Future Ada stands firmly in support of Black Lives Matter
Our organization vehemently denounces racism and discrimination. The values we work to promote and advocate for are rooted in intersectionality, diversity, and inclusion for all people. Now more than ever, none of us can remain silent when injustice is happening. We must all stand up against racist behavior and discriminatory acts.
We are angered and saddened by the recent events leading to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others. Yet, we are also inspired by how the spark from these events has grown over these last couple weeks with so many individuals and organizations stepping up in support. We are hopeful that real, long-term positive change will flow out of these current protests. The injustices inflicted upon our Black siblings throughout our country and throughout our country’s history are endlessly upsetting and long overdue at being addressed.
As an organization who also believes in an individual’s right to privacy and security, we want everyone participating in protests to be safe and take precautions to protect themselves. Wearing face masks and remembering hand sanitizer are important since we are still in the middle of a pandemic. Additionally, a couple of our Electronic Frontier Association sister organizations through the Electronic Frontier Foundation have released safety and security tips for protesters which we’d like to share here.
LA Cryptoparty published this great Digital Security Guide for Protesters. Our friends in New York at S.T.O.P. (Surveillance Technology Oversight Project) have also published this Protest Surveillance and Safety guide.
Recommended Tips to Protect Your Privacy
- Take a burner or temporary phone if possible.
- If you have to take your normal phone, disable fingerprint scanning and facial recognition to unlock it. Turn on a passcode or password lock feature with a long, complex, alpha-numeric passcode which is required immediately upon locking the phone.
- If you bring a phone, carry it in a signal blocking pouch.
- If you need to message anyone use an encrypted messaging app like Wire. Avoid WhatsApp and iMessage since they are owned by Facebook and Apple.
- If you have to use your phone, make sure to turn off all location services.
- Make sure your phone is encrypted. This is automatic with iPhones but needs to be enabled in the settings for Android phones. Check out this guide from How To Geek on how to do this.
- Be sure to have notification settings so they don’t appear on top of a locked screen.
- Backup your phone — Android guide and iPhone guide
The ACLU has also provided a guide for protesters on what your rights are:
Future Ada offers monthly Privacy and Security Workshop webinars which are free to the community. The next one is this coming Sunday, June 14th and will be covering the basics of personal online privacy and security and also dive into protecting yourself from online harassment. If you find yourself the target of cyber bullying, cyber stalking, revenge porn, or any other form of online harassment, please register and join us this weekend to learn what to do.
If you are in need of one-on-one support with any of these items discussed, or any other privacy, security, or technical help, Future Ada also provides free-of-charge Open Office Hour appointments. You can book time with one of our technical professionals here:
Be safe out there friends!