localize both the software tools and the training manuals;
  • We need to share best practices vis-a-vis tools and tactics to decrease vulnerabilities;
  • Vaultletsoft.com allows for sending of emails that expire (can no longer be read) after a specified amount of time;
  • The Internet perceives censorship as damage and will work around;
  • Web 2.0 tools are actually quite centralized;
  • Tor does NOT encrypt emails, so always, always use https

Patrick Philippe Meier

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