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

Alison macrina at riseup.net
Fri May 6 21:13:48 UTC 2016

Shari Steele:
> 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.
> Shari

Sounds great, and +1 to Katie's comment about doing this super important
public policy work. Here's what I'm thinking:

-I don't know which allies Katie has in mind to contact but I'm happy to
help with that task. I assume that DC policy types that are already in
front of this would be key, like Access?
-I can really easily come up with a training program that would get at
all the key points -- all the privacy software affected by this with a
special focus on Tor. We'd just have to decide who we want to invite,
where we can host it, etc. And to that end...
-One place we could contact is DC Public Library. They held a weeklong
program of privacy events last year called Orwellian America, and we've
been talking about doing an LFP training there, so we already know them.
Might be a good space to host something like this.
-As for lawmakers to contact when we're ready to do that, Nima and I
have a good relationship with Zoe Lofgren's office. We can contact other
folks who voted for Massey-Lofgren, and of course anyone who is coming
out against this bill.

Lemme know how we wanna proceed!


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