Operational security training for Seattle activists and journalists

UPDATE! The date *may* change! An announcement to our first activist training will be posted on SeattlePrivacy.org within the first week of January 2015.

Starting on MLK day, to cover January 19th TA3M, I will be hosting a 3 to 5 hour event specific to digital security for on-the-ground activism. In February, I am going to host a related event specifically for journalists. This style of training is going to happen every month with activist and journalist training happening on alternating¬†months. This program will happen in addition to TA3M, I’m just going to jump start off of TA3M in January.

Curriculum is going to be facilitated by the SaferJourno guide (https://saferjourno.internews.org/ — “digital safety and online security”). Technical material can be adopted from many sources, but I will be asking for specialists to facilitate¬†various trainings. A new website will be created that will be breaking this content down in wiki format. The content will be duplicated and modified for activists. The goals include enhancing and contributing back to the SaferJourno project.

The distinction between activists and journalists is critical. Risk analysis and legalities are totally different for the two groups, even though they sometimes share the same threats. In addition, SaferJourno has many hands-on training and conversation-oriented coursework. Sharing similar experiences with one another is important, and also making the attendees feel as comfortable and secure as possible is important. The registration process will be constructed to be as anonymous as possible, and participation will remain as private as possible. Registration is interesting because there are pre-surveys that have to be filled out for the trainers.

As for journalists, I will be working with various volunteers to create curriculum specific to SecureDrop; part for its use, and part for its technical implementation. Also concerning journalists, I plan to make available tailored training for Seattle news organizations who wish to incorporate their working environments into the training.

Meeting space is TBD. Sadly, the Seattle Public Library closes too early.

A name for this new program has not been created. At this time, I have people interested in starting the same program in other cities, but will probably not happen as soon as MLK day.

Aside from me, I plan on keeping the identities of volunteers related to this new program private unless they wish to provide public support. My preferred methods of communication are TextSecure, PGP email, XMPP/OTR, and Ricochet — most details kept up to date on my website, https://yawnbox.com/.

I expect that trainers will write reports based on their experiences as educators and contribute (anonymously, if desirable) to the program in the form of SaferJourno (or SaferActivist) wiki edits. I’ll try to get trainers repeatable structure for said reports. Those not familiar with SaferJourno should know that it’s CC-BY-NC-SA. We can freely copy, remix, and redistribute the content with reference to the original, plus maintaining the same license or more-open, like CC-BY-SA or CC0.

What I currently need:

Does anyone know the activists who organized the WTO protests? I’d like to get them involved.

I need assistance breaking down the various needs of activist topics to cover. This will help copy the SaferJourno guide and modify it for activists. For January, time should not exceed 5 hours total, including breaks. Following January, events will likely be on weekends that could span an entire weekend.

I need technical specialists for iPhone and Android security. I could instruct Android, but there are many people who know more than I do. If we can’t rely on one person, we can break down various aspects of phone security to accommodate training. I also need someone to manage the topic of social media and video distribution.

Please be critical in thought and response. I look forward to pushing this forward in light of increased worldwide surveillance with as much help as I can get. I prefer to simply be an organizer, but I will facilitate/educate when/where needed. Please be aware than any involvement with this program will likely garner increased surveillance of yourself and connections, if TA3M wasn’t enough.