[tor-teachers] Selling Tor outside the anglosphere

Masayuki Hatta mhatta at gmail.com
Sat Oct 17 01:32:57 UTC 2015


I agree with Virgil.  Even in Japan, which is basically a democratic
country, people tend to tolerate paternalistic intervention by the
government, for their own "safety and security".  Thus, surveillance
and censorship has some but genuine support.  And many people still
tend to consider whistleblowing is a kind of "snitch", betrayal and
unethical.  In addition, the "failure" of Arab Spring and the rise of
ISIS cast some doubt on the value of democracy.  So, selling Tor
*only* in this context might have very limited appeal outside
Anglosphere.  Especially the U.S. is very idiosyncratic since it is
possibly the only country which has a long history of successful
whistleblowing (Watergate, Pentagon Papers, Snowden...) and very
strong protection for freedom of speech by the 1st amendment.  Also,
in some countries Tor is somewhat notorious for its use by criminals.
Thus, the importance of Tor should not be considered as given or

I usually explain whistleblowing (w/ Tor) is good not only for the
public but also even for the accused institutions -- the damage can be
contained if it could be detected early.  Transparency is actually a
kind of insurance.  Lately we had some big corporate/academic scandals
such as Olympus, Toshiba and STAP cells, and now we see the collapse
of VW in Germany.  So the importance of strong anonymity for easing
whistleblowing is now much more convincing.

Best regards,

2015-10-17 3:12 GMT+09:00 Virgil Griffith <i at virgil.gr>:
> A few days ago I did an interview for a documentary on
> AaronSwartz/SecureDrop.
> I asked how the documentary was going and the gist was that they were
> pitching SecureDrop as necessary software for the upkeep of democracy.
> I replied that although Tor/SecureDrop is good at the democracy angle, that
> SecureDrop's anti-corruption aspect has much wider/stronger appeal than
> democracy.
> For example, Chinese leadership is about as anti-democracy as it gets, but
> they are totally onboard with the anti-corruption/whistleblowing thing.
> Example:
> Example:
> http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/06/china-great-purge-150615051144914.html
> In general when I talk with leadership outside the anglosphere, they are
> much more interested in increasing GDP than rights. And they are well aware
> that corruption damages their effectiveness at home as well as perception
> abroad. And in these areas I've had much more success in selling Tor as an
> anti-corruption tool.
> -V
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Masayuki Hatta
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Economics and Management, Surugadai
University, Japan


mhatta at gnu.org  / mhatta at debian.org / mhatta at opensource.jp /
hatta.masayuki at surugadai.ac.jp

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