[tor-teachers] tor teachers -- politics

Nathan of Guardian nathan at guardianproject.info
Tue Oct 20 10:34:03 UTC 2015

Quick hello. My first post to tor-teachers. I'm both a mobile Tor
developer (Orbot, Orweb, Orfox, ChatSecure, etc) and a digital security
trainer for many years primarily with the Tibetan diaspora activist
community, but also more broadly within human rights groups in general,
both in the US and abroad. I'm also a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center
where I have held a number of trainings mostly for journalists last
year. On the curriculum front, these are the resources I am most proud
of: https://guardianproject.info/howto/

On Mon, Oct 19, 2015, at 06:23 PM, Kenneth Freeman wrote:
> Anonymity is just politics in a different register.

While I am obviously a politically minded person, I do think there is
something to what Stephen was saying regarding politics/non-politics as
a frame of mind, and Kenneth's statement above provided some clarity for

There are some people who come to Tor seek anonymity of the
whistle-blowing strength. Unfortunately, whistle-blowing has gotten a
bad rap from the media/govts who seek to discredit it and politicize it,
instead of it being seen as a patriotic, legal or fiduciary

There are others who come to Tor simply wanting privacy for their
browsing, search and online communication. They do not see this as a
(capital P) Political act, but is obviously political, in the way that
Jacob pointed out... many governments and societies do not want to grant
you this freedom.

Finally, there are others that come to Tor who simply want their
internet routing and connectivity to not be intercepted, re-routed,
logged or otherwise interfered with by network middle-folks and bad
actors. These are likely the types who use Facebook over Tor or use Tor
more like a free VPN or proxy, which I think is a fantastic thing for
those who want it. Again, this can be seen as a political act, since
some of the bad actors are state-empowered, but it is probably better
expressed as "I care about the Internet, and I want it to work

I think as a community of teachers and trainers, we'll have to all be
open to the fact that we are coming from very different backgrounds, and
working with very different communities. I don't think anyone is
actively trying to inject their own personal "P" politics into the list,
but I am sure many kinds of politics will come up, as an aspect of
empowering users who are working against a system that seeks to
disempower them.

  Nathan of Guardian
  nathan at guardianproject.info

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