[tor-project] Teaching lawmakers about Tor for rule 41 amendment

Shari Steele ssteele at riseup.net
Thu May 5 10:54:38 UTC 2016

On May 4, 2016, at 8:39 PM, Kate Krauss <kate at torproject.org> wrote:

> Roger:
>> On Wed, May 04, 2016 at 05:32:24AM -0400, Roger Dingledine wrote:
>>> Hi Alison, Kate,
>>> Check out
>>> https://theintercept.com/2016/04/28/supreme-court-gives-fbi-more-hacking-power/
>>> I think this is a really important outreach topic.
>>> A) We should reach out to the senators who are planning to fight
>>> the changes, to offer to teach them more about Tor and more about the
>>> Internet, see if they have any questions or concerns, etc.  I bet there
>>> are some staffers somewhere who are working on exactly this topic, and
>>> everything they know about Tor they learned from one scary video about
>>> the dark web. We should teach them how Tor works, why people need it,
>>> and why a diversity of types of users is key to its security.
>>> B) At the same time, we should learn what their talking points are, so
>>> we can be better at educating people about the issue. In particular, one
>>> of the quotes in the article says it's "possibly the broadest expansion
>>> of extraterritorial surveillance power since the FBI's inception",
>>> but at the same time, I can totally picture people saying "Oh come on,
>>> it's just Tor, how can that be such a big change?" We would be smart
>>> to have concrete non-Tor examples of what these new powers would allow,
>>> so everybody can understand that these changes aren't just about Tor.
> This is exactly what public policy is. I am enthused that Roger is
> enthused that we should work on this.
> I would say that job #1 is not to call the Senate but our allies.

I agree, with the caveat that we should be offering to do the trainings Roger describes.  That’s a great way we can contribute to the fight that takes advantage of our unique expertise.  Our allies can introduce us to Senator Wyden and others.

> More tomorrow,
> Katie--
> ps: Paul--very good question that I think requires an actual attorney,
> or someone at the ACLU.
> Kate Krauss
> Director of Communications 
> and Public Policy
> kate at torproject.org
> @TorProject
> 1-718-864-6647 (works for Signal also)
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