Digital Security

We categorically reject the sentiment of “If you’re not doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?”. Resisting state repression and surveillance is not evidence of illegal behavior. Secure digital security practices are recommended by digital security experts for all users in all cases. We affirm the vital importance of knowing and using proper security practices, online as well as off, for any successful social movement of the 21st century.

There is a never-ending amount of learning involved in digital security and the more you take into your own hands the safer you will be. We realize this is daunting and challenging to most people and are willing to help with any questions. Each person will have to decide for themselves what level of security they require although at a bare minimum we think you should be aware of these practices. Developing a pseudonym and not operating in public spaces under your real name is probably one of the simplest methods for avoiding far right wing attempts at doxxing. Here we provide some very basic digital security guidance from trusted organizations, as well as a much more in depth document for those interested in learning more. Please review these resources for a beginning look at what steps you can take to protect yourself and others. Our group takes security seriously and will expect you to have a cursory knowledge of these best practices.

Signal Messaging App

We use Signal for texting in real time and for more immediate responses (think day of an event). Requires linking to a phone number – we recommend a burner. LifeHacker has a good article regarding how to buy a burner phone. Keep in mind that you will need a smartphone to use signal as an messaging app.

Signal is a encrypted text messaging app that can replace, or work in addition to, your phones regular messaging app. It is super useful for real-time communications in the field as you would use texts. It is very easy to set up and use and requires no knowledge of or management of encryption keys since that all takes place behind the scenes. You simply send a text as you normally would, if the recipient also has signal then it will be end-to-end encrypted.

CHAT HOUSEKEEPING

  • Different Signal chats may have diferent levels of security and/or codes of conduct please learn and respect the existing culture of each. We try to keep to late night QUIET HOURS in the main Volunteer chat, barring emergencies, as it is the largest. Depending on what chats you join or create you will likely need to customize your own notifications settings on your own device.
  • Please refrain from spamming, NEEDLESS ALL CAPS, advertising a business, asking for money, needless memes, sensitive and/or off topic conversations in appropriate to the individual chat, promoting violence and/or illegal activities.

SIGNAL SECURITY NOTE

You are about to enter our Volunteer Signal Chat. Each bloc, group, or project has its own or even multiple chats with different levels of security in mind for each. You are encouraged to explore them and even create your own around whatever your interest is. While encryption provides security from certain types of survaillence here on Signal, please keep in mind that any individual chat is only as secure as the practices of the LEAST secure member of said chat. We encourage people to learn more about digital security and security culture in general. We have information on best practices and deeper dives into digital security below. Please treat the main Volunteer chat as a semi public space, you are among vetted, or vouched for people friendly to our movement but your security is ultimately in the bonds of trust you form with others and that can take time. Our goal in adopting certain security practices is to reduce paranoia not increase it.

Digital Security Resources:

Security Culture for Activists from The Ruckus Society

Keeping Each Other Safe When Virtually Organizing Mutual Aid from the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Surveillance Self-Defense – Tips, Tools and How-tos for Safer Online Communications from EFF

A Deeper Dive:

Digital Security Primer from The Eyes On The Ground Collective (EOTG)

We use the following two programs as tools to help us organize, both of which are fairly straightforward, user-friendly ways to communicate with encryption without having to have much technical knowledge about how it all works (as much as we recommend you learn about encryption for your own benefit)